Akron’s campaign to remove traffic signals at some intersections is taking a step backward at Cedar and Bowery streets after multiple “right-angle” crashes.
The lights there are back and in flashing mode. They soon will signal green-yellow-red.
Andrew Davis, the city’s traffic engineer, has said the plan was to study traffic at as many as 100 intersections and to remove signals to improve traffic flow and safety.
Some residents objected, saying removing the signals makes the crossings more dangerous for pedestrians.
“The removal process involves an engineering study, which includes a review of crash history, traffic volumes and public comment,” said Stephanie York, city spokeswoman. “Monitoring of the signal occurs during a time when the signal is put into flash mode, and then for at least the year after.”
She said no accidents were reported when the Cedar-Bowery lights were turned to flashing. Five accidents came after the lights were removed and before the city decided to put the signals back up. A sixth accident occurred between that decision and when the signals could be restored.
The signals will continue flashing for a few days before they are placed back in full service.
There were 12 accidents at the intersection in the year before the changes.
“Thirty-four signals have been studied for removal since 2011,” York said. “Of these, two were reinstated due to traffic volumes and one is being reinstated due to increase in right-angle crashes. The remaining 31 intersections are still being monitored and are currently within normal limits, experiencing few or no crashes.”
Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Scott on Twitter at Davescottofakro.