Back on Thursday, 16 June, the Ohio Department of Transportation held what it billed as it's first and last public meeting to seek comment on the Quigley Road Connector joining I-71 North and West 14th Street to the Cuyahoga Valley and the land to be privately developed at Steelyard Commons. I had some problems viewing the Power Point presentation online because my viewer was corrupted, but once it working I was struck by something. I don't recall seeing the above slide as part of the public presentation. I could be wrong. The memory is the second thing to go. And if anyone who was there does remember seeing this slide, let me know and I'll make the correction here. But if I'm right, why would this slide be omitted? How about because of the traffic question. The slide presentation has two sets of traffic figures in it. The first set is for traffic on West 14th in 2006. If the Quigley Road Connector is not built, ODOT says there will be an average of 18,060 vehicles a day on West 14th street. If the connector is built, that traffic projection drops 59 percent to an average of 11,880 vehicles per day. For Clarke Avenue the drop is even more dramatic. If the connector is not built, ODOT projects that the average daily traffic there will be 19,680 vehicles. If the connector is built, that drops 70 percent to an average of 5,630 vehicles per day. Missing from the figures, of course, is what is the traffic today? How much of that traffic is an increase resulting from Steelyard Commons? I've emailed Lora Hummer, Public Information Officer for ODOT to ask her for the 2005 (or whatever baseline was used) figures for W 14th and Clarke. Since she responded so quickly to my first question, I'm hopeful for a similar response to this one. There is also an interesting assumption in the above figures. Where are those 20,230 average daily vehicles being diverted from West 14th and Clarke Avenue going to go? Well to the Quigley Road Connector of course. According to ODOT's 2003 figures (see map below) the stretch of I-71 that would be serviced by Quigley Road carried an average of 75,110 vehicles per day in 2003. That mean that the connector will be expected to carry the equivalent of approximately 27 percent of the traffic on I-71 near Tremont. That's a lot of cars.
For comparison, take a look, above, at Chester (Route 322) and Euclid (Route 20) avenues. In 2003, ODOT put average daily traffic on those roads at 31,890 and 11,420 respectively. The first question I asked at the public meeting was whether or not the Quigley Road Connector -- which I see as a good thing for Tremont Resident because it diverts heavy truck traffic to and from the valley off of their streets -- was in any way connected with the development of Steelyard Commons. I was assured by the main speaker (I'm afraid I don't recall his name, that memory thing again) that one had nothing to do with the other. I thought that was a good answer that evening. Now I'm not so sure. I'll let you know when I hear back from Ms. Hummer. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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