2018-05-16 / News

Traffic Committee Holds First Open Meeting

The Archbold Traffic Flow Improvement Committee discussed traffic crashes at intersections, changing stop signs, and adding directional signs in its first open meeting, Tuesday, May 8.

The committee was originally designed to be closed to the public by limiting the number of public officials who could attend.

However, Donna Dettling, Archbold village administrator, said another area newspaper challenged the closed-meeting status, saying ATFIC is a public body itself, and should be open.

Dettling said she referred the matter to Bob Bohmer, village solicitor, who agreed ATFIC meetings must be open to the public.

Crashes

Ellen Smith, transportation planner and Global Information System specialist for the Maumee Valley Planning Organization, presented a draft report on traffic crashes in the Co. Rd. 24 corridor area.

Top on the list of crash statistics: the intersection of St. Rt. 34 and Henry Co. Rd. 24 with 21 crashes, two of which involved serious injury, over five years, from 2013-2017.

ATFIC members present– Matt Gilroy, Fulton County Economic Development Corporation director; Kenneth “Skip” Leupp, president of the German Township Trustees; Kevin Morton and Kevin Eicher, Archbold Village Council; and Dettling– discussed the situation at the intersection, but Morton pointed out that the Henry County portion of Co. Rd. 24 is not the committee’s issue, because ATFIC is a Fulton County-only group.

Eicher protested that the intersection was number one on Smith’s list.

“That’s not solving our problem,” Morton said.

The second-highest intersection was the St. Rt. 2-Co. Rd. 22 intersection northeast of Archbold, where there were 15 crashes, with one serious injury crash.

Also discussed were crashes on Stryker and Defiance streets in Archbold.

Stop Signs

The committee also discussed changing stop signs on Co. Rd. 24; particularly, the stop sign at Fulton County Rd. A-Henry County Rd. W (the county line road).

Leupp said the trustees would consider starting with the stop sign at Co. Rd. 24 and Co. Rd. A-W, allowing north-south traffic to flow without stopping.

There was discussion about the potential impact of allowing traffic to flow smoothly on Co. Rd. 24, possibly from St. Rt. 34 to St. Rt. 2 west of Archbold.

Leupp said he realizes vehicles travel too fast over the railroad tracks.

With trucks and farm equipment using Co. Rd. 24 to get to the Gerald Grain Elevator, and ConAgra considering moving its truck entrance to Co. Rd. 24, traffic problems could be created.

Seaman noted the approach angles to the Co. Rd. 24 railroad crossing are too steep now for highway standards.

A new entrance for ConAgra would be planned so it would be far enough away from the crossing so as not to create problems.

In the future, he said the crossing may still not meet highway standards, but “it will still be flatter than it is today,” he said.

Directional signs

Signs directing traffic away from Archbold and toward Co. Rd. 22 were also discussed.

The group noted that the Ohio Department of Transportation would not permit signs directing trucks off state highways.

Seaman said when the “through trucks” sign at the intersection of South Defiance Street and West Barre Road was put up, ODOT officials said they would not allow it but neither would they force Archbold officials to take the sign down.

It was also noted that some ODOT officials were solidly against signs directing traffic away from the highway, while others would allow them.

Eicher, who has worked in trucking much of his life, said today’s truck drivers don’t follow signs.

They pay more attention to the electronic locating devices and cell phones with GPS service.

Money spent on signs would be wasted, he said.

The committee will hold its next meeting, Tuesday, June 12, 7 pm, in Archbold Council Chambers.

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