For informational/historical purposes only.

NEWS RELEASE
The Ohio Department of Transportation & The Office of Governor Bob Taft
August 11, 2004

 

TAFT OBSERVES IMPACT OF TRUCK TRAFFIC IN NORTHERN OHIO
Focus is to develop strategies to move truck traffic from rural routes to the Ohio Turnpike 

(COLUMBUS August 11, 2004) - Governor Bob Taft today participated in an airborne tour of several routes in northern Ohio to observe safety and congestion impacts caused by truck traffic using routes parallel to the Ohio Turnpike.

 I was able to see first-hand how the increase of truck traffic and congestion is creating an increasingly unsafe environment on our northern Ohio highways, said Taft.  By moving trucks to the turnpike, we will reduce the truck traffic on these smaller routes, improve safety and shrink congestion levels that often gridlock many of our northern Ohio communities.

 The governor directed Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor, Executive Director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission Gary Suhadolnik and Ohio Highway Patrol Superintendent Paul McClellan to consider the following strategies:

  • Increase truck speed limit to 65 miles per hour on the turnpike and monitor for any negative impacts on traffic safety.
  • Increase enforcement of truck weights on routes which parallel the Ohio Turnpike.
  • On a trial basis, implement a toll reduction program, which guarantees debt quality for the turnpikes bond holders, while providing a meaningful toll reduction to truckers.

 Ohio is the transportation crossroads of our nation, and truck traffic is vital to our economy, said Taft.  However, to accommodate this traffic, we need to move the trucks traveling throughout northern Ohio to the turnpike one of the states safest and most reliable routes.

 The governor discussed his vision to improve safety and mobility on routes parallel to the Ohio Turnpike in news conferences at the following locations:

  • Camp Perry:  Truck volumes on State Route 2 in Ottawa County have doubled from 1,500 trucks daily to 3,000 trucks daily since the late 1990s.  The route was the site of a horrific recent accident that killed a family of six. 
  • Bellevue:  Bellevue has been hurt economically and aesthetically by the noise, congestion and fumes generated from the 5,000 trucks that travel daily on U.S. Route 20 through the citys downtown.
  • Troy Township, Geauga County:  During the past 10 years truck volumes on U.S. Route 422 has grown from 600 daily to 2,300 daily.

 This most recent announcement continues the governors focus on providing Ohio with a safe and efficient transportation system.  Last year, the governor unveiled a 10-year, $5-billion Jobs and Progress Plan to rebuild Ohios transportation network.  In 2000, the governor initiated the Railroad Grade Separation Program to build a series of railroad/highway overpasses to deal with growing train traffic.

Related Support Material:

Northern Ohio Truck Traffic Fact Sheet
html or pdf 
(87 Kb)

25- Highest Fatal Accident Rate Sections: Rural Principal Arterial Roads
html or pdf
(68 kb)

Turnpike Diversion Routes: Truck Volumes Before and After Ohio Turnpike Toll Increases
html or pdf
(72 Kb)

Map:
Non-Interstate Routes With More Than 2,500 Trucks Per Day and Highest Two-Lane Crash Rate Locations 
pdf
(699 Kb)

Chart:
Ohio Truck Traffic Growth
Truck Vehicle Miles of Travel
pdf
(30 Kb)

Chart:
Annual Truck Growth Rate by Route
1994 - 2002
pdf
(68 Kb)