The city will test out a new traffic pattern for cars on one of the most dangerous roads for students walking to and from school.

In the midst of a current $3 million project to resurface Tallmadge Avenue from Main Street to State Route 8, the city will implement a road diet, shrinking the busy four-lane road to a single lane of traffic in either direction and a left turning lane. The project is expected to be completed by the second week of September.

The idea is to remove lanes used by speeding cars that whiz around slower motorists. Bike lanes, which would buffer students on the sidewalk from cars in the street, also would safeguard pedestrians.

The section of Tallmadge, which covers foot traffic on the sidewalks between Jennings Community Learning Center and North High School, was cited by a 2013 Beacon Journal study as having the highest concentration of school-aged pedestrians struck by vehicles during, before or shortly after regular school hours. In the winter, snow piles up on the sidewalks, forcing young pedestrians to climb icy mounds or brave slick streets.

City officials have applied a similar road diet in front of Buchtel High School on Copley Road to encourage safer and slower traffic. Mayor Dan Horrigan’s engineers plan to see if the traffic along Tallmadge also can be tamed.

“As this section of Tallmadge carries a lot of vehicular traffic, we wanted to study the impacts to traffic delays now, to assure congestion does not increase,” Horrigan said. “We will then use the real life lessons we’ve learned to make thoughtful and data-driven decisions about our plans for the area.”

The resurfacing project is largely funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation. It is a temporary fix. In 2019, the city has scheduled “a full depth asphalt roadway project” for the heavily traveled half-mile of road in North Hill.

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com.