Brecksville city leaders have signed off on a nearly $50,000 traffic safety study of a two mile stretch of State Route 82, known locally as Chippewa Road. The study comes after more than 115 traffic crashes have been reported on that stretch of roadway over the past four years, according to police records.
Those crashes resulted in 29 injuries and one death. The fatality occurred during a wrong-way crash in 2016 near the intersection of SR 82 and Riverview Road. City leaders and neighbors alike believe those statistics warrant the comprehensive study.
“I don’t think they would be doing it if it wasn’t necessary. It makes a lot of sense,” said Victor Anzalone, who owns a home right off of SR 82 near the county line. “This section of 82 is very busy and the traffic is very fast in comparison to the rest of 82.”
According to its proposal, the company hired by the city, Euthenics, will aggregate and analyze traffic crash data, count vehicular and pedestrian traffic and identify possible safety improvements. The study will encompass the part of 82 between Chippewa Creek Dr. and Riverview Rd., essentially the part of 82 east of downtown Brecksville.
The study will also take a closer look at the placement and timing of some traffic lights and identify whether more traffic lights are needed. The study will also examine a driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic, in addition to identifying whether additional or longer turning lanes are needed, according to the proposal.
For Anzalone, it all comes down to speed.
“Coming from Sagamore over the bridge, it’s 45 miles per hour, but you have cars doing in excess of 60 on a regular basis,” Anzalone said. “They don’t always know to slow down when they hit Riverview, which is [35 miles per hour]… They immediately hit a residential area, and even the best driver is going to be taken by surprise. If you have a lower speed limit coming into Brecksville in the first place, it would make all the difference in the world.”
Euthenics will take the study’s findings and present them to ODOT in hopes of leveraging state money for improvements to the road. Anzalone said many of the accidents that have happened on SR 82 happen when people are traveling too fast and too close, causing rear-end collisions.
“Brecksville does a good job trying to police the traffic, but they can’t always be here,” Anzalone said.