Aurora far down list for traffic crashes

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Compared to other areas in Portage, Summit and northern Wayne counties, Aurora is a relatively safe town trafficwise according to a recent survey unveiled by the Akron Metropolitian Area Traffic Study.

The survey of vehicle crashes between 2010 and 2012 found there were 50,573 crashes in the three-county region, which is relatively unchanged compared with the 2009-11 study.

AMATS Transportation Engineer Dave Pulay said the agency has observed a "leveling off" in crashes overall. The measured region sees between 16,000 and 17,000 total crashes a year. "Thankfully, the overall trend over the past 10 years has been down," he said.

On the list of "high-crash intersections," Aurora's RouteRoutes 82 and 306 intersection ranked 153rd. The survey recorded 27 crashes there in the three-year period, with an average daily traffic flow of 19,465 vehicles. The Routes 43-306/Pioineer Trail intersection ranked 211th with 19 crashes and 13,310 average daily vehicles. Those were the only Aurora locations on that list or the list of "high-crash roadway sections."

The Glenview Drive-Liberty Road intersection in Twinsburg-Reminderville ranked 223rd with 17 crashes and 11,400 average daily vehicles.

Several other Portage County areas, however, made the top 15 on each of the lists.

Streetsboro's Routes 14-303/43 intersection ranked seventh in crashes with 127, followed by Kent's Route 261-Franklin Avenue intersection (eighth) and Streetsboro's Route 43-Frost Road intersection (14th).

On the roadway sections list, Kent had three locations on the list -- East Main Street between Horning Road and the east corporation line was fourth, East Main Street between Water and Willow streets was fifth and South Water Street between Haymaker Parkway and East Main Street was 14th.

AMATS assigns composite scores for each intersection and section of road that takes into account the street's length, daily traffic volume, total crashes and crash severity.

Kent Police Capt. Paul Canfield said the findings aren't surprising, noting how East Main Street toward Ravenna has an abundance of apartment complexes -- including Holly Park Apartments, Campus Pointe Apartments and Ryan Place Apartments -- few crosswalks and a high overall volume of traffic.

"With that amount of traffic, we're going to have a high number of crashes," Kent Engineer Jim Bowling said.

He added the city will determine if that or any other areas warrant further study or traffic solutions after officials can review the accident data themselves. He noted that with the amount of redevelopment Kent has seen in the last three years along the entirety of Main Street, particularly in stretches closer to downtown, it's possible construction areas led to an increase in accidents.

Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers pointed to traffic volume as the primary factor for the high frequency of accidents at Streetsboro's Routes 14-300 and 43 intersection.

"We are the main artery between Cleveland and the rest of Portage County, so that's always going to be a very busy intersection," Powers said.

OTHER AMATS FINDINGS

• Akron is home to five of the 10 highest ranked high-crash roadway sections and six of the highest ranked high-crash intersections in the Greater Akron area.

• Based on composite rankings, the worst street for crashes in the AMATS study is Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (Route 59) in Akron from West Market to North Broadway streets.

• Based on composite rankings, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at North Howard/Main streets is the worst intersection for crashes.

• Tallmadge Circle was ranked the 25th worst intersection for crashes under the AMATS composite scoring, but has the most crashes of any intersection overall in the past three years with 284.

•Alcohol was a factor in 4 percent of all area crashes, but was a factor in 44 percent of all fatal crashes.

• Pedestrian-related crashes decreased from 177 in 2011 to 148 in 2012.

• Out of 481 pedestrian-related crashes during the measured period, 86 percent resulted in an injury and 3 percent in a fatality. Out of those crashes, 12 percent involved children age 12 or younger.

• Out of 331 bicycle-related crashes, 78 percent resulted in an injury and one of them in a fatality. Twenty-one percent of those involved children age 12 or younger.

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