An open house style meeting was hosted by the City of Montgomery on Wednesday, May 16, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Terwilliger Lodge in Montgomery. A total of 114 people attended the meeting. The City requested comments from May 16 through May 25, 2018, and subsequently extended the comment period until June 16, 2018. Approximately 40 individuals provided written feedback on the project through the provided comment cards, the City’s website and emails to City officials. The City advertised the open house on their website, sent letters to property owners adjacent to the project area, and placed two advertisements in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday, May 6, and Sunday, May 13, 2018.
Public Comment Breakdown
|Issue||Number of Commenters|
|Pedestrian accommodations and safety, including for students||38|
|Bicyclist accommodations and safety||13|
|Additional traffic congestion along Montgomery Rd corridor||13|
|Impact to intersection of Montgomery Rd and Kennedy Ln||12|
|Roundabout may be confusing to drivers||9|
|Project funding and financial impact to City||5|
|Increase in traffic volumes||4|
|Lighting at the intersection||3|
|Accessibility of Hartfield Place||2|
|Impact to intersection of Montgomery Rd and Cooper Rd||2|
|Access for emergency vehicles||1|
Public Comment Responses
What accommodations will be made to provide a safe route for pedestrians, especially crossing Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway?
Pedestrian safety is very important to the City of Montgomery. The design of the pedestrian facilities at the roundabout are not finalized and will continue to be analyzed, especially at the Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway crossing. Over the course of the design process, several alternatives were considered, including marked crossings of all vehicular travel lanes, a pedestrian bridge, a pedestrian underpass, and consolidating north-south pedestrian traffic on the east side of Montgomery Road. These alternatives were evaluated with respect to cost, right-of-way impacts, environmental impacts, accessibility for all users, aesthetics, safety, and security. Considering the factors above, the pedestrian bridge, pedestrian underpass, and consolidation of all pedestrians on the east side of Montgomery Road were deemed to have negative project impacts. This led to the design as shown at the Open House on May 16, which included marked crossings of all vehicular traffic lanes.
The City intends to re-evaluate the current design considering input received during the recent public comment period. Consolidating pedestrians on the east side of Montgomery Road will be reconsidered, as will adding enhancements to the current design such as rectangular rapid flashing beacons to warn vehicles of pedestrians utilizing the crosswalks. The City is currently utilizing these pedestrian-activated devices at several other locations.
What accommodations will be made to provide a safe route for bicycles?
Bicyclists may travel through the roundabout like a motorist, just as they do at many other intersections in the city. Bicyclists should yield to all lanes of traffic in the roundabout, stay in their lane within the roundabout, and stay close to the center of the lane to allow drivers to see you (do not hug the curb). Bicyclists that choose not to navigate through the roundabout like a motorist may traverse around the roundabout as a pedestrian. Bicycle ramps will be provided prior to the roundabout along northbound and southbound Montgomery Road. Bicyclists may use these ramps to exit the roadway onto the adjacent sidewalk and traverse around the roundabout using the sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
Will traffic become more congested because of the project?
The North and South phases of the proposed development are anticipated to add 1,800 and 2,300 vehicles per day, respectively, to the current traffic volumes, which is an increase of approximately 14 percent. The development will add approximately 780 vehicles and 720 vehicles in morning and afternoon rush hours, respectively. This additional anticipated traffic has been considered throughout the project design process and included in the traffic models created to evaluate future traffic conditions.
Based on the most recent traffic simulation modeling, travel times and delay at the interchange and along the Montgomery Road corridor should not change significantly; however, slight increases in travel time (between 30 and 60 seconds) for northbound and southbound Montgomery Road traffic between Kennedy Lane and Cooper Road may be observed during morning and afternoon rush hours. Drivers may experience minor increases in delay at the signalized intersections of Kennedy Lane and Cooper Road depending on the time of day.
How will this affect my commute during construction?
Construction is anticipated to last approximately 12 to 18 months. Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway are anticipated to remain open during construction with the exception of some weekend and/or night closures as the project nears completion. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained at all times. During construction, additional congestion and delay typically associated with work zones can be expected at the interchange and along the Montgomery Road corridor.
How will the roundabout affect the intersection of Montgomery Road and Kennedy Lane?
The existing traffic signal at Montgomery Road and Kennedy Lane will remain in place and its operation will remain the same.
Roundabouts are still new to the area - will the new roundabout be too confusing to drivers?
Although roundabouts are relatively new to southwest Ohio, they are quickly gaining support and becoming more prevalent. In fact, there are 40 built or soon to be constructed roundabouts in the Cincinnati area, 15 percent of which are multi-lane roundabouts. As is to be expected with any new traffic pattern, it will likely take a period of time for drivers to become familiar with the roundabout. The City intends to make every effort to ensure that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians are more informed and comfortable when traveling through the roundabout.
How is the project funded?
The City has secured funds for the public transportation improvement project through outside sources including the federal Surface Transportation Program and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Division of Jobs and Commerce. Currently, the City has received funding to cover approximately 80 percent of the project costs and plans to seek additional outside funding in an effort to increase that percentage.
How will I turn out of Hartfield Place onto northbound Montgomery Rd if left turns are restricted?
After construction is complete, left turns out of Hartfield Place will be restricted; however, drivers will be able to head north on Montgomery Road from Hartfield Place by turning southbound onto Montgomery Road and completing a U-turn maneuver at the roundabout to head northbound. Full access in and out of Hartfield Place will be maintained during construction.
Will lighting be provided at the roundabout?
Lighting will be provided at the roundabout to improve nighttime visibility. Overhead lighting will be installed at the roundabout entries and along the circulating roadway illuminating the road and sidewalks. The lighting levels will be similar to other intersections in the City.
Will there be any modifications to the intersection of Montgomery Road and Cooper Road with the project?
No modifications to the intersection of Montgomery Road and Cooper Road are anticipated with this project. While additional traffic will be added to this intersection due to the proposed development, traffic flow is not anticipated to change significantly. Drivers may experience a minor increase in delay depending on the time of day. The City will re-evaluate traffic signal operations considering the proposed development and roundabout to determine if changes are warranted.
How will the roundabout affect emergency vehicles?
Emergency vehicles will travel through the roundabout much like they do at any other intersection. Drivers on the road should pull off to the right and allow emergency vehicles to pass on their left. When possible, drivers within the roundabout should exit the roundabout and move to the right to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Avoid stopping in the roundabout when possible.