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Residents object to lane reconfiguration proposal

| May 9, 2022

STRASBURG (WJER) (May 9, 2022) – Council is revisiting a plan to add a two-way lefthand turn lane to North Wooster Avenue to alleviate traffic congestion, although some of the people living there aren’t happy about it.

Residents packed into the council room last week to object to the proposal, which they feared would put traffic dangerously close to their homes and kids walking to school.

“Would you want your children or grandchildren walking on that sidewalk with a semi coming at them at going 35 miles an hour. It’s already close now. You bring those semis and push them even closer to that strip of grass and there’s no way you are going to be able to use the sidewalks.”

The plan council is considering would narrow the driving lanes to 12 feet in both directions between the corporation limits to make room for what’s commonly known as a “suicide lane” up the middle. Council President Jeff Smith says the middle lane would be 10 or 11 feet wide, which would leave 30 to 36 inches between the edge and the curb on both sides. 

“In you were in a perfect world, a semi driving dead center which we know that’s not gonna happen, we know that doesn’t happen now there would be six feet from the edge of that vehicle to the curb.”

He says the current configuration is a safety issue. 

“I just went down to the park last night, and you can all call me a liar if you want. That’s fine. Well, I sat at forth street trying to get into the park to make a lefthand turn. There were three staggered cars in front of me. I watched a semi go up on the curb, onto the sidewalk going about 35 miles an hour.”

Members will likely vote on the proposal after it’s read for a third time during their May 17th meeting. They reviewed the same plan last year and voted not to move forward with it.

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