Newspaper Record of XXXXX/JACOBS in Avon,
1-1-06 to 6-2-06

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A public meeting on the proposed I90 interchange will be held on 1-19-06 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Road. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by email until 2-3-06.

1-4-06 Proposed I90 interchange recommendations from Avon Lake

1-5-06 Proposed I90 interchange recommendations from Citizens

1-25-06 I90 interchange proposal from Willow Creek

2-18-06 TranSystems recommends interchange at Nagel Road

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 1-18-06, By Julie A. Short

``Local historian weighs in on proposed I-90 interchange

AVON -- Interested parties from all over the spectrum have weighed in on the proposed I-90 interchange in Avon. From residents living in close proximity to some of the options, to neighboring city officials, it seems everyone has an opinion on the subject. No matter where the interchange is placed, if it is placed at all, it will affect someone or something, i.e. land use.

Steve McQuillin, who the city hired in 2004 to assist the Landmarks Preservation Commission in compiling a list of historic properties in the city, sent an e-mail to TranSystems Corp. listing his comments and recommendation regarding the interchange study conducted by the company.

"As the owner of a historic property that might be affected by this project, and as the preservation consultant who nominated the list of Avon Historic Landmarks [some of which may be affected by this project], I wish to provide some comments and suggestions," McQuillin wrote.

McQuillin renovated Dover Farm, 31156 Detroit Road, Westlake, which was built in 1838 for Thomas Hurst (1806 - 1861). Hurst, who settled in Dover Township after 1830 and began a successful sheep farming operation, erected the brick house on Dover Farm as the center of a 3,500-acre farm. For years, Dover Farm was one of the largest farms in the county. [His brother, William Hurst, built Stone Eagle Farm ]

The historian would like the interchange study to include a clearly marked map and list of historic properties along Detroit Road between SR 83 and Crocker, on Chester Road east of SR 83, on Nagel and Jaycox roads north of Detroit Road to the Avon city limits, and on Bradley Road north of Detroit Road to the Westlake city limits.

"The list of properties currently on the National Register of Historic Places is much too limited to serve as a definitive list of historic properties," McQuillin said.

One of the properties is the William Hurst House, a.k.a. Stone Eagle Farm (33065 Detroit Road) that is currently for sale. An interchange on a new roadway could pass close to the property, adding pressure for its redevelopment. McQuillin suggests ODOT could partner with the city of Avon and/or the Avon Historical Society to acquire and rehabilitate the farm for use as a museum.

According to McQuillin, the landmarks list compiled for the commission can serve as a base, but there needs to be a survey of historic properties in Westlake on Detroit and Bradley roads. "It seems reasonable to conclude that a new interchange on I-90 between SR 83 and Crocker Road can alleviate the need to widen Detroit Road in the area," McQuillin said. "The citizens of Avon passed an issue that limits the widening of Detroit Road beyond three lanes in that city, but apparently Westlake has requested funding for the widening of Detroit Road throughout the city to five lanes.

Perhaps as part of an agreement finalizing this new interchange, there can be a determination by ODOT that Detroit Road will not be widened beyond three lanes (or its present width) between Crocker Road and SR 83. Detroit Road should also be designated a scenic byway by ODOT."

The concern is that the creation of a new interchange could threaten historic properties by opening up lands to development. "Westlake has no preservation ordinance that could protect historic properties from development," McQuillin said. "Avon's ordinance provides for only a limited delay of demolition. It seems reasonable that this project could result in an agreement with the two local governments on a list of historic properties of such significance."

Suggestions unrelated to historic preservation include considering a new interchange that is attractively planned with a custom-designed bridge, landscaped approaches and distinctive lighting.

"Perhaps acreage around the interchange could be acquired directly or through easements, to provide more beauty and safeguard against strip development that could impede the free flow of traffic," McQuillin said. "A new north-south roadway might have a grade-separated interchange at Detroit Road, passing below Detroit through an attractively landscaped portal and having just a single drive up to Detroit that does not consume much land and could be landscaped as well. This might also limit strip development on Detroit, as well as provide smooth and quick access to the freeway from points south."

According to McQuillin, representatives from TranSystems have not responded to the email, but he hopes to begin dialogue soon.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-7-05, By Julie A. Short

``Stakeholders compare alternatives for proposed I-90 interchange [on 12-1-05]

AVON -- After almost two years of meeting to discuss a possible I-90 interchange in Avon, more than 60 stakeholders have finally narrowed the alternatives down in anticipation of a public meeting tentatively planned for early January.

Susan Swartz, project manager for TranSystems (hired by the city to conduct the justification study), shared with the audience a list of pros and cons of possible locations, as well as the no build option. Each stakeholder was given an aerial view of the alternatives mentioned. The documents also graded each of the affected intersections for the proposed alternatives.

