CUYAHOGA FALLS: Median haters, Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters has heard you. And he’s working on it.
Drivers have been cursing a concrete barrier on State Road, south of Portage Trail, since it was installed in July.
Walters, who took office Jan. 1, said he has received a lot of those complaints.
“I’ve had calls and emails,” he said. “Lots of them.”
The complaints increased as bad weather faded temporary lane markings, causing some motorists traveling south to nearly miss a jog to the left to avoid the median.
Northbound motorists have their own problems with the road divider. They say the graduating concrete base is difficult to see at night, even after a reflector was put in place.
Susan Novisky, of Cuyahoga Falls, drives past the intersection every day.
“I have thought that the median was nothing but a bad idea from the first day it was put in,” she said. “I had a feeling that it would become a huge danger once the snow fell. And, well, I was right.”
Since Jan. 1, there have been no accident reports filed by motorists who drove onto the median, but pictures posted on a Cuyahoga Falls Facebook page are evidence to the contrary.
Novisky said she saw a vehicle stuck on top of the concrete divider in late December.
Cuyahoga Falls Engineer Tony Demasi said there will be a new signal at the entrance to Giant Eagle, just a few hundred feet from the entrance to Ohio Savings.
A traffic study suggested no left turn into businesses before the signal. Work on the northbound curb lane would have solved the problem.
“That was the easiest way to do it,” Demasi said. “But it required some work on private property.”
And a portion of the private land.
When permission wasn’t granted by the property owner — also the former owner of State Road Shopping Center — the curb work was abandoned in favor of the median.
“We were going to put up signs to tell [southbound drivers] to angle to the right,” Demasi said. “But we haven’t had the weather to take care of that.”
Walters said he doesn’t know whether the median is the best way to prevent left turns. He does hope painting permanent lines and installing signage does the trick.
If it doesn’t, he’s willing to look at alternatives.
He hopes to meet with the property owner to see if they can work something out.
“Hopefully we can find a resolution,” Walters said. “Maybe we do it with curb cuts and remove the concrete barrier.”
Gina Mace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.