Marietta gets traffic signal update

MARIETTA – Marietta City Council’s Streets Committees met Wednesday to discuss fiberoptic traffic signals in the city,

City Engineer Joe Tucker updated council on planning that has been in the works for many years.

“Where this project is really coming from is (Utilities Maintenance Foreman) Dale Pierce, who’s been talking about the condition of our signals for five years,” Tucker explained. “But as we plan this system upgrade I’ve also challenged the other department heads to look into the future 20 years and consider the needs of their departments as we move the city forward.”

Current failings to be addressed in the next fiscal year have to do with timing and traffic flow through the city from Pike Street and out state routes, but by upgrading fiberoptic lines, the engineer explained, opportunities for greater broadband access, security of city systems and economic development become possible.

Pierce explained that the current timing signals throughout the city are operating on antiquated systems, one of which has been discontinued, another of which will be defunct in two years.

Pierce explained the street signals are managed in three zones, some only controlled through a dial-up phone line.

“This system entails four separate phone lines,” explained Pierce. “But (each) zone has trouble dialing up at times…all due to the failure of the fiber optics.”

Engineering did not ask for any legislation or funding from council Wednesday on the issue, but Tucker explained that he will be pursuing regional, state and alternate funding means to finance the upgrades in coming months.

Other business:

* Council’s Lands, Buildings and Parks Committee heard from City Development Director Andy Coleman Wednesday asking for permission to apply for Phase II of the trail work on Harmar HIll at Gold Star Park.

Coleman said Wednesday that the pavilion and first section of the walking trail at the park will go in this summer with previous grant funds from the NatureWorks Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Now we’re asking for the next Washington County allocation, $24,818, so we can finish the $98,000 project,” explained Coleman. “The local match will be covered with in-kind labor and us covering the cost of materials through partnerships with the Marine Corps League, the county health department and McDonald’s Half Marathon proceeds.”

* Council’s Police and Fire Committee heard from Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp as well Wednesday, updating council on a plan to not only investigate other mechanisms of tracking parked vehicles and timing restrictions, but also update the appeals process for tickets.

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