November 23, 2014

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Lorain Council considers removing 16 traffic lights deemed old, unnecessary

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Source: city of Lorain
LORAIN — A decision is expected in January about whether to remove 16 traffic lights deemed unnecessary in a draft of a study discussed Monday by the City Council’s Streets and Utilities Committee.

A child and an adult cross the intersection of W. 28th St. and Reid Avenue near Garfield Elementary School in Lorain. This traffic light is one of 16 City Council may remove. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

A child and an adult cross the intersection of W. 28th St. and Reid Avenue near Garfield Elementary School in Lorain. This traffic light is one of 16 City Council may remove. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The report by the Akron-based URS Corp. is the first step in a four-part plan to replace or remove all of Lorain’s antiquated traffic lights by the end of 2018.

Lorain has applied to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, a regional environmental and transportation planning group, for federal taxpayer money for new lights. The lights cost $200,000 each and federal money would pay 80 percent of the cost.

In addition to removing lights, city officials are considering changing some parallel parking spaces on Broadway to angled spaces which would remove one of the two northbound lanes and slow traffic.

Illuminated crosswalks are being considered near the Lorain Palace Theater to protect pedestrians. Safety/Service Director Robert Fowler told committee members the plan’s goals are maximum pedestrian safety, clear sight lines and ample parking.

Nonetheless, some residents criticized the report, which cost about $20,000. The lights slated for removal have been in a flashing mode since July or August and resident Pat Blakely said some drivers aren’t stopping for pedestrians at West 28th St. and Reid Avenue.

Blakely said children attending Garfield Elementary School are at risk and a red light is needed.

The light at West Sixth and Broadway Avenue also could be removed.

The light at West Sixth and Broadway Avenue also could be removed.

“Are you going to wait until a child is in the hospital or in a casket and have your ODOT book there reading to them the rules and regulations?” Blakely asked. “It’s ridiculous. These children cannot get across these streets to go to school.”

However, Fowler said the study showed there is not enough traffic at the intersection to justify a light. He said children are being asked to walk less than a block to 30th Street to cross where a crossing guard is stationed in the morning.

Phil Dore, Fowler’s predecessor as safety/service director, said sight lines need to be improved for drivers turning onto Broadway. He said removing lights could exacerbate dangers for drivers and pedestrians and hurt already struggling Broadway businesses.

Fowler said after the meeting that concerns will be considered before a final decision is made. He said the lights at 28th, Broadway and West Fifth Street and Broadway and West Sixth Street may remain.

Because the report relies on federal and state guidelines and Lorain is seeking federal money, Fowler said Lorain may be assuming liability for accidents that occur at intersections where lights recommended for removal are left up. “That’s the balance you have to weigh,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.


  • Mark B

    Another wastes of tax dollars , really ? $200,000 a light ?

    • Joe Smith

      Government efficiency

  • SoLoJimbo

    The service director needs to learn…Sometimes you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to know. Now you know and don’t have support, thanks for putting taxpayers on the hook. But I’m sure no one in Lorain would sue the city, no victims here.

  • GreatRedeemer

    Pedestrians need to look out, when people are flying down the road with willful disregard for safety. Maybe more lights will help

  • not me again

    they need to remove some scumbags from lorain… fuge the lights… remove the crime

  • not me again

    sheeze! 200 grand a light, lucky the punks arent stealing them..

  • Phil Blank

    When some pedestrian is killed crossing Broadway and the family sues the city.
    Then and only then will Lorain think about replacing traffic lights.
    Any volunteers?

  • not me again

    phil lets grab one of these addicts they”ll do it for a hit of that fetenal..

  • not me again

    i remember when kids wer jumpin in front of cars on purpose just to get a check.. mabey thats what we should do.. just sayin…..

  • Bob Haas

    Some of those lights are already gone. they also need to take out many of the No Turn on red signs. I can’t believe some of the clear intersections those are at.

  • Lori Craycraft

    Some of the lights slated for removal are needed. Not all of the lights “have been flashing since July or August” A prime example is Pearl and E 28th St. That is a high traffic area, it is hard enough to get through the intersection with a traffic light. $200,000 per light is a ridiculous amount of money. Illuminated crosswalks, by the Palace theater? Is the theater going to be paying any of the cost? Probably not, just the taxpayers, AGAIN. This city needs to quit wasting money. Concentrate on bringing business back to Lorain and the lights will be needed instead of running businesses out.

    • oldruss

      If you want people to patronize the Palace, and it’s practically the ONLY business in downtown Lorain that brings anyone downtown, you had better make it safe for pedestrians to cross Broadway at 6th Street. The Palace Theater is a non-profit; why should it pay for traffic signals or cross-walk lighting on a PUBLIC street?

      • Lori Craycraft

        We do need to keep it safe, so why is Lorain paying 200,000 to remove that light AND paying to put in a lighted sidewalk. Keep the traffic light and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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  • Cheryl Kenzig

    This is just to make people aware that the light at 28th and reid has been flashing for a long time now and over the last year there have been so many accidents at this intersection. Many of the accidents left people very seriously injured or the vehicles would end up in the corner houses yards or doing physical damage to their homes that live on the corners of 28th and reid. In my opinion you would think that someone would be able to look and see that by removing this light would do more danger to our town than the cost of keeping it up. I’m sure my fellow neighbors would also agree with this post.

    • ZX3

      I drive that intersection EVERYDAY and have never(although I’m sure it has happened) seen an accident, knocked down poles or turfed grass there.
      Stop signs and -cross traffic does not stop- signs like Tower and Falbo, and people will get the message.
      That light is a waste.

  • Eva

    I think it’s a bit scary….the lights that are going to be removed are on the busiest streets…..broadway and 28th St. …..I dunno….

  • ekwaykway

    All it takes is a fatality at an intersection where the light was removed and bam. Here comes the ambulance chasers!