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Motorist protests tricky intersection

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    A sign saying right turn only sits at the end of Boardman Alley when entering West Reagan Parkway. Kirt Yant drove straight across Reagan Parkway and into Medwick Marketplace Sunday and was ticketed for it with a court date next month in Medina Municipal Court.

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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MEDINA — A local veterinarian said he plans to fight a traffic ticket he received Sunday while taking a drive through a Medina intersection that has been the source of confusion.

Dr. Kirt Yant, of Copley, said he received the citation near the intersection of North Court Street and West Reagan Parkway.

While leaving Target’s parking lot via Boardman Alley near the now shuttered Eat’n Park, Yant said he turned right and then immediately turned left into Medwick Marketplace. Yant was pulled over by Medina police and given a ticket for an illegal turn, or “obedience of a traffic control device.”

The cost of the ticket is $137, Yant said. He is scheduled to appear in Medina Municipal Court at 8:30 a.m. May 8. The veterinarian said he will plead not guilty.

“It’s not only a matter of principle for myself, but for the purpose of standing up for Medina residents that have been issued the same infraction,” he said.

Medina Police Chief Ed Kinney said Monday that the department has received numerous complaints about drivers not obeying the signs.

Information on the number of citations issued at the intersection this year was not available Monday.

Yant, 39, said he was completely respectful to the Medina officer.

“I told him I gave free veterinary care to the Macedonia Police Department,” he said. “I told him I had not gotten any kind of citation of any sort (in more than 20 years).”

Yant said he asked the officer if he could issue him a warning, but he was told that it wasn’t possible.

“It’s not like I was doing anything wrong,” he said.

Kinney said the department doesn’t have the ability to cancel the ticket and his officers give far more warnings than tickets at that location.

“It’s up to the officer’s discretion,” he said.

He said he had his wife and three children in the car, including his 5-month-old son. The family was looking at Easter candy at Target and was heading over to Marshall’s.

The issue Yant said he has is that, in his opinion, the turn into the Medwick’s lot isn’t properly marked. Coming out of Boardman Alley, there is a right turn only sign. But coming from that direction, there’s no sign saying one can’t turn left into the street off West Reagan Parkway, he said.

There is a concrete island there.

“You can’t tell at all,” he said. “That arrow says it’s OK to turn (right) there.

“If you look at how the intersection is built, it’s pretty much straight across.”

Yant said he has sent emails to Kinney and Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell about the incident in advance of his court date.

“This is not an issue of residents ignoring turn restriction signs into Medwick Marketplace from the Target exit, because there is no existing turn restriction sign,” he wrote to Kinney.

“I am not suggesting that the Medina police is arbitrarily targeting motorists, but am conveying that nothing productive is being done to resolve the issue. By merely erecting two ‘no turn restriction’ signs on the side of Medwick Marketplace and removing the turn sign on the concrete, this would resolve confusion at this intersection.”

Kinney said the traffic pattern is designed for maximum flow and efficiency.

“When motorists ignore the turn restrictions, it causes traffic backups on West Reagan and impacts the flow through the intersection,” he said. “Just to clarify, Medina police does not arbitrarily ‘target’ motorists; our enforcement efforts are in response to complaints from the community. Additionally, we do not have the authority to ‘drop’ tickets.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or by email at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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