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Graham Road Widening Slated for Next Year in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

The road widening and traffic improvement project will cost $4.3 million and could cut into the properties of some local businesses, including Krieger's Health Foods Market.

 

Last year, Cuyahoga Falls and Stow city officials asked the Ohio Department of Transportation to call off the . This past December, ODOT ruled that the plan was moving forward.

On Wednesday night at , the proposed next steps were laid out by Arcadis design engineer Shane Gault.

Gault said the project was given the green light due to a lack of safety and an abundance of traffic congestion, and offered facts, figures, graphs and matrices to back up his assertions.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Graham Road is ill-equipped to handle the 20,000-30,000 cars and trucks that motor up and down the corridor each day, he said. 
  • The high wait times and long delays at traffic lights cause unneeded congestion.
  • The traffic lights themselves aren’t networked together and cannot properly circulate the flow of traffic.
  • The turn lanes are too short and the driving lanes too narrow. 
  • 40 percent of accidents are a result of rear-end crashes, which indicates congestion. 
  • A recent study found that out of 283 accidents on Graham Road, 76 were injury or fatality related. 
  • Driveways are poorly configured and create blind spots, and the pavement is deteriorating in certain places. 

To fix these problems, Arcadis put together a study comprised of options that could be tailored to the sections of road where construction will take place, he said.

Under these various options, the road would be widened by six feet, turn lanes would be extended and traffic lights would be reconstructed and networked to cut down on congestion. 

The construction that would affect the , located on the north side of Graham Road, once again came under scrutiny. 

According to business owner Susan Krieger Kraus, the planned six-foot widening to the north side of Graham Road would cut out about half of the Krieger’s parking lot and constrict traffic movement.

“We’ve received over 7,700 signatures from Krieger customers and supporters who strongly oppose (the widening),” said Kraus during the comments section of the meeting. 

Residents from both communities also stood and sided with Krieger’s, including Cuyahoga Falls Ward 5 City Councilwoman Diana Colavecchio.

Colavecchio said she’s followed the program since its inception, is pleased with the cooperation among the two cities and ODOT, but disagreed with the proposed widening between East Bath Road and Wyoga Lake Road, saying it was unnecessary. 

City leaders and ODOT said they will take the concerns under advisement, and Kraus said she hopes that a resolution can be reached soon to avoid a potential legal battle.

ODOT puts the total construction costs at $4.3 million. Federal funds will take care of all but $700,000. The remainder will be split between Cuyahoga Falls and Stow. 

According to the proposed project plans, temporary lane closures will be required, but one lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Access to all residences and businesses will also be maintained. 

The construction is scheduled to begin by next winter. 

david dee March 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM
kriegers has more than enough space on the side of their building to replace 16 parking spots, just pave your lot!!
Jack Kelly March 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I would have to agree. I love going to Krieger's, but it's not like they'd lose their entire front lot. 6 feet is what?--the row of parking facing Graham? Oh, no. People might have to walk! Oh, the humanity. (/sarcasm off). But, it sounds like the row of parking in front that faces the building would be fine. I don't see how this would "constrict" traffic movement. So, all of the cars coming in (in front) would only be able to go one-way, compared to now where part of the front lot is 2-way (cars can get out onto Wyoga Lake, like 5 feet from the light...that could be one-way entrance ONLY). Plus, perhaps they can get the in/out reconfigured on the other side of their lot on the side of the store (I don't know if there's room for them to get an access driveway further down on Wyoga Lake -- i.e. behind their building). Their parking lot isn't all that "user friendly" as it is now.
Terry March 15, 2012 at 04:02 PM
•40 percent of accidents are a result of rear-end crashes, which indicates congestion. I disagree with this statement. Rear end collisions are caused by people NOT paying attention to a distance beyond their hood ornaments...too many distractions within the car passenger area, NOT driving far enough ahead and having to be FIRST. As for Graham Rd being too narrow ... I've followed many side by side trucks going down Graham Rd in the so called "Narrow Corridor" and the only problems I've observed are impatient drivers following them too closely and trying to figure out how to get around them.
Ed Kent March 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
The most dangerous intersection on Graham Road is at route 91 and that was already widened. Funny it doesn't mention that.
Terry March 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM
We will have to wait TWO years to resurface the Graham rd stretch from Rte 8 to Bailey Rd?? It is in horrendoucs shape-potholes, 10 foot long ruts between lanes, large patches of chewed up asphalt. This main Stow thoroughfare is an embarassment!! Save the legal fees and buy some pothole patch.
Terry March 15, 2012 at 06:45 PM
When you want something done in the most inefficient and wasteful manner possible, let the government do it.
Robin Anderson March 16, 2012 at 04:35 PM
In the traffic code such "oopsies" lead to and are cited as a "failure to maintain an assured, safe clearing distance"! In addition, it seems too many folk fail to recognize the fact that they're no longer on the expressway...that Graham Rd is not a gigantic entrance/exit ramp for same and the posted speed limit is 35 mph!
Larry Kinnan March 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My wife and I attended the meeting at Stow City Hall. We are 20 year Stow residents but are long time customers of Krieger's. The Alternative 5 presented reduced the area of dispute at Krieger's to 4 feet with the possibility of reducing the disputed area to 2 feet. The Krieger's attorney stated that they are willing to discuss resolving this final area of dispute. What was not covered in the article was the response from the City of Cuyahoga Falls Attorney who chose to make angry statements about how the Krieger's and their attorney was refuising to talk with him. It was clear from this exchange where the issues seem to arise from. It was not the Krieger's. This really reflects badly on Cuyahoga Falls.

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