Safety improvements to Route 224 in Boardman could be coming in the near future with the goal of reducing crashes.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has conducted a safety study along a three-and-a-half-mile section of Route 224 in Boardman between Parkside Drive and I-680.

The study was initiated due to the high volume of crashes in that area appearing on multiple priority lists and has been an ongoing partnership between ODOT and local stakeholders including Eastgate, Boardman Township, and the Mahoning County Engineer's Office.

According to a press release from ODOT, Route 224 carries traffic volumes between 30,000 and 35,000 vehicles per day on average.

During the five-year period used in the study, nearly 1,900 crashes were identified on the route with the highest crash areas located at major signalized intersections of commercial driveways.

In particular, the signalized intersections of Route 224 with Market Street, South Avenue, Southern Boulevard and Glenwood Avenue had the highest number of recorded crashes.

Nearly 60% of these crashes were identified as rear-end crashes caused by congestion, closely spaced traffic signals and vehicles slowing down in order to turn into commercial driveways. Over 30% of these crashes involved injuries with three fatalities reported.

The safety study suggested the following methods to reduce these crashes:

- Signal and signing upgrades

- Additional through lanes and turn lanes

- Removal of several closely spaced traffic signals

- Adding raised medians with designated U-turn locations

- Decreasing the number of driveway access points

- Improving sidewalk connectivity and pedestrian crossing facilities

Implementation of the improvements will start with a project focusing on Route 224 between Market Street and Tiffany Boulevard where the study identified nearly 75% of crashes occurred within the safest safety corridor.

This includes 22 out of the 29 locations identified on ODOT's Highway Safety Improvement Program priority list and six of the seven intersections recognized in the Governor's Top Priority safety list.

With assistance from Eastgate, the ODOT Safety Program, and the Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC), ODOT has successfully secured funding for this project.

The project is still in its early development stages and is expected to begin in 2026.