Governor DeWine Announces 50 New Traffic Safety Projects in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine and The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks announced details on 50 new traffic projects that they say will increase safety in Ohio.

The 50 projects will equate to $121 million and will address safety concerns in 32 counties across the state.

The funding for these projects will be awarded through ODOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, which has grown to become one of the largest safety programs in the country. DeWine announced in May $51 million in traffic safety improvement projects to address increased pedestrian-involved traffic crashes and fatal roadway departures on Ohio roads.

The funding aims to support project development, right of way, and construction to include safer pedestrian crossings, traffic signal upgrades, turning lane improvements, and 24 roundabouts.

“A top priority of my administration has been making travel in our state safer – particularly at Ohio intersections that are known to be dangerous. Studies show that roundabouts significantly reduce the likelihood of serious or deadly intersection crashes, so we’re investing in these projects today to save lives in the future,” DeWine said.

According to ODOT, only six traffic deaths occurred at Ohio roundabouts from 2017-2021, compared to 1,126 deaths at a signalized or stop-controlled intersection.

“Roundabouts save lives. They reduce severe crashes, move traffic more efficiently, and are cheaper to maintain than signalized intersections,” Marchbanks said.

Studies by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that roundabouts achieve a 44% reduction in crashes and reduce serious injury and deadly crashes by nearly 90% at two-way stop intersections. When roundabouts replace a traffic signal, FHWA found a 48% reduction in crashes and a nearly 80% drop in serious injury and deadly crashes.

“They’re not perfect, you’re still going to have crashes in roundabouts. But what studies have shown is about an 80 percent reduction in those serious crashes,” Justin Chesnic, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 said.

DeWine said that these improvements are another step in his comprehensive plan to improve the safety of Ohio’s roads. In 2019, he directed ODOT to focus on improving 150 of the most dangerous intersections in the state and launched the “Ready, Test, Drive!” virtual driver assessment program to more accurately assess new drivers’ road readiness and help identify skills needing improvement.

In 2020, he formed the Ohio Traffic Safety Council to coordinate and monitor all statewide safety initiatives, launched a new work zone traffic enforcement plan in coordination with the Ohio State Highway Patrol; and awarded grants to juvenile courts to help them give young drivers more access to advanced driver training.

This year he announced an increase in Ohio’s yearly funding allocation for local bridge projects by $47.5 million for the next five years.

“Although these projects will certainly help, a cultural change around distracted driving is also needed. I continue to encourage members of the General Assembly to pass legislation to put more restrictions on mobile device usage while driving,” DeWine said.

– – –

Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Governor Mike DeWine. Photo “Tremont Road Roundabout” by Dan Keck.


Related posts