SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — The roundabout at Shawnee and Fort Amanda roads was built to ease traffic congestion, but it hasn’t seemed to prevent any more accidents and appears to be causing more.
There have been 43 traffic crashes since it opened on Aug. 23, 2015, of which three were injury crashes and the remaining fender benders, said Chief Mike Keith of the Shawnee Township Police Department.
“We have had quite a few roundabout accidents and continue to,” Keith said.
The biggest problems have to deal with two lanes and drivers trying to switch lanes running into vehicles in the other lane, Keith said.
“People in the inside lane have nowhere to go,” Keith said.
Motorists need to stay in the lanes in which they enter the roundabout, and those already in the roundabout have the right of way, he said.
Keith said the roundabout is clearing traffic congestion, which previously meant people would sit at the light for several cycles before finally passing through.
For the year 2012, when there were lights at the intersection, there were 19 crashes. Through Wednesday this year there has been 28 crashes, Keith said.
Lima Allen County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Tom Mazur said the previous crashes often were T-bone style with someone running the red light and getting hit compared to the sideswipes now but there is a concern because of the number of crashes.
Mazur said aggressive driving through the roundabout also is causing crashes. Keith said people just need to slow down and be aware not everyone understands how a roundabout works. Keith said people are still getting used to how to drive through the roundabout.
The intersection has about 20,600 vehicles pass through each day and has the fifth highest crash frequency in Allen County. North Cable and Elida roads is the highest with 72 crashes from 2013 to 2015, according to crash data from Mazur’s office.
Besides staying in your lane, Keith offers the follow advice: look to the left before entering, pay attention to the cars coming from other intersections in front and slow down. Vehicles should be passing through the intersection no faster than 20 mph, he said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.