October 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria ponders traffic light at Burns and Gulf

Officials are considering adding a traffic light at the intersection of Burns and Gulf roads. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Officials are considering adding a traffic light at the intersection of Burns and Gulf roads. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — The intersection of Burns and Gulf roads is a busy place.

Each day, thousands of cars travel through the area north of Spring Valley Golf and Athletic Club and Councilman Mark Craig, I-4th Ward thinks it’s time to look at whether the intersection needs a traffic signal.

“Both rush hours are pretty bad,” said Craig, who lives off Gulf Road and travels Burns Road nearly every day. “Anyone who has driven through that intersection during peak hours knows how it is. You think you can make a left turn, but a car will crest the hill fast. It’s just tough to negotiate that during rush hour.”

Craig has sent the idea to the City Council Utilities, Safety and Environment Committee. It will be up to the members to determine if a traffic study and count should be conducted, and if it’s in the city’s budget to have either conducted.

Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said she is not aware of any previous traffic studies or the area. However, if one was done years ago, it would probably be worth having a new one completed with more accurate traffic counts.

But she cautioned that installing any kind of traffic control device at an intersection is neither easy nor cheap.

“We can’t just arbitrarily do it because we think something should be done,” Siwierka said. “The city follows the uniformed traffic control manual, and it would have to meet Ohio Department of Transportation specifications and guidelines.”

Using price points from previous projects, Siwierka said completing the traffic study and installing the devices could cost as much as $50,000, if not more. The city recently had to replace one mast arm and signal at the intersection of Broad and Center streets, and that cost the city $12,000.

The Burns and Gulf roads intersection would need at least two mast arms, multiple signals and a control box, Siwierka said.

The winding nature of the road makes it a dangerous road. But the hills and turns also make it difficult to install a signal. Siwierka said drivers would have to make sudden stops after topping hills.

However, the very problems that could make installing a signal difficult are worth exploring as a reason why the signal is needed, Craig said.

“It’s the curve in the roads. It contributes to bottlenecking traffic,” he said.

This is not the first time the idea to place a traffic signal at the intersection has been discussed by Council. Committee members looked at it and tabled the matter toward the end of 2008 and again in 2010. There was a lack of funding to push studies both times.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT..


  • stillsleepyeyes

    So do you think this would of gotten any attention if Craig didn’t live off of gulf road???????

    • TheThinker

      Councilman are suppose to look out for the interest of their wards so it makes complete sense that he lives nearby.

      • stillsleepyeyes

        And I suppose he just became a councilman…………………..

  • Robin Michael Rush

    A traffic light has been needed at that intersection for years.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    Studies….studies….more and more useless studies. They performed studies when they redid 57 a few years ago. After it was finished people still complained. They did not like the new traffic pattern, they did not like the lighting, they did not like the gardens in the median.

    You are never going to make everyone happy, so save some money and just put a light in, then study if it helps. TO waste money on a study is just foolish, especially, if the area in question has been proposed two times previously. Seems to me that if it has been discussed for 6 years you have done enough “studying”

  • Mark B

    Using price points from previous projects, Siwierka said completing the traffic study and installing the devices could cost as much as $50,000, if not more. The city recently had to replace one mast arm and signal at the intersection of Broad and Center streets, and that cost the city $12,000.
    And it is still not fixed properly , just Half Arsed like everything else in Elyria

  • noates

    There are only a couple of streets that connect Gulf with Abbe and if you live on Whitman, you proceed with caution going in either direction on Gulf. Additional traffic signals may or may not be the answer, but keeping the line of sights open and following the traffic laws would be a better answer. The councliman knows he can come down to Whitman to come home, but everyone prefers Burns because there are less traffic lights and traffic to fight.

  • Joe Smith

    Was not there an article not too long back that said the traffic lights were $200,000?

  • Michael

    making it a 3-way stop would be significantly cheaper. It’s not like the city doesn’t have a bunch of useless 4 way stops at low speed intersections (in housing areas).

  • Mickey Mouse

    If its not broke dont fix it

  • Jared Donnelly

    no. just…stop the car at the sign and wait for the traffic in either direction to not move. thats all.

  • Zen Grouch

    Over the years, how many people have been injured and killed at that intersection because someone couldn’t quite grasp the concept of a stop sign?

    • Michael

      I live on a busy, dangerous intersection on a county road. You’d be amazed how many fools roll through or dont’ yield to oncoming traffic when they are at the stop signs. N and S has stop signs, E and W has the flashing yellow. Everyone keeps saying they need to put in a light… NO! First, we’ll hear MORE noise from harleys without pipes and other cars with “faulty exhausts” -that’s ticketable, but loud pipes on a bike aren’t- that accelerate from a stop –right now it’s from 2 stops signs. Make it a light and it’ll be 4 directions. Add to it, if fools can’t use a stop sign, what makes you think they’ll obey the traffic light?

  • bigmacky

    don’t ponder too long – get it done – unlike the gateway and 2nd/3rd area which was deemed “MOST DANGEROUS” intersection on the planet. that Burns road has needed it for years – 10 minute left turn waits are very common