Published: Tuesday, 25 July 2017 09:15
By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — When residents Starla Benson and Dennis Swingle brought up the issue of increased traffic in the area of Edgewood Road and Chestnut Street, it struck a cord with City Council members.
Benson told council that since moving to 943 E. High St. in 2015, she and her husband have been “shocked and discouraged” by the amount of drivers using Edgewood Road as a cut-through between Ohio 229 and Coshocton Avenue. She said the problem will continue until the city creates a connector between the two roadways.
She said that if the city does not control traffic in the historic neighborhood, property values will decrease and there will be a “flight of responsible homeowners” from the neighborhood, leaving it to rental properties or worse.
A petition signed by more than 50 residents recommended the city install speed bumps on Edgewood Road, East Chestnut Street and a few other neighborhood streets. Benson said the speed bumps will create no problem for snow plows due to the low amount of snowfall the city gets.
Swingle, a 39-year resident of 1101 E. Chestnut St., said the current petition is the third one neighbors have signed over the years. Using time and distance calculations, Swingle estimates that more than 50 percent of drivers drive 10 to 15 miles per hour over the 25 mph speed limit on Edgewood; a few reach 40 mph to 50 mph.
He said drivers use the northbound uphill on Edgewood Road from Ohio 229 as a drag strip; the problem is more severe on the southbound downhill when drivers go straight through the intersection. He said he has heard instances where the undercarriage of a car hits the pavement.
In addition to the speed and increased traffic, Swingle said drivers using a rolling stop rather than full stop at the Chestnut Street and Edgewood Road intersection and tractor trailers in the neighborhood are two other problems residents face. Noting he has seen drivers from the Kroger Co., Donley Ford and other companies, he said, “I am sure they are not delivering Fords on Edgewood Road.”
The E. Chestnut Street/Edgewood Road intersection on Monday afternoon - KP Photo
He said he has called police more than 30 times about the trucks and was told it is city policy not to ticket them.
Safety-service Director Joel Daniels took exception to the comment about city policy, saying the city has no such policy. Law Director Rob Broeren agreed, saying, “I have prosecuted a number of these cases.” He continues to encourage the police department to ticket those drivers.
Councilwoman Nancy Vail said she hopes the administration will take the issue very seriously. “I am not opposed to speed bumps,” she said, pointing out that there has been no issue with snow and the speed bumps on Cougar Drive. She also requested Broeren to follow up with Municipal Court Judge John Thatcher regarding a proposed policy to require ticketed drivers to appear in court rather than simply mail in the fine.
Council members John Booth and Susan Kahrl agreed the amount and speed of traffic is a problem. Booth said residents on Teryl, Verndale, Vernonview and Lower Gambier Road face the same problem as those on Edgewood and Chestnut. He said the increased speed creates a hazard for residents on Teryl and Verndale who back out of their driveways.
Kahrl said that not only does the city need to control the traffic on Edgewood, but it also needs to predict where the traffic will go if taken off Edgewood.
Mayor Richard Mavis told Benson and Swigle that he has asked Police Chief Roger Monroe to look into the situation.
Published: Thursday, 13 July 2017 22:22
MOUNT VERNON - Arms of an Angel Foundation, a local drug awareness outreach organization, has been working diligently to raise $18,000 to purchase and train a drug/patrol K-9 unit for the Mount Vernon Police Department. Bruce D. White, CEO of Knox Community Hospital, and certified KCH therapy dog Rigby, were pleased to present a check for $1,000 to president of Arms of an Angel Foundation, Dave Culbertson. According to Culbertson, the last week of donations and events, including KCH’s donation pushed the fundraising over the top for the first dog and soon things can move forward with the selection of the canine officer and its handler.
Bruce White, left, CEO of Knox Community Hospital, and certified KCH therapy dog Rigby, were pleased to present a check for $1,000 to president of Arms of an Angel Foundation, Dave Culbertson. Photo submitted
Culbertson is scheduled to present the $18,000 check to MVPD Chief Roger Monroe Friday afternoon at 3:30 on the City Hall steps. The public is encouraged to attend to show support for the police department.
Donations can still be made by check, made out to Arms of an Angel Foundation, and sent to 1485 Yauger Road, Mount Vernon. All donations are tax deductible, and receipts are emailed to donors immediately. All extra funds will be earmarked for a second dog, either for Knox County Sheriff’s Department or Mount Vernon Police Department, whichever has the logistics in place for the next dog.