Monday's fatal accident at the intersection of Ohio 18 and Greenwich Milan Townline Road/Ohio 601 has prompted further discussion about safety in an area that is seeing increased traffic flow.
There is no reason to believe traffic will decrease at the intersection adjacent to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park (formerly known as Norwalk Raceway Park) any time soon, according to Lt. Jim Bryan, commander of the state Highway Patrol's Norwalk post. In fact, Bryan predicts traffic volume will continue to grow there.
Recent discussions among troopers, officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Huron County Engineer's Office have led to several safety upgrades east of Norwalk, including adding rumble strips on Ohio 601 approaching the U.S. 20 intersection, changing the intersection of Greenwich Milan Townline and Zenobia to a four-way stop and putting rumble strips there as well.
So what about the intersection at 18 and 601?
One option is a traffic light, but we do not favor that measure. After the Old State intersection in Norwalk, which occurs in a 35-mph zone, eastbound motorists on Ohio 18 don't see another traffic light until the center of Wellington about 25 miles away. The state route is used by many trucks, and it seems foolish and perhaps dangerous to throw a traffic light in a 55-mph zone such as that in front of the raceway. For the same reasons, a four-way stop is out of the question.
Another option is lowering the speed limit, but that would involve a lot of red tape and in the end be more of a hassle to motorists and authorities alike.
A more reasonable measure would be adding rumble strips and jazzing up the stop signs for motorists approaching 18 on 601 and Greenwich Milan Townline Road, ensuring they realize the intersection is not a four-way stop. That would contribute to the No. 1 solution driver attention. Motorists simply must be more careful when crossing or turning onto busy roads such as 18.
Here's an idea. Let's yank those flashing stop signs on Old State at the intersection with 20 and put a light there, as a previous editorial recommended. Then, put those flashing signs on 601 and Greenwich Milan Townline. That would improve safety at two dangerous intersections.