The possible interchange locations include Jaycox Road, Nagel Road, Napa Boulevard and the recently proposed Chester/Middleton site. Alternatives to building an interchange include upgrading the Crocker Road interchange in Westlake and/or improving the SR 83 interchange in Avon.

The Chester/Middleton option was presented during the Sept. 29 [2005] stakeholders meeting by David Maxwell of the Willow Creek subdivision near I-90.

"Why not create a split interchange?" Maxwell asked in September [2005]. "Half the traffic would exit at Jaycox and half at Nagel and meet in the middle. It would be less of an impact ...

[The Chester/Middleton option would require a "vehicle access" (no private driveways) Middleton from Jaycox to Nagel as a south marginal road to be paid for as part of the interchange project. Middleton could be continued east to connect with Avon Road.

Chester/Just Imagine would be the north marginal road and would be expanded to five lanes to adequately serve Avon's industrial area, the cost being included in the cost of the interchange. Chester/Just Imagine should be connected to Clemens in Westlake.]

"The timeframe for construction to begin is 2008 or 2009, if fully funded locally," Swartz said. "NOACA is currently funding projects for 2012."

As with previous meetings, several residents were in attendance from the Willow Creek subdivision off Avon Road. Some have raised issues regarding health concerns and traffic should an interchange be built in their backyard.

Some audience members questioned the reasons for the study and the need for the interchange in general ... Audience members also wanted to know who makes the decision on which option is chosen.

"This group and the public," Swartz said. "We will make a preliminary recommendation, along with input from the city following discussion with ODOT and NOACA."

Avon resident George Bliss again questioned why the city of Westlake is not more involved in the discussions. According to Swartz, a scheduling conflict prevented Westlake officials from attending the Dec. 1 [2005] stakeholders meeting.

Taylor "Jack" Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, asked Swartz if consideration has been given to a commuter rail line from Lorain through Avon and continuing through Cuyahoga County. "A commuter rail line is no closer to being built than an interchange," Swartz said. "It would cost millions of dollars."

[In other words, the impact of a commuter rail line from Lorain through Avon and continuing through Cuyahoga County has not been considered and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.]

The stakeholders were asked to review the material presented and report back to Swartz with any concerns or issues within the next few weeks leading up to the general public meeting. Information on the upcoming public meeting will be listed in The Press.''

A public meeting on the proposed I90 interchange will be held on 1-19-06 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Road. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by email until 2-3-06.

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A public meeting on the proposed I90 interchange will be held on 1-19-06 from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Avon Senior Center, 36786 Detroit Road. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting and by email until 2-3-06.

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 1-4-05, By Beth Mlady

``City offers interchange opinions to neighbors

AVON LAKE -- Though they hadn't been formally asked by Avon officials for opinions on where a new I-90 interchange should go, Avon Lake City Council members proactively expressed their preferences at the Dec. 19 Collective Committee Meeting. A motion was requested on behalf of the Public Service Committee "to recommend and prioritize the options" proposed by the city of Avon for a new interchange.

The company hired by the city of Avon to perform the analyses, TranSystems Corp., developed seven possible scenarios. Of those options, Avon Lake councilmen prefer:

1) improving interchanges at SR 83 (Avon Belden) and at Crocker Road; and

2) supporting interchanges at Nagel and Jaycox roads.

The motion to be developed by council members will state that they "do not want the interchange at the future Napa Road (because it is dependent on a future industrial parkway) or at the Middleton-Chester interchange.

Options not chosen by council included a "no build option," upgrading the Avon Belden Road intersection, upgrading the Walker and Avon Belden roads intersection, and four alternatives for additional interchanges at Crocker Road, Nagel Road, Chester-Middleton, and an area east of Nagel Road (Napa Blvd. east of Nagel).

Mayor Rob Berner made it clear to those in attendance and to residents watching the proceedings on television that this "is not the actual construction" for which council was putting forth a motion, but an endorsement for "simply a study."

He said later in an interview with The Press that this project is important because "communities don't have moats around them" and thus must work together when issues like traffic patterns and congestion arise. Berner explained that requests for federal funds-money which would be used for the interchange construction-have to be directed through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). He is one of two county mayors serving on NOACA.

Berner also said that "transportation issues are affecting other communities" than just Avon. He mentioned Bay Village as an example of another city that has a stake in making sure this project is done right. Because Avon Lake residents pay taxes to the federal government, Berner said, "it does matter" how the project proceeds.

Councilman-at-large K.C. Zuber said at the Dec. 19 [2005] meeting that "it is good for us to let (Avon City Council) know how we feel about (the interchange)." Zuber later told The Press that letting Avon know where Avon Lake stands on the issue now, even though construction could be as far as six years away, was the right thing to do.

"I think it's a very big, important thing to (residents) because our people have to get out of Avon Lake to get onto the highway. This is the very, very beginning of the process," Zuber said. He went on to say that the Interchange Committee, which has held numerous meetings in past months, will be seeking public input sometime in January.

Both Avon and Avon Lake are only dealing in generalities at this point, but Zuber said they "try to work together" whenever possible. When asked how he foresees the project and the levels of cooperation progressing between Avon Lake and Avon, Zuber, like Berner, was optimistic. "I don't think there will be any problems between the two cities," he said.''

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Interchange Recommendations by Taylor J. Smith, 1-6-06

I would like to second Steve McQuillin 's excellent recommendations shown below. So far, the proposed I-90 interchange study says that traffic will be reduced on Detroit Road. This is very commendable.

1. Regardless of where the interchange is located, Middleton must be built as a "vehicle access street" (no private driveways) from Jaycox Rd. to Avon Rd. as part of the interchange project. Middleton would serve as the south marginal road for the interchange.

2. Chester Rd. (Just Imagine) should be expanded to five lanes as part of the interchage project and would serve as the north marginal road for the interchange. Chester should be connected to Clemens in Westlake. A high level of cooperation between Avon and Westlake is essential if the interchange project is to succeed. TranSystems and the Avon Council should make it a goal to achieve this cooperation.

3. Napa Blvd. should be built from Detroit Rd. to Middleton as a vehicle access street and as part of the interchange project. (See Steve McQuillin's recommendation below: ``3. A new north-south roadway might have a grade-separated interchange at Detroit Road ...'') Careful design to preserve the William Hurst House (Stone Eagle Farm) and grounds should be the highest priority in the construction of Napa.

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Interchange Recommendations by Steven McQuillin, 1-5-06:

Steven McQuillin & Associates, Building Preservation Consultants

31156 Detroit Rd., Westlake, Ohio 44145 (440 899-1200)

To: Susan Swartz, TranSytems

As the owner of a historic property that might be affected by this project and as the preservation consultant who nominated the list of Avon Historic Landmarks (some of which may be affected by this project), I wish to provide comments and suggestions that might be of some value.

1. The study should provide a clearly marked map and list of historic properties along Detroit Rd. between SR-83 and Crocker Rd., on Chester Rd. east of SR-83, on Nagel and Jaycox roads north of Detroit Rd. to the Avon city limits, and on Bradley Rd. north of Detroit Rd. to the Westlake city limits. The list of properties currently on the National Register of Histo ric Places is much too limited to serve as a definitive list of historic properties.

My list of Avon landmarks can serve as a base, but there needs to be survey of historic properties in Westlake on Detroit and Bradley roads. You have consultants who can perform this work, but I am happy to share information and volunteer time to assist on the Westlake survey.

2. It seems reasonable to conclude that a new interchange on IR-90 between SR-83 and Crocker Rd. can alleviate the need to widen Detroit Rd. in this area. The citizens of Avon passed an issue that limits widening of Detroit Rd. beyond three lanes in that city, but apparently Westlake has requested funding for widening of Detroit Rd. throughout the city to five lanes. Perhaps, as part of an agreement finalizing this new interchange, there can be a determination by ODOT that Detroit Rd. will not be widened beyond three lanes (or its present width) between Crocker Rd. and SR-83.

3. Creation of a new interchange could threaten historic properties by opening up lands to development. Westlake has no preservation ordinance that could protect historic properties from development and Avon's ordinance provides for only a very limited delay of demolition.

It seems reasonable that this project could result in an agreement with the two local governments on a list of historic properties of such significance that their continued existence needs to be safeguarded. This could ideally be done by the local governments adopting legislation that provides for their protection.

Of particular concern is the fate of the William Hurst House (NR 9/11/74, 33065 Detroit Rd., aka Stone Eagle Farm), plus its outbuildings. An interchange on a new roadway could pass close by this property, adding to pressure for its redevelopment. The city of Avon lacks the legislative means to protect this property, but could and should do so as part of this interchange project.

4. This project could undertake to nominate eligible properties in the study area (outlined above) to the National Register of Historic Places. This would provide financial incentives for saving these properties such as the rehabilitation tax credit and faC3=A7ade easement programs. There could= be up to a dozen individually eligible properties.

5. Detroit Rd. should be designated at a Scenic Byway in this area by ODOT. Perhaps this project could assist the Avon Historical Society in their planning for this designation as part of historic mitigation for this federally funded undertaking (the new freeway interchange).

6. This would be an innovative concept, but ODOT could partner with the City of Avon and/or the Avon Historical Society to acquire and rehabilitate Stone Eagle Farm for use as a museum. This is a nationally significant historic property that is in need of substantial reinvestment to correct numerous structural problems, although the house survives without substantial alteration.

It would be reasonable for the citizens of Ohio to devote a small part of their highway dollars to such a project, particularly if the community could match any transportation funding through city grants, private foundations and/or local organizations. This option deserves some consideration as the interchange project moves forward, especially if current plans to redevelop the property in a preservation-sensitive manner by the new owners are not realized.

Thank you for considering these issues and I would enjoy the opportunity to provide any assistance in these efforts.

Finally, I wish to add some suggestions that are not related to historic preservation:

1. Consider a new interchange that is attractively planned with perhaps a custom-designed bridge, landscaped approaches and distinctive lighting.

2. Perhaps acreage around the interchange could be acquired directly or through easements to provide more beauty and safeguard against strip development that could impede the free flow of traffic for which this interchange was created. Alternatively, Avon could create innovative zoning here that might assist in the realization of this goal.

3. A new north-south roadway might have a grade-separated interchange at Detroit Rd., passing below it through an attractively landscaped portal and having just a single drive up to Detroit that does not consume much land and could be landscaped as well. This might also limit strip development on Detroit as well as provide smooth and quick access to the freeway from points south.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 1-25-06, By Julie A. Short

``Residents come out to review I-90 interchange options

AVON -- They came, they saw, they commented. Over 280 people attended an open house, conducted by TranSystems, to review several options that are currently under consideration for providing improved access to I-90.

Large aerial photos of proposed options were on display and guests were given the opportunity to direct questions to TranSystems personnel, the Dublin- based consulting firm hired by the city to conduct the interchange/traffic study, as well as several city officials in attendance.

"We are very excited to have such a great turnout," Susan Swartz, project manager for TranSystems, said. "Lots of different areas from Avon are represented, as well as the surrounding communities. There seems to be no clear answer with regards to exactly where to place an interchange, but people definitely have opinions. Every alternative has its pros and cons." ...

David Maxwell, of Willow Creek, offered several options for the interchange, including using multiple options to make it work for all affected parties and not focus ... on just one option that has been studied.

"Putting the interchange at any one 'street' (Jaycox, Nagel, Napa) does not allow for even distribution of traffic," he said. "It concentrates the traffic onto one road. By concentrating traffic on one road we are committing the same mistake that affects Crocker Road ...

Concepts under consideration, along with preliminary costs (excluding other project costs, such as environmental studies or property acquisition) include:

  • No build -- This option would involve no improvements to access to I-90 other than routine maintenance of the existing access points. [Additional off ramp lanes at SR 83 are a good idea.]

  • Upgrade SR 83 interchange ($270K) -- This option would involve minor improvements to the interchange at SR 83, most likely signal timing improvements and an additional turn lane to improve the intersection of SR 83 at I-90 westbound. These minimal improvements are assumed to be included along with any of the other options under consideration.

  • Upgrade SR 83 and Crocker interchanges ($17.6M) -- This option would include minor improvements at SR 83 and the full reconstruction of the Crocker Road interchange, most likely to a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) type, which can move a larger amount of traffic than the current design. This design concept was recommended by a previous study commissioned by Westlake, but has not yet been planned or funded. [George Bliss has recommended a SPUI at the county line, closing the current Crocker Rd. interchange.]

  • Jaycox Road option ($17.9M) -- This alternative would involve construction of a new interchange connecting to Jaycox Road. It is likely that Jaycox Road would need to be improved ["improved" meaning more lanes] between Detroit and Chester roads.

  • Chester-Middleton option ($22.M) -- This alternative, which was suggested during earlier public forums, would provide a new interchange between Jaycox and Nagel roads. A new arterial would need to be constructed to connect Chester Road on the north and an extension of Middleton on the south, which would also need to be constructed as a part of this option ...

  • Nagel Road option ($14.6M) -- This alternative would involve construction of a new interchange connecting Nagel Road. It is likely that Nagel Road would need to be improved ["improved" meaning more lanes] between Detroit and Chester roads.

  • Napa/Avon Commerce Parkway option ($18.1M) -- This alternative would involve construction of a new interchange just east of Nagel Road. Napa Boulevard on the south and Avon Commerce Parkway on the north would need to be constructed to provide connection to the interchange. Napa Boulevard is currently envisioned as a collector street with driveways, but would need to be constructed as an arterial ["vehicle access street" -- no private driveways] between I-90 and Detroit Road if this option is proposed. Both Avon