Niles residents split on what to do with blinking lights at popular intersection

Local News

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A traffic light in Niles is concerning for some of the city’s residents. Right now, the light at the intersection of Robbins and Carnegie avenues is just blinking — yellow on Robbins and red on Carnegie.

Wednesday night, Niles City Council sat and listened to everyone’s concerns. Some are asking for the light to stay while others want it removed completely.

The light pattern was changed by the Niles Police Department because they were getting calls about neighborhood streets when the light was working normally.

“Because you’re getting people that were traveling to, from and through our city, cutting through those streets and in order to make up time, they’re hitting the gas pedal,” said Traffic Officer Shawn Crank.

Officer Crank cites a number of studies that say the light does not need to be there. He added that there have been 10 accidents at that intersection, more than any other intersection on Robbins Avenue within the last five years.

“What some people don’t understand is that sometimes, traffic control devices create more problems than what they solve,” Officer Crank said.

But some are for keeping the traffic light because they live on one of the side streets and sometimes need to turn onto Robbins Avenue.

“Like the one morning I got ready to go out, it took me eight minutes to make a left-hand turn,” said resident Marlene Hazlett.

One councilman said he has heard concerns from residents on making that street slower and worries that taking out the traffic light might do the opposite.

“Many houses are in this area, saying we just want it slower. The bus stop is one but they don’t want their residential area to become a freeway,” said 1st Ward Councilman Doug Sollitto.

At that intersection, there is also a bus stop for the kids going to and from school.

Officer Crank said he talked to the bus driver who uses that route. The bus driver told him that when the light was fully functioning, she had people fly past the bus, even when the bus’ stop sign was up.

“She went on to say, since that light has been on flash, I have not had a single problem. I have not had one violation,” Officer Crank said.

While others gave another suggestion to this issue.

“I would like to see the bus stops put down a block off of Robbins Avenue, to keep them [the kids] safe,” Hazlett said.

As of now, council voted to table the discussion.

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