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Traffic Light Removal Attracts Concern, Opposition

To the dismay of several residents, Akron city engineers may remove the traffic light at West Bath and Akron Peninsula Road this winter.

The traffic light at West Bath and Akron Peninsula Road might be replaced with a four-way stop this January, if an on-site study conducted by Akron city traffic engineers proves the light is unnecessary.

Several residents have expressed their concern and opposition on the pending matter, which would affect traffic just past the Cuyahoga Falls border, said Cuyahoga Falls Ward 8 Councilman Terry Mader. 

"I've been getting calls from Akron and Falls residents expressing their frustration over the possibility of (the removal), which prompted me to get in touch with the engineers," he said.

Mader publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the study by introducing a resolution at Monday's city council meeting, which, if passed, would help build further support among his peers and constituents to keep the light as is. 

The traffic light is just one of 100 that might be removed from Akron's streets to increase safety, save money and better regulate the flow of traffic, said Akron traffic engineer Andy Davis.

In response to criticisms he's received from residents, Davis said a four-way stop at Akron Peninsula and West Bath could help reduce rear-end collisions and create a safer driving environment versus a more dangerous one.

The 90-day study that determines the necessity of a traffic light is based on national standards set by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Several factors are considered, including the average speed of traffic in and near the intersection and the volume of traffic, he said.

Engineers just concluded the light at Riverview and Bath Road, which had been under review, would stay as is given the moderate to high traffic volume and the fact that drivers travel at about 45-50 mph around the intersection.

Mader's resolution will be publicly discussed at the next city council meeting on Monday, Dec. 17. The vote by council members on whether to support the resolution will take place after the Christmas and New Year's break. 

Akron traffic engineers Dave Gasper and Andy Davis have been invited to the Dec. 17 meeting to address residents' questions and comments. 

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