What drives you crazy as you drive local roads – planners want to know

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Local motorists had the chance to vent about issues that drive them crazy as they drive through Wood and Lucas counties. Maybe it’s traffic congestion or getting stuck at railroad crossings. Maybe it’s potholes or not enough public transportation. Every five years, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments updates its long-range transportation plan. But in order to do that, the organization needs to hear from the public. So on Thursday, a meeting was held at the Wood County District Public Library for anyone wanting to talk transportation. To keep up with transportation needs, the region must have public input, patience in the process, and more funding to design and construct infrastructure. All seem to be in short supply at times. Maps lined the room, showing some of the transportation issues tracked by TMACOG, such as: Top 50 crash intersections in the two counties. Among those were the intersections at Wooster and Main streets, and at Gypsy Lane and South Main streets in Bowling Green, plus Roachton Road and Ohio 199 in Perrysburg Township.Top 50 crash sections of roads, which included a section of Ohio 25 between Roachton and Eckel Junction; East Wooster Street from Dunbridge to Mercer roads in Bowling Green; Ohio 51 in Lake Township; Ohio 420 from the turnpike to Genoa Road; and Superior Street between Glenwood and Oregon roads in Rossford.The most congested roadways, which include Main Street and Wooster Street in Bowling Green, and U.S. 20 from Lime City to Perrysburg.Roadways with high percentages of daily commercial vehicle traffic, including U.S. 6, Ohio 199 and Interstate 75.Railways crossing the region.Bike trails and lanes.Sidewalks.Public transit options, including TARTA and Perrysburg Transit. The long range plan addresses all these modes of transportation. “In order for it to be a successful plan, we really need input,” said Dana Doubler, transportation planner with TMACOG. The planners also need patience – since some projects take decades to complete. “This is a starting point,” Doubler said. “It’s getting your foot in the door.” “None of these projects happen overnight,” said David Gedeon, vice president of transportation at TMACOG. “They take a long time to develop.” But lately, the question has been where the money will come from for big transportation projects. “There is no money for major new projects,” the Ohio Department of Transportation has been telling entities, Gedeon said. “They didn’t even take applications for projects this year,” he said. The 18 cent gas tax proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine would help restore those ODOT construction funds, Gedeon…

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BG peddling monthly ‘slow roll’ bike rides in city

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The city of Bowling Green is planning monthly bike rides to encourage residents to leave behind their four-wheel transportation for the two-wheeled option. The first “slow roll” bike ride will be held Sunday, June 24, starting at 2 p.m. It will begin and end at the Girl Scout Building located in City Park. “We want to get residents to feel more comfortable riding their bikes – especially families,” said Amanda Gamby, the city’s sustainability coordinator. The goal is to make biking second nature for local citizens. “Let’s say you want to get ice cream,” Gamby said. “Instead of piling into a car for the one-mile trip, they can hop on their bikes.” To make the monthly free rides more appealing, the city is giving each one a theme. This first ride titled, Just Chillin’, will include a stop at the Black Swamp Preserve for a brief presentation from naturalist Cinda Stutzman on how animals stay cool in the heat, and an additional stop for ice cream, provided by the Sundae Station. All participants will also receive a free day pass to the City Pool after completion of the ride. “We want to entice people who may be on the fence,” about riding bikes in town, Gamby said. “Each month will have a different theme. We’re excited about it.” The route for this ride covers five miles, with the longest distance between stops being 1.5 miles. It is recommended that young riders, not able to travel these distances on their own, participate via a tow behind trailer or child bike seat. These rides are meant to be more recreational in nature and will travel at a speed comfortable for all riders. In addition to the goal of being enjoyable, the monthly rides will also stress the importance of safe riding practices and responsibilities of riders while navigating city streets. Multiple trained leaders will model safe biking behavior, such as proper hand signaling and lane positioning. Gamby is hoping the rides make residents more comfortable on city streets, and make bicyclists aware of the routes that may work best for them. “We want people to know they can safely bike in Bowling Green and have fun,” she said. Additional monthly rides are planned for July through October and will take place on the last Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Future rides will include such themes as pizza, story books and Halloween. The rides are modeled after the Yay Bikes program called “Year of Yay,” which hosts monthly…

Crossing Gypsy Lane to get to Slippery Elm Trail is a hazard

I want to talk today about the crossing of the Slippery Elm Trail at Gypsy Lane Road.  I have been riding the Trail since at least 2009, and in that time I have noticed a significant wait time sometimes at that crossing.  I have also noticed many families, some with small children, on a family outing waiting to be able to cross. This situation concerns me.  We need either a stop sign or a traffic light there. It would be a catastrophe if we waited until a cyclist was hit or killed. With more and more motorists not paying enough attention to cyclists on the roads we need to make the Slippery Elm Trail a safe place for cyclists, both young and old.   Lori Terwilliger Bowling Green

Rick Busselle: Cooperation between drivers & bikes in BG is “mostly illusion”

I appreciate the public efforts of Bowling Green drivers and bicyclists to cooperate.  But from my perspective it’s mostly illusion.  I ride my bicycle several days a week.  Most days at least one person passes within six or eight inches of my handlebar.  Not infrequently someone passes while ignoring oncoming traffic, leaving me plenty of room, but forcing an oncoming car to yield their own lane by slowing abruptly, veering to the far right, or, in one case, driving into a yard.  Admittedly, most drivers accommodate a bike in their lane.  But many don’t.  I estimate about 20-percent.  This morning a driver veered left of center to pass me and ran an oncoming car into the curb.  When we both stopped, I said to the driver, “I appreciate your giving me the space, but you have to watch for the oncoming cars too.”  Clearly this was my mistake as their response was “the old familiar suggestion.” My observation is that when bicyclists, citizens and elected officials speak publicly, everyone is very pleasant and supportive.  Just like when bicycles ride in organized groups with signs and tee shirts, drivers politely honk and wave.  But when no one is watching there is a significant group of drivers who have little regard for anyone but themselves. I apologize to the person I spoke to this morning.  From now on, I’ll keep my thought to myself, even when my thought is “the old familiar suggestion.” Rick Busselle Bowling Green