To the editor: Reinstall stop signs at Old West End intersection
Traffic changes made it difficult for pedestrians to cross near Bancroft, Scottwood.
Sun, 01 Dec 2019 05:00:00 GMT
As a member of an Old West End neighborhood committee who sat on a design review team starting in late 2012, I have been involved in the design and reconstruction of Bancroft Street from Monroe Street to Ashland Avenue for more than six years.
The team worked with the city to devise a design that would slow down traffic and accommodate pedestrians.
During the design phase, city officials said they planned to remove traffic lights that had been at Bancroft for more than 40 years to permit the free flow of traffic through the highest density residential neighborhood in Toledo.
The construction was completed in 2015 with mostly positive effects on calming traffic with the narrowing and transitioning of the lanes from Monroe through the gateway towers and into the Historic District.
However, the “free flow” of traffic made it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians to cross Bancroft. The city installed pedestrian crosswalk alert signs on Bancroft at Scottwood Avenue but no stop signs.
The parking on Bancroft, along with the tree foliage at the intersection, creates line-of-sight conflicts for cars crossing or turning onto Bancroft.
The Scottwood and Bancroft intersection is also a popular crossing point for pedestrians, bicycles, etc.
As a retired architect and world traveler, I don’t buy the city’s reference to an obscure line item in the Ohio Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to justify the decision to remove the stop signs. I prefer to direct your attention to what other cities do to control traffic and accommodate pedestrians.
Chicago is a good example template.
Chicago has numerous all-way stops throughout the city in high-density neighborhoods, including one at the intersection of Foster Avenue — an arterial street similar to Bancroft — and Kenmore Street in a north-side Chicago neighborhood.
That is just one example of numerous other neighborhoods in Chicago that use stop signs in their paradigm.
The city of Toledo needs to reinstall the stops signs at Bancroft and Scottwood.