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The Suburbanite
  • Lake Drive and Canton Road: Let there be light

  • After years of negotiations, studies and waiting, a traffic light is in full operation in Lakemore at the intersection of Springfield Lake Drive and Canton Road.

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  • After years of negotiations, studies and waiting, a traffic light is in full operation in Lakemore at the intersection of Springfield Lake Drive and Canton Road.
    A study was completed in 2002 of Canton Road from Sanitarium Road north to state Route 224 and found that it was highly traveled, and, at times, highly dangerous.
    “Canton Road is the highest traffic roadway on the county
    engineer’s roadway system,” said Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker. “The amount of traffic combined with the increasing number of business access drives has made this section of Canton Road one of the more dangerous roadways in the county.”
    As of 2011, the Akron Metropolitan Transportation Study’s (AMATS) traffic count reported that more than 19,000 cars travel through that area of Canton Road each day.
    Obtaining a traffic signal at the heavily traveled intersection has been ongoing for what is thought to be more than 15 years.
    Sam Ross, project construction engineer for the Summit County Engineer’s Office, said the signal was to be part of a bigger project for the Canton Road Corridor.
    In 2006, the engineer’s office applied for safety funds for the entire project but said a traffic light was definitely needed if nothing else was approved. The cost of the signal project was $104,746.96. Federal safety funds totalled $81,000 and $23,746.96 came from local funds.
    “The engineer’s office asked if they at least couldn’t get the traffic light in,” said Ross.
    After approval, it took more than a year and a half to make the light operational.
    “I appreciate the fact that the county engineer’s office took this project out of the Canton Road corridor project and made it happen,” said Lakemore Mayor Rick Justice. “It is very important to the Village of Lakemore.”
    Trustee Deborah Davis said there have been some bad accidents at the intersection and hopes the new light will remedy some of the problem.
    “This should really help, because when the roller skating rink lets out, the cars line up all the way back on Springfield Lake Drive,” Davis said. “People get really antsy because they know they have backed up traffic while trying to turn left. They pull out, taking risks that they might not normally take.”
    Police chief John Smith said he too feels the light will lessen the number of accidents at the intersection.
    “It is too early to have numbers, but we anticipate it will reduce the accidents greatly,” he said.
    As of Dec. 31, signs were posted that prohibit motorists from making left turns onto Canton Road from Meadow Drive and Calvin Street.
    “In addition to providing residents safe access to Canton Road, the new signal will create breaks in traffic flow...thereby making it somewhat easier and safer for vehicles accessing the commercial drives,” Brubaker said.  
    Page 2 of 2 - The county engineer’s office is optimisitic the entire Canton Road project will happen one day, but the Ohio Department of Transportation requires a number of studies and planning before approval is granted.
    “It is moving at a snail’s pace as we are waiting for the next step,” Ross said, “But one day, all of a sudden, it will happen.”
    To view the traffic report by AMATS, visit www.amatsplanning.org/traffic-count-data/.