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Left-Turn Arrow Coming to Fairchild, Mantua Intersection

ODOT signs off on plan to add signal at construction-riddled intersection

Editor's note: this story was updated at noon June 10 to correct the direction of travel for the turn arrow.

Ask, and you shall receive.

Kent motorists have been clamoring for a left-turn arrow for eastbound drivers on Fairchild Avenue looking to turn onto North Mantua Street almost since the arrow was removed last year as part of the new bridge construction.

After some review, city administrators decided to approach the Ohio Department of Transportation with a request to add the left-turn arrow for eastbound drivers on Fairchild Avenue.

Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said Friday that ODOT approved the addition of the turn signal and are figuring out the cost to add it to the more than $20 million Fairchild Avenue Bridge project, which included remaking the intersection.

Bowling said it's not clear yet when the signal will be added.

"It will be part of the project and be done before the project ends," he said. "A more specific time frame is not known at this time."

The city manager's office received numerous calls asking for a turn arrow there. Seventy-six percent of votes cast in last month on the topic were in favor of adding the left-turn arrow.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller explained in a post on his blog in May that adding such a left-turn arrow would cut the green-light time for all the other directions of the intersection, thus reducing the overall improvements that resulted from the new traffic patterns at the intersection.

But data and studies done by city administrators show the anticipated delays to other movements of the intersection by adding the left-turn arrow will be manageable by the new traffic light software at the intersection, according to the minutes from the April Kent Parking Action Committee meeting.

"(City) staff believes that the signal system's capabilities will be able to mitigate the additional delays to acceptable levels caused to other movements in order to add this movement," according to the meeting minutes.

That turn arrow, or lack therof, isn't the only reason due to construction.

Hundreds of drivers have been onto the new bridge from the southbound lanes of S.R. 43. That turn will remain prohibited through August.

elyssa June 11, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Like there are not enough lights already. The must be planning on a lot of people running through it. Great reason to give out more tickets!!! http://goo.gl/SqGKF
Laura June 12, 2012 at 03:50 AM
How can you people even question this turn signal?! At least the city has their head on straight about this one!
Patricia June 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM
It is needed and I'm glad it will soon be up and working. It is a mess around there and for me I live and have to drive this.
Troy McClure June 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM
The traffic software could be programmed that a left turn arrow only comes on when activated by cut-outs in the pavement. Then, there wouldn't be a need to have it so a left-turn signal comes on when there's no one waiting for one. And, if there are more cares waiting than the other side, it can be programmed accordingly.
Mainstreet June 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
At first, in the poll about adding a left-turn light at this intersection, I voted in favor of it, but after thinking about it I think no decision should be made on this until the road improvements are all completed. Then the need for it should be evaluated. The establishment of true traffic patterns will make the choice easier.

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