CLEVELAND — Last year, the Ohio Department of Transportation started work on 150 different construction projects to make some of the most dangerous intersections across the state safer.
ODOT recently completed a $2.4 million safety project on the intersection of East 93rd Street and Kinsman Road to add left turn lanes from all four corners of the intersection. Additional improvements were also made to traffic signals and certain portions of the intersection were widened.
“We look at crashes, we look at customer complaints, we look at how traffic is flowing through those intersections,” said District 12 Public Information Officer Brent Kovacs. “We look at volume of traffic that uses intersections. Maybe a new business came into an intersection that is causing more traffic.”
Back in June, an 11-year-old girl was hospitalized with two broken legs after she was hit by a car at the intersection. Over a two-year period between 2015-2017, there were 114 crashes the intersection, with 38% of those crashes resulting in injuries.
“Really, it was folks making left turns there without a left turn lane in part of this project also added new traffic signals to accommodate those left turn lanes,” Kovacs said.
The crossing had been earmarked for improvements after Governor Mike DeWine had ODOT compiled the 150 most dangerous intersections in the state. Fourteen intersections were in ODOT’s District 12. Only one more project needs to be completed, with construction slated to start on the final project at Cedar and Richmond Road in Cuyahoga County.
“Any time there’s an arrow for a left turn, it drastically improves the safety for the motoring public,” Kovacs said.
The intersection that landed at the top of the list was Mentor Avenue between Hopkins and Old Johnnycake Ridge Road in Mentor. The intersection had 229 crashes from 2015-2019, five of which were deadly or caused serious injury.
In Cleveland, St. Clair Avenue between East 93rd and East 115th streets came in at No. 2 with 168 crashes over the same time span, 12 of which involved death or serious injury. Each year, ODOT continues to evaluate intersections across the state to look for ways to improve traffic safety.
“Every year that we study intersections throughout the state and make sure that the most dangerous ones are addressed through various safety projects,” Kovacs said.
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