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No Easy Fixes For Solon's Traffic Congestion

Solon officials have been discussing traffic congestion at U.S. 422 and SOM Center Road and ways to try to alleviate the crawl.

Solon residents coming home from work on U.S. 422 know what typically happens.

Traffic backs up at the exit ramp to SOM Center Road, sometimes so far that the line of cars stretches onto the actual highway. The light goes from green to red too quickly, so it takes a long time to actually get onto SOM.

Then, once you're on SOM, you're still stuck in traffic and hitting lots of red lights.

The problem is no surprise to city officials, who have been working on improvement's to the city's traffic signals in hopes to alleviate congestion.

While city officials are regularly tinkering with things to try to improve traffic flow in that area of the city, discussions have increased since the Ohio Department of Transportation released a crash study on that area with recommendations on how to improve traffic flow and safety there.

But there's only so much that can be done by tinkering with traffic signals. Traffic engineer Kevin Westbrooks says that you can make the light stay green longer at the end of the exit ramp, but then that turns SOM into a traffic-jam nightmare.

During a discussion of traffic issues at Wednesday's safety committee meeting, Councilman Ed Kraus said that they simply don't have the room in that area to find an easy solution.

"We just don’t have the capacity, that’s the bottom line," he said. "We don’t have the capacity on the ramp, and we don’t have the capacity on SOM.

"The lack of capacity definitely comes back to haunt us during that rush hour time," he added.

Discussions between the city and ODOT have revealed some possible fixes. ODOT's study suggested a detector up on the entrance ramp that can trigger a green light at the intersection if traffic reaches back that far.

Solon is also making improvements to the intersection at SOM and Aurora roads to improve flow through that intersection. It's unclear how much that will impact traffic farther north on SOM.

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