City Eyes New Traffic Signal at Proposed McDonald’s
City officials hoping to address residents’ concerns over traffic, safety.
Looking to address residents' concerns, the city of Lakewood hopes to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Woodward and Detroit avenues — the site of a proposed McDonald’s.
City officials submitted an evaluation this week to the Ohio Department of Transportation, recommending a signal at the intersection.
But the signal’s need isn’t based on motor vehicle traffic.
Dru Siley, the city’s planning and development director, said it’s the pedestrian traffic — mostly by students — that makes a signal necessary.
“We’re nowhere near the car volume (required), but with the pedestrian volume we feel that we have a good cause to warrant a school crossing,” he said.
The city is asking ODOT to pick up most of the tab for the proposed signal — which would be included in the city’s comprehensive traffic synchronization project. The city would still shoulder $20,000 of the $120,000 cost.
But if the city doesn’t get ODOT approval, it would not likely pursue a traffic light at the intersection, Siley said.
“There’s no guarantee that ODOT will agree with our findings, but we feel we have a strong case,” he added.
Many of the residents who protested against the proposed McDonald’s on Wednesday night were unaware of the city’s plans.
Fran Storch, who lives on Woodward Avenue, said she still has concerns about the two curbs cuts on her residential street of about 100 homes.
“They have two entrances and two exits on a residential street,” she said. “That just doesn’t make any sense to us at all.”
The Detroit Theatre — at 16409 Detroit Avenue — has been on the market for years with a price tag of $695,000, but gained little interest. With declining attendance in an industry that has struggled to remain financially viable, the Detroit Theatre closed the curtain earlier this year after 87 years.
That's when McDonald's became publicly interested in the property.
Last month, at the city’s planning commission meeting, McDonald’s officials sought to combine two parcels of land at the site and obtain a conditional use permit to allow an accessory parking lot in a residential district.
The vote was postponed. However, the commission is set to meet again at 6:30 tonight.
Siley said the city is also working to address concerns about speeding on the 25 mph street.
“We look forward to working with the residents,” he said. “We’re working on the issues ... It’s going to take some creativity. We have to look for what’s best for the residents on Woodward.”