Two communities to vote on speed limit study for County Line Roa - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Two communities to vote on speed limit study for County Line Road

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Two Valley communities are set to vote on the same issue during meetings this week. Austintown and Weathersfield Trustees will vote on an issue that would give the Trumbull County Engineer's Office the go-ahead to perform a speed study on Ohltown Girard Road, also known as County Line Road. 

A quirky several decades long scenario has led to a conundrum. 

According to Weathersfield Township Administrator David Rouan, it's an issue that's been hiding in plain sight for about 50 years. 

Rouan says last year Weathersfield received a federal grant to replace road signage in the township. However, when the township was doing research and deciding which signs to replace, they discovered that Ohltown Girard Road was never properly journalized. 

Administrator Rouan says that there are currently signs on the road which say the speed limit is 25 miles per hour. 

However, since the road was never "journalized" it was never properly put into the Ohio Department of Transportation's records- which makes the 25 miles per hour speed limit signs null and void. 

Under Ohio Law, any roads without a specifically recommended speed limit are automatically 55 miles per hour which creates concern for those in charge of Weathersfield Township. 

Rouan said the Ohltown Girard Road is residential, with numerous homes and families. In addition, the road dead-ends right into the bike path, meaning that it would extremely dangerous for drivers to get up to 55 miles an hour. 

That's why the Weathersfield Trustees have stepped in and asked the Trumbull Engineer's Office to conduct the speed study. 

Wayne Hickman from the Trumbull Engineer's Office says once they get approval to do that study, they'll look into things like the road width, the length, the number of crashes, the number of houses and businesses, signals (including traffic lights or signs), and the number of travellers on the road and their average speed.

The results of that study will then get forwarded to ODOT, who makes the final ruling on what the speed limit should actually be. 

Hickman says Weathersfield Trustees believe it should be somewhere between 25-35 miles an hour. 

But first, Hickman says he'll need approval from both communities to start the study. 

Because the north half of Ohltown Girard Road is in Weathersfield Township, and the southern half of the road is known as County Line Road in Austintown Township, trustees in both communities must give the Engineer's Office the approval to conduct the study. 

Austintown Trustee Jim Davis said he doesn't foresee them taking issue with the ordinance. Davis said they may as well have the study and see what ODOT says. 

Once there's a recommendation for the official speed limit, then the township could voice any concerns or opposition. 

Hickman said if they get approval from both Austintown and Weathersfield Townships during their respective meetings on Monday, he'll begin the study. 

On average, Hickman said it takes approximately 10-12 months to complete the study, forward the results to ODOT, allow them to make a recommendation, then order and install the new speed limit signage. 

Weathersfield will vote on measures Tuesday night that would allow the County Engineer's office to study not only County Line Road but several that have a similar problem, including Seaborn Street, where the high school is. 

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