Editor's Note: This is the final in a four-part series detailing the city of Green's plans to construct traffic roundabouts. The city has completed two roundabouts and has several more in the planning stages. This part looks at what other nearby communities which are also constructing roundabouts.
GREEN The city of Green isn’t the only community investing in roundabouts as several communities across the state are considering or constructing them.
Construction is underway on two roundabouts in Lake Township and several are functioning in Stark County.
Lake Township roundabouts
Two roundabouts along state Route 619 in Lake Township near the Hartville Marketplace and Hartville Kitchen will be in service by the end of the year.
The roundabouts are part of a project which began in the spring of 2017 to widen state Route 619 between Kaufman Avenue and Milan Avenue to help ease the flow of traffic. The $10 million project, being done by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), will add additional turn lanes at several intersection and will add roundabouts at King Church Avenue and state Route 619 and Kaufman Avenue and state Route 619.
In 2017, drainage repairs took place, a portion of the roundabout at Kaufman Avenue was constructed and widening began on state Route 619 between Misty Avenue and Market Avenue.
Public Information Officer for ODOT District 4 Justin Chesnic said widening and the rest of the construction of the roundabouts is expected to take place this summer. ODOT is planning to close state Route 619 at Kaufman Avenue for 30 days starting June 4. King Church will also see a closure sometime in August lasting for about 45 days.
Chesnic said the roundabouts will significantly reduce wait time in the area, which can be long during peak times when the corridor is busy.
There will also be a closure of Market Avenue north of state Route 619 for 14 days, which will either occur late this fall or early next year.
Traffic is being maintain throughout the project with one lane in each direction with flaggers occasionally directing traffic.
"We did a lot of outreach and worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce," Chesnic said.
He said the entire project is on schedule and will be completed by summer 2020.
Chesnic said communities are starting to take a closer look at roundabouts. He said he likes the fact they keep traffic moving.
"Where we see they fit, we will use them," Chesnic said.
Stark County roundabouts
Roundabouts are no stranger in the county as the Stark County Engineer says there are three in service: one in Alliance, one in Louisville and one in Canton Township.
The city of Canton also opened its first roundabout during the fall of 2016 at 12th Street and Maple Avenue NE.
"We primarily used them in rural areas that had a high accident rate of fatal crashes," Stark County Deputy Engineer Dave Torrence said.
He said the first roundabout constructed by the county was done in 2014 and there were some fender benders after it was constructed but no fatal crashes. The fact that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes are one of the main benefits Torrence sees with roundabouts.
Torrence said prior to constructing the roundabouts there was a lot of opposition, but since they have been built, the county has received a lot of positive comments as people have become more familiar with them.
"I personally like them because you don’t have to stop," Torrence said.
Across the county, he said the number of accidents is up because of so many people driving distracted and he said roundabouts are a good tool because drivers have to pay attention.
"They are a tool we are definitely going to start to use," Torrence said.