Solon's southern neighbors are having a debate about improving traffic on Route 91.
City officials in Twinsburg have plans to build two roundabouts on 91, one at Glenwood Drive and the other at Meadowood Boulevard. The first roundabout, at Glenwood, is expected to be built in 2014, with the second one following three years later.
Twinsburg officials say data shows roundabouts are safer and keep traffic flowing better than traditional intersections.
The problem? Most of the Twinsburg residents who attended a public meeting at didn't buy it.
Twinsburg Councilman Ted Yates, who led the presentation for the city, told concerned residents that city council also still has questions about the plans and that it's not a "done deal."
"Nothing has been finalized in terms of where we're moving with this project," Yates said. "We wouldn't be holding these types of meeting if it was a done deal."
City officials said they weren't happy with an open house held in October to discuss plans for two roundabouts planned for Darrow Road. So the city held Wednesday's meeting to clear up confusion about the plan and make the case that roundabouts would improve traffic flow up and down Darrow.
The plan is to build two roundabouts on Darrow Road, the first at Glenwood Drive and the second at Meadowood Boulevard and Ethan's Drive. The project is expected to cost about $8 million, with Twinsburg playing about $1.6 million and the rest paid for with grants.
City Engineer Amy Mohr said the plan is to build the roundabouts one at a time. The Glenwood intersection would be redone first, with construction expected to begin in 2014. It could take another three years of planning and right-of-way acquisition before the second roundabout is built.
On Wednesday, residents viewed a presentation and watched a video explaining how to drive through the circular intersection.
Ed Franks, the project manager with with engineering firm GPD Group, said roundabouts will calm traffic, resulting in lower speeds, make the intersections more visually appealing and reduce city costs, since signals won't have to be maintained.
But residents, especially those who live in developments near these intersections, said they think the roundabouts will make it more difficult to get onto Darrow Road and more dangerous for pedestrians.
Instead, they say the road should be widened and improved with stop-lighted traditional intersections.
City officials acknowledged the disconnect, saying that it will take people time to get used to the plans and that the roundabouts, if built, will have a "learning curve."