Traffic is most heavy on High and Main streets, especially at rush hours. Residents are concerned that when Spooky Nook begins attracting 10,000 or more athletes and their families on weekends for tournaments, traffic will worsen.
To help with that, the city in late January told the consultant who is working on the necessary report for North Hamilton Crossing to prepare a report evaluating other east-west options
North Hamilton Crossing, which could cost $75 million or more, remains a priority, and local officials will push ahead with the required engineering and environmental studies for it, Smith said. But he added that Hamilton should be more proactive in asking whether a train underpass or overpass can be built at Heaton Street, a few blocks north of High Street, or Hanover Street, a few blocks south of High.
Other improvements coming
Meanwhile, other improvements are on the way that can help alleviate traffic issues. The most helpful may be the “smart” Centracs system of traffic signals that city staff and consultants can adjust as they see traffic delays developing. Such systems also are so sophisticated, they even can “see” traffic issues developing and can make adjustments on their own.
Mason has had such a system for years, and Hamilton plans to upgrade its 97 traffic signals for $5.25 million, with $4.2 million coming through the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, and the other $1.05 million the city’s responsibility.
Design of the traffic system “should be complete sometime in 2021,” Smith said, and he hopes it will be under construction later this year.
Another project is the currently under-construction reworking of the intersection of Main Street with Cereal and Haldimand avenues, which will improve traffic flow and crash on Hamilton’s West Side.
After that, the next intersection to receive safety improvements will be Hampshire Drive and Ohio 129 on the city’s far east side. From 2016 through 2019, the Hampshire/Ohio 129 intersection had 67 wrecks, with almost 48 percent causing injuries.