Local residents fed up with constant speeding
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Sunbury Meadows Drive resident Jeff Gibson and several of his neighbors attended last Wednesday’s Sunbury Village Council meeting to ask council members if they could do anything to slow traffic on their street.
Gibson and his neighbors live close to the Sunbury Meadows entrance on Ohio 3. He said residents living at the far end of Sunbury Meadows Drive are travelling along the 25 mile-per-hour road at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. They know, because one resident has a radar gun used for baseball purposes.
“It’s a 25 mile-per-hour zone,” Gibson said. “There are kids in the area, and there have been close calls in the past. We’ve brought it to the attention of the police department. They’ve been seen in the area but seldom write citations. We should not have to police our neighborhood.”
Gibson said he and his neighbors would prefer to have three-way stop signs installed at neighborhood intersections to slow traffic, and also stop signs and marked crosswalks at the developments two existing school bus stops where Sunbury Meadows Drive intersects with Mill Run Drive and at the Saffron intersection.
Gibson said when residents yell at drivers to slow down many of them respond with obscene gestures, even when children are present; and in at least one case, Gibson said, a physical threat was made.
“We don’t want to divide our neighborhood, but we don’t want to see a child hit,” Gibson said.
Sunbury Village Administrator Dave Martin explained that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has rules about using three-way stops for traffic control. Martin said that the village could have the intersections examined by the village engineer for safety issues.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield promised Gibson, et al, that he would give his personal attention to addressing the issue.
“I can assure you that nobody (on village council) is going to wait for someone in your neighborhood to get hurt,” Hatfield said. “I will sit down and discuss this with Mr. (David) Brehm (village solicitor) and (Sunbury Police) Chief (Pat) Bennett.”
In other business, council members approved a $9,005 purchase order to outfit the village’s two new police cruisers with public safety equipment.
Council members approved Ordinance 2012–13 and Ordinance 2012–14 changing the village’s No Right Turn on Red restrictive hours to accommodate the school district’s new three-tier busing schedule. There will now be No Right Turn on Red from 6:50 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., and from 2:10 p.m. to 4 p.m. on all days when Big Walnut schools are in session.
Council members also approved a motion to increase the restricted hours lettering on the intersection signs to 3.5 inches to make them easier to read.
Martin reported that following the June 29 storm the village maintenance crew was busy removing broken and fallen limbs from trees on the square and other village-owned properties.
Martin said village employees have been crack sealing village streets. In-house crack sealing is saving village dollars, Martin said; but the crack-sealing project has been slowed by the additional work caused by storm damage.
Martin also reported that AEP is using the Nestlé property as a staging station for the new Vassell Substation east of the village; because of the recent train derailment, explosion and fire in Columbus, Rumpke Waste collection would be one day late because Rumpke’s truck yard is in the evacuated neighborhood; and somebody cut the chain off a valve and opened it at one of the village’s up-ground reservoirs, causing it to overflow.
“We’re discussing installing surveillance cameras in a couple of locations around the village to keep people from doing pranks like this,” Martin said.
Hatfield thanked the village’s summer employees and employees of the village maintenance and streets department for preparing the village for Independence Day; and Sunbury Police Officers for their work in making the village’s Fourth of July Celebration run smoothly and without incident.
“We’re going to continue to use our summer help to spruce up the parks and not spend a lot of money,” Hatfield said.
One final note: Council members approved paying $3,025 (plus water costs) to C-Contract Sweepers & Equipment to sweep the village’s 30-plus miles of curbed streets. The village’s curbed streets have not been cleaned since 2008. When the cleaners are in town streets will be marked with No Parking signs as needed; and beware – towing is an option.
Sunbury’s website is located at < sunburyvillage.com >.
Sunbury Village Council meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m., third floor council chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. Council committees meet one hour before regularly scheduled council sessions. All village council and council committee meetings are open to the public.