The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Dr. Jack Marchbanks and Governor Mike DeWine announced on Friday the details on $121 million in new traffic safety projects for Ohio.
"A top priority of my administration has been making travel in our state safer - particularly at Ohio intersections that are known to be dangerous," said Governor DeWine. "Studies show that roundabouts significantly reduce the likelihood of serious or deadly intersection crashes, so we're investing in these projects today to save lives in the future."
According to ODOT, from 2017-2021 there were six traffic deaths at Ohio roundabouts, compared to 1,126 deaths at signalized traffic stops or stop controlled intersections.
“Roundabouts save lives. They reduce severe crashes, move traffic more efficiently, and are cheaper to maintain than signalized intersections,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.
The funding aims to support project development, right of way, and construction of 50 projects in 31 counties around the state. In addition, other projects include safer pedestrian crossings, traffic signal upgrades, and turning lane improvements.
The funding will be awarded through ODOT's Highway Safety Improvement Program which has grown to become one of the largest traffic safety programs in the country. Governor DeWine announced in May $51 million in traffic safety improvement projects to address an increase in pedestrian-involved traffic crashes and fatal roadway departures on Ohio roads.
These grants are another step in Governor DeWine's comprehensive plan to improve the safety of Ohio's roads. In 2019, he directed ODOT to put focus on improving 150 of the most dangerous intersections in the state. This year, he announced an increase in Ohio's yearly funding allocation for local bridge projects by $47.5 million for the next five years.
To help address unintentional motor vehicle crashes, which are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers and young adults in Ohio, Governor DeWine also launched the "Ready, Test, Drive!" virtual driver assessment program to more accurately assess new drivers' road readiness and help identify skills needing improvement. In 2020, Governor DeWine formed the Ohio Traffic Safety Council to coordinate and monitor all statewide safety initiatives; launched a new work zone traffic enforcement plan in coordination with the Ohio State Highway Patrol; and awarded grants to juvenile courts to help them give young drivers more access to advanced driver training.