LIMA — It may have taken some time for motorists to get used to it, but the Elida Road median is yielding positive traffic results, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Completed in 2012, the median, built from West Robb Avenue to North Eastown Road, was built in response to that section of road being a high-accident corridor. The project also included consolidation of driveways, new roadways, new traffic signals and improved signal coordination to help facilitate the movement of traffic. The cost for the project was $7.1 million, and according to deputy director Kirk Slusher of ODOT’s District 1, that investment is starting to pay off.
“The crash data from 2006 to 2013 indicates the overall accident rate is trending down as expected,” he said. “What’s most encouraging is the rate of injury accidents, which has been reduced from a high of 29 in 2009 to 13 in 2013.”
According to the data available, there were 137 accidents on that section of Elida Road in 2006, 22 of which resulted in injury. With the exception of 2008, in which there were 92 crashes, there were more than 100 total crashes each year up to 2011. That number decreased to 96 in 2012, 17 of which resulted in injury. That number continued to decrease in 2013, dropping down to 75, including 13 injury accidents.
“That represents an overall reduction in accidents of nearly 45 percent,” Slusher said.
With this median in place, as well as the newly constructed median on state Route 309/117 on the east side of Lima, there has been a learning curve involved as motorists have been required to learn how to navigate the new flows of traffic. However, motorists have apparently been catching on quickly, according to Slusher.
“We’re not seeing many accidents associated with U-turn movements, which indicates to us that motorists are navigating those successfully,” he said.