Panel urges review on lights

Tiffin City Council’s Streets, Sidewalks and Sewers Committee approved a motion to encourage the city administration to consider restoring traffic lights at two intersections.

Council has no input on whether the lights at Glenn and Melmore streets and Perry and Elmer streets go back into use, committee member Lori Ritzler said. City administration has final say in the matter, she said.

The committee met Wednesday night because of public interest in the lights at several recent city council meetings.

Roland Zimmerman of the board of education asked the administration to at least leave lights working until March, when the board is to make key decisions including the requirements of students being bused.

“It’s a lot easier to take something down, than it is to put it back up,” he said.

Zimmerman also said fewer elementary students are walking to and from school with older siblings than in the past because they go to different schools.

Kay Buckner said the intersection at Melmore and Glenn is personal to her because her 5-year-old nephew was killed there.

She said it is very easy for drivers to speed on Melmore Street because there is nothing to slow them down coming off of US 224.

Committee member Joe Hartzell said there were many good suggestions made by the public Wednesday, and he hopes conversation about these lights will lead to more collaboration between the city and schools to make Tiffin a safer place.

“Hopefully we can work together and create a better situation out of something that, right now, doesn’t look too good,” Hartzell said.

Randy Schwartz said even though the Melmore-Glenn intersection is not a school zone, it is still a school crossing area.

He also said money should not be the only reason for removing the lights.

City Administrator Deb Reamer said the city had received several complaints about the lights, which was what led them to consider taking them down. And she said the decision was not made to save money.

City Council President Paul Elchert said there are an equal amount of people happy about removal of the traffic lights as there people against the move.

Mayor Aaron Montz said when the administration was making the decision to take out the lights, there was “very little, if any disruption” about their removal.

City engineer Curtis Eagle said the lights were taken down because they do not meet the code for traffic control signals.

He said a study was done years ago, and it was determined the lights were not warranted by the state.

He said the disadvantages of having unneeded traffic lights include excessive delays, disobedience of the signal indications and increases in the frequency of collisions.