The village of Archbold will not install a system of lights warning motorists the Defiance Street Norfolk Southern railroad crossing is blocked, and the 100 block of Vine Street will convert back to two-way traffic.
Donna Dettling, Archbold village administrator, said in a meeting, Tuesday, April 23, the Archbold village council streets and sidewalks committee decided to recommend the change to Vine Street.
The 100 block of Vine Street has been northbound one-way for decades.
Dettling said it is believed that sometime back in the 1960s, there was a lot of truck traffic at the village telephone exchange building on the northwest corner of Depot and Vine.
Service trucks were in and out of parking spaces on the east side of the building, prompting the decision to convert to one-way traffic.
Dettling said the committee– made up of Kevin Eicher, Brad Short, and Kevin Morton, council members– didn’t see any reason to keep the block one-way.
She said she is preparing legislation for the full council to approve the recommendation of the committee.
The move will take some time, because Jason Martz, superintendent of streets, will have to determine how to lay out new stripes for parking spaces along the street, and signs will have to be changed.
Dettling said, “I don’t know that anybody would be opposed” to converting the 100 block of Vine Street to two-way traffic, “but I don’t see any real reason why it would need to be urgent.”
Wixom also told the committee about efforts to enforce one-way traffic on Depot Street.
Information from the Archbold police log indicates two citations for going the wrong way on a one-way street were issued.
Dexter Krueger, assistant village engineer, gave the group more information about the system of warning lights used by the city of Oregon to warn motorists that railroad crossings are blocked, so they can find a different route.
Dettling said the committee discussed the system, and decided since the amount of time the crossing has been blocked has been decreasing, it would not pursue it.
“The committee really, though, felt like, again, it’s a cost-benefit thing.
“Do you put in the beacons at that expense and then who does it benefit, and trying to figure out that trade-off,” she said.
“Right now, I think the committee is just really satisfied with the direction that the railroad is going, and to hold off on doing any kind of beacon.”
In connection with the Norfolk Southern crossings at Defiance and Franklin streets, police issued four additional citations to the railroad: on Tuesday, April 9, at 12:21 am for blocking the Defiance Street crossing, two on April 9 at 2 am for blocking Defiance and Franklin streets, and one on Thursday, April 11, at 11:28 pm, for blocking the Defiance Street crossing.
In response to a question posed by Vaughn Bentz, councilman, the group discussed a sidewalk on the south side West Holland Street, west of the middle school.
Dettling said there are challenges in building a sidewalk there due to right-of-way issues and the number of utilities, under- and above-ground, that occupy the space.
Added to that was the fact that Archbold School Board has been considering a future building project at the Lafayette Street campus that would move middle school grades there.
The middle school “would eventually not be there (West Holland Street) anymore,” Dettling said.
“So that’s kind of been pushed off a little bit.”
Dettling said the village received a request for the construction a new sidewalk on the north side of West Lutz Road.
A sidewalk had been planned for West Lutz Road about 20 years ago, but protests by property owners stopped the project.
Dettling said there has been a request for a recommendation from the committee to expand the public right-of-way on the north side of East Lutz Road.
She said RTEC Communications needs to install an underground fiber-optic cable in the right-of-way.
The committee took no action on that request.
The committee was scheduled to hold another meeting yesterday, Tuesday.