Traffic panel approves proposals

MARIETTA – Overnight parking would be prohibited in areas of Fourth and Butler streets near the Marietta College campus, according to a recommendation by the Marietta Traffic Commission Thursday.

The recommendation to the city safety-service director would be no parking on Fourth Street between Putnam and Greene streets from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and no parking on Butler Street between Third and Fourth streets between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., said Mike Scales, traffic commission chairman.

“But we would recommend that the change would not become effective until after students leave campus for the summer,” he said.

The recommendation was unanimously supported by the traffic commission members.

The commission also supported a recommendation to increase the speed limit from 25 mph to 35 mph on the lower half of Groves Avenue, from the city limits to Gilman Avenue.

The speed limit is 35 mph on Groves from the intersection with Ohio 676 to the city limits, but about halfway down the hill the speed limit decreases to 25 mph.

Last month City Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, asked the traffic commission to recommend making the entire length of Groves Avenue 35 mph. He said it’s especially difficult for drivers and bicyclists traveling down the steep roadway to slow to 25 mph as they approach the bottom of the hill.

In other business, Marietta city engineer Joe Tucker recognized the extensive work the traffic commission had put into a list of recommendations for improving traffic flow at 27 signalized city intersections.

“I think there are some good recommendations here, but as city engineer for almost nine years I can say we’ve studied most of these intersections in some detail,” he said. Traffic studies have been conducted by independent engineering firms and the Wood, Wirt and Washington (WWW) Interstate Planning Commission since 2009.

“We’ve expended lots of money, mostly from grant funding that required no match from the city, to have these studies done,” Tucker said. “These studies provide short-, mid- and long-term solutions to improve traffic flow, and they also include cost-benefit information for the city.”

He said WWW does a traffic safety operations study in Marietta every three years that compiles information on accidents and identifies areas that need attention from a safety standpoint.

Tucker told the traffic commission members he would go through the most recent traffic studies and summarize the resulting recommendations intersection by intersection, then present that information back to the commission.

Scales asked Tucker to have that information placed on the Marietta city website when it is compiled.