YORK TWP. — The Ohio Department of Transportation recently awarded York Township new street signs in an effort to improve traffic safety.
York qualified for signs based on crash data from 2012-16, said Trustee Rick Monroe, who added that he applied for the grant and attended a mandatory meeting in Columbus so the township could join ODOT’s Township Safety Signs Grant Program.
York will receive about $32,000 worth of new signs, Monroe said.
The program’s aim is to reduce or eliminate crash problems on township roadways.
Monroe said the township will receive about 100 signs slated for delivery in March. Township personnel will install them within a year of delivery.
They will replace all the existing signage in the township, which already has received the necessary posts and hardware.
Monroe said the signs will replace existing red stop signs and yellow speed limit, street name and warning signs. Many signs in the township are 2 feet by 2 feet. The new signs will be 3 feet by 3 feet.
The hope is that the new signage might alleviate some accidents in the 20 square miles of the township, Monroe said. The size will improve sign visibility.
“We’ve had several bad accidents in January (in York Township),” Monroe said.
It is not known if new signage could have prevented recent crashes in the township, including a fatal crash Wednesday at Spieth and Abbeyville roads.
The Ohio Highway Patrol is investigating the two-vehicle crash that claimed the life of an Ashland woman.
According to the patrol, a Chevrolet Equinox driven by Paul Johnson, 71, of Ashland, collided with a Ford Super Duty pickup driven by Richard Gasser, 63, of Creston, and the SUV came to a rest in a field about 50 yards off Abbeyville Road.
According to a statement from the patrol, Johnson failed to yield to a stop sign and the Ford hit the SUV.
Johnson’s passenger, Natalie Johnson, 73, died at the scene.
At the time of the crash, Jason Creamer, assistant chief of the Erhart/York Township Fire Department, called Spieth/Abbeyville intersection “dangerous” and “one of the more problematic intersections in York Township.”
It was the second crash at the intersection in a week, Creamer said.
Monroe said the Highway Patrol investigates all the accidents in the township and provides data to the state.
According to ODOT data, there were 36 crashes in York Township between 2013 and 2015.
The number of fatalities wasn’t available from that data.
“That’s how they come up with the top 100 (townships) that have had bad accidents,” Monroe said.
“That’s how we got in.”
Monroe said he believes accidents are increasing throughout the state because of people talking on cell phones or texting.
He said the other two township trustees, Todd Zieja and Bill Pavlick, supported pursuing the grant.
“They think it’s a great thing,” Monroe said. “Hopefully, this will reduce the accidents.”