Oakwood applied to the Ohio Department of Transportation earlier this year for funding for a possible roundabout at the Far Hills Avenue intersection of Oakwood Avenue and Thruston Boulevard, also known as Five Points.
ODOT results were “favorable. However, we believe the community support is not unanimous either pro or against,” Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan said.
“But there (were) a lot of good comments and we think that eventually this could be a good project for the city,” he added, noting that perhaps with more data, the project may be reconsidered.
The estimated cost for the roundabout, including professional design services and right-of-way expenses, is $5.55 million, Oakwood City Manager Norb Klopsch said.
The intersection is on a hill and carries heavy traffic on Ohio 48 between Dayton and multiple south suburbs, the nearest being Kettering. Thruston and Oakwood Avenue intersect with the state route diagonally at the same spot, giving the intersection six spokes.
The number of access points makes the intersection “so tricky,” Councilwoman Anne Hilton said. That’s one of the reasons Councilman Rob Stephens said he favored the proposal’s suspension.
While noting “a lot of positives to this roundabout,” Stephens said, the intersections are known to be safer and more efficient “at four-way stops. That’s where I think they really work the best.”
The roundabout proposal stemmed from a study last year aimed at long-term traffic solutions on the state route and its 17 signalized intersections in the city.
The Five Points intersection’s signals are about 28 years old and will reach their useful end in five to 10 years, according to the city. Replacing traffic signals can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Officials said a key reason for the roundabout proposal is safety concerns.
The proposal in June and July was the focus of a series of open houses attracting both positive and negative comments. The city extended the public feedback time through September to help gain more input.
In the meantime, it applied to ODOT for funding, a move that led some residents to question if a decision to go forward with the roundabout had been made.
Klopsch said Tuesday he “would expect a decision to be made in the next 5-10 years on whether to rebuild a traditional signalized intersection or to build a roundabout. In the meantime, the city will continue to operate and maintain the existing traffic signal.”
He added that “all of the work completed in studying the roundabout option will be very useful in the future when the city will likely reconsider this matter.”