By Jeff Gallatin
City officials in Westlake and North Olmsted are considering raising the speed limit on the Crocker/Stearns roadway between Center Ridge and Lorain roads from 35 to 45 miles per hour.
North Olmsted City Council was scheduled to introduce the legislation at its regular meeting last night – the first since its July summer recess. If it goes through the standard three readings, final approval would come at the first meeting in September. Westlake City Council is in recess during August, but has the legislation scheduled for the third and final reading at its first meeting in September. Officials in the two cities are coordinating their efforts to get the legislation passed together since the roadway runs through both cities and is used as a link by many motorists between Interstates 480 and 90.
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough said city officials there sought the change because of interest from residents.
“We received a number of e-mails from residents asking us to change the limit,” Clough said. “We took a look at the situation and thought it would be something we could do.”
Clough said the city has not heard any objections from the public during the first two readings on the proposal.
“We don’t anticipate any problems in the legislation passing when council returns from break in September,” he said.
North Olmsted safety-service Director Don Glauner said North Olmsted officials started looking into the matter when Clough contacted his North Olmsted counterpart, Kevin Kennedy, several weeks ago.
“We spoke to state safety officials to see if there were any safety or other potential problems to have us raise the limit,” Glauner said. “They looked at it and found they didn’t have any issues with it. They felt that it would be more in line with speed levels for that type of roadway.”
Glauner noted that the area where the limit will be raised does go between two major roadways. with no other access roads cutting into it.
“It’s a straight shot through there,” he said, “so it shouldn’t present any potential problems with other drivers coming into the area from another road.”
Glauner said it also makes sense to have both cities raise the speed limit to the same figure.
“You really don’t want one city doing it without the other,” he said. “If one did, then the other would be writing a bunch of tickets at the other end. And the intent is not to create a speed trap for drivers going from one city to the other. We’re looking to create better conditions for people on the road.”
Paul Barker, chairman of North Olmsted City Council’s Safety Committee, said he’ll take a look at the issue again.
“We looked at it four years ago and didn’t take any action on it at that point,” he said. “I want to get some statistics from the police department and give the issue a good hearing in committee.”