Oct 1, 2005

Woodley International Speedway

Left: Lunchtime traffic on Woodley near Sylvania

The closing of Talmadge Road over the I-475 overpass has created a number of less-than-intended consequences. One of the most troublesome occurs on Woodley Road, the residential street that happens to have the closest alternate crossing over the freeway.

Neighbors on the now-busy thoroughfare are unhappy at the city's decision to completely close Talmadge, as motorists are ignoring the "Local Traffic Only" signs in an effort to find a way around the construction.

"This is worse than Christmas, when Woodley fills up with people coming and going from Franklin Park," said Margaret Jameson, walking her dog on Woodley. "People are racing through here, going 50 miles an hour or more."

Originally city officials talked about closing Woodley Road at I-475 as a precautionary measure to force motorists onto the official detours, but traffic backups on Secor and Corey Roads evidently made them change their minds.

Toledo Police have increased patrols, said Jameson, but their presence is not enough.

"What else are people supposed to do?" she asked. "The official detours are inconvenient."
Left: Northbound Talmadge at I-475

ODOT's website indicates that, weather permitting, Talmadge will finally reopen on October 16.

That will be a welcome relief to people like Margaret Jameson and her dog.


Hooda Thunkit said...

I sympathize with the Woodley road residents. They will be quite fed up with the traffic long before it subsides.

I use Corey as my work-around, but I do it at 5:30 a.m.; the traffic is minimal then. I use Berdan to Douglas for my return trip.

The whole problem (around the Franklin Park area) will, with the latest Westfield additions along Sylvania, be a real mess this Christmas shopping season. The area is just not capable of handling the sheer amounts of traffic that Westfield’s is expected to generate.

This is Toledo’s own variation of Spring Meadows :-(

More thoughtful planning can not help, once the problem arises; too much already built on the land and in the center of the mess. The problem cannot be eased by simply adding lanes, as has been done recently on Sylvania and Monroe.

A service road implementation would help little (too much traffic concentrated in the area anyway), and would require Westfield to build more parking structures.

Probably the best solution might be restricting access to Westfield’s to an exit off of I-475 via new roads to the Westfield compound, but the cost and the neighborhood impact make this option unrealistic.

If I were the HMFIC, I’d start over in “the boonies” and use the separate exit method, to control mall traffic/access. That way, with more thoughtful design, more manageable traffic flow patterns could be implemented. Maybe a mall complex, with many different mall areas, connected together via an underground tram or light rail system.

Obviously, mall and mall traffic design is not my cup of tea, but you get where I’m going. There is a mall area (3-5 exits) in the Columbus area that has good traffic flow.

Anonymous said...

They speed through there like crazy. I don't blame people for being pissed.

Also, check out the neighborhoods near Douglas by Laskey - they have the road closed, but people are flying through those streets.