GREENVILLE — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has agreed to perform traffic studies at an intersection where a 16-year-old Greenville teen died.
ODOT representatives met with Darke County Engineer Jim Surber and Darke County Highway Superintendent Shane Coby on September 19 to discuss the intersection of U.S. Route 127 and Kruckeberg Road and the effect of diverting traffic to other nearby intersections.
As well, ODOT agreed to a study area which will include the intersections of State Route 121 and Childrens Home-Bradford Road, and also the intersection of 121 with Jaysville-St. Johns Road.
The decision to examine the intersections comes on the heels of an online petition which called for a median to be placed there to prevent east-west traffic from crossing.
On August 2, 16-year-old Elias Burr was attempting to drive west across U.S. Route 127 on Kruckeberg Road when his vehicle was struck by a pickup truck driven by Samuel M. Wengerd, 28, of Geneva, Indiana, which was traveling northbound. Burr died at the scene, while Wengerd and four others were injured.
Stacy Peters, who started the online petition submitted to ODOT — signed by 1,341 people — said the study is an “important next step.”
“We appreciate the interactions from the county and state and our next step is to engage [Rep. Jim] Buchy and [State Senator Keith] Faber as well as community members to ask for their support as we move through the process.”
Surber said the ODOT study of this area will include anticipated traffic reassignment resulting from the three options, and any traffic resulting from the opening of Greenville’s K-8 school and future commercial development.
“[ODOT is] definitely interested in a positive change,” said Surber. “My concern will be to see the results of the traffic study before advocating one of the three potential options. The option chosen must not only increase safety at the specific location, but also must not decrease safety or increase accidents at another. Any one of the other intersections mentioned could require modifications depending upon the chosen path.”
ODOT’s District 7 Public Information Officer Mandi Dillon confirmed the studies, saying, “The Ohio Department of Transportation recognizes the need for safety improvements at the intersection of U.S. 127 and Kruckeberg Road. As a result, ODOT will be commissioning an engineering consultant to collect traffic death data, and model the impacts of closing the median at this intersection. ODOT hopes to present several alternatives to the public and their respective impacts by early 2017. However, the presentation time frame will depend on the timeliness of the collection of data and subsequent modeling.”
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