NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — Fast driving has been a big complaint on Hartzell Avenue for years. It’s a long, straight, and wide road that serves as a cut-through. Police say most of the drivers don’t live on the street. Now the city is trying a new tactic to slow drivers down.
If you ask anyone who lives on Hartzell Avenue about their street they’ll tell you speeding is a problem.
“It was virtually a speedway, yes morning noon and night,” said Deb Fink.
It’s a residential neighborhood with a posted 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Deb and Robert Fink compared it to a racetrack.
“They would come at the corner and it would be like at the dragstrip when they take off from the line. They would just turn the corner and just open the cars up and they’re loud and they’d race all the way up the street,” said Robert.
The speeding issues were verified through studies. Niles Traffic Officer Shawn Crank says police tried everything like spending countless hours patrolling the road, running radar, writing tickets and giving hundreds of warnings.
“Nothing seems to be working. So we decided we needed to look into something, some kind of physical change to the street,” said Crank.
The city recently added center and edge lines plus bike lanes on both sides in a different approach to slowing drivers down. Niles Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz says including signs the city spent about $1,700 on the improvements.
“Hopefully it works, and if it does we spent minimal amount of money to get a maximum result,” said Crank.
Crank says if this works they’ll consider doing something similar in other problem traffic areas in the city.
Meanwhile, the Finks say they’ve already noticed a difference.
“I’m glad this is happening and working out,” said Deb.
“As you can see, people have slowed down. Just going by nice and easy. It’s going to be a lot safer for the kids that live up and down here too,” said Robert.