Street, Sidewalk & Sewer Committee

The following are the minutes of the March 17, 2021, Street, Sidewalk & Sewer Committee meeting

A Street, Sidewalk & Sewer Committee meeting was held March 17, 2021 via Zoom. Attending were committee members Steve Lepard, Dawn Iannantuono, Ken Jones and Zack Perkins, Mayor Montz, City Administrator Dale Thornton, Law Director Brent Howard, City Engineer Matt Watson, Assistant Engineer Jason Morter and Dr. Ken Baker. Lepard called the meeting to order at 2:00 P.M. and stated that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Mayor’s Request For Legislation 21-5 Traffic Signal Warrants Study and any other business presented.

Engineer Watson presented to those attending a power point presentation prepared by the City of Tiffin Engineering Department from information provided by DGL Consulting Engineers. Traffic data for the signal warrant analysis was collected by DGL via video on October 28, 2020 from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Crash data from the Ohio Department of Transportation TIMS database was also collected for consideration in this study. Engineer Watson informed us as to the background, objective and proposal of the study. The study identified 15 existing signals justifiable of a study divided into four different prioritys. The committee will focus on four intersections to determine signal warrant and recommendations. Items to consider that are included in the study are total vehicular traffic, total pedestrian traffic and peak hour vehicular traffic and pedestrian volume at peak hour vehicular traffic. Sight distance concerns up to 280 foot are also evaluated in this along with 4 and 8 hour (including peak) volume, pedestrian volume, school crossing, crash experience and roadway network.

The four intersections of concern are Circular Street and Main Street, Circular Street and Melmore Street, North Sandusky Street and Hall Street and Coe Street and Jefferson Street. The DGL study for the signal at Circular and Main does not warrant a signal as there is less than 800 vehicles per hour, at the peak hour there was only 305 vehicles on Circular and 126 on Main Street. Pedestrian volume was only 31 total for the two streets at the peak hour of 2:45 to 3:45 P.M. The intersection did not meet multi stop warrant, however, sight distance concerns factored into the decision to recommend a four way stop. To warrant a traffic signal requires 800 vehicles per hour, the DGL study and recommendation is to remove the traffic signal and create a four way stop. Dr. Baker reminded the committee that during the study Heidelberg University was not in session which would likely alter vehicular and pedestrian counts. Sight distance concerns will be addressed by the Engineer’s Department and Public Works.

Circular Street and Melmore Street intersection, the DGL study determines a traffic signal is not warranted but does have sight distance concerns and recommends a two way stop control on Circular Street. The peak hour for vehicular traffic was between 7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. with 428 vehicles traveling thru the intersection on Melmore and 270 on Circular Street. Pedestrian travel on the two streets combined for the day was only 48 the pedestrian volume at peak traffic volume was only 2 combined. Due to sight distance and safety concerns ladder style crosswalks and PED signs to be added across Melmore Street along with a tree removal and loss of two parking spaces and no parking from here to corner signs relocated.

Coe Street and Jefferson Street, the study does not warrant a signal at this intersection but does have sight concern issues. The signal operates in flash mode between the hours of 5:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. weekdays and 24 hours on the weekends, this is less than 50% operational. Peak hours for vehicular traffic is 7:15 A.M. to 8:15 A.M. The pedestrian volume at peak hour vehicular is only 10 both streets combined. The DGL and Engineering Department recommendation is to remove the flashing lights and install a two way stop control on Coe Street. The sight distance and safety concern proposal will include the option to place ladder style crosswalk across Jefferson Street, the removal of approximately 3 parking spaces, installing no parking from here to corner signs and remedy tree, shrub and landscaping issues to improve safety as needed.

North Sandusky Street and Hall Street. The result of the DGL study does not warrant a traffic signal but does have sight distance concerns, the recommendation is a two way stop control on Hall Street. Total vehicular traffic on North Sandusky Street from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. was 5,706 vehicles with the peak hour between 4:15 P.M. to 5:15 P.M. and 698 vehicles. Total vehicles between 7:00 A.M. and  6:00 P.M. on Hall Street was 556. The total pedestrian volume both streets combined from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. was only 71. Councilman Jones and Dr. Baker both spoke of the dangers of the intersection, speeding on Hall Street and the dangerous two way stop at North Sandusky and Hudson Street. Comments to Councilman Jones were expressed concerning exiting after church service. Dr. Baker expressed concerns of safety while making a left hand turn onto Sandusky Street from the east side of Hall Street and informed the committee that vehicle volume on Hall Street was due to shortcutting from Washington to Sandusky Streets. To improve sight distance concerns approximately  4 parking spaces will be removed, PED signs will be added at crosswalks and relocating parking from here to corner signs.

The DGL study was reviewed by the Traffic Safety Committee and recommends that the four signals be removed. The objective is to improve traffic flow and safety, a benefit is the reduction of current and future operational expenses. Engineer Watson explained the signal removal process that includes public notification and obtain public input, schools, local emergency and safety forces, legislation and approval from City Council, improve site distance issues, set signal to flash for 90 days, install signage “Signal Under Study For Removal.” The proposed schedule:  following the completion of school year, analyze crash data monthly through the Traffic Safety Committee traffic signal turned off and bagged for a minimum of 60 days, install notification signage that states date the sign will become non operational and continue to analyze crash data through the Traffic Safety Committee. Removal of signal, poles and cables will be the final step.

A letter of endorsement from the Traffic Safety Committee is on file. Engineer Watson stated that public notification and feedback is vital. A motion was introduced by Councilwoman Iannantuono and seconded by Councilman Rerkins to have the Law Director prepare legislation for the removal of the four traffic signals as discussed during the committee meeting. The motion was approved by a vote of 4-0. With no further business the meeting adjourned at 3:22 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Steven Lepard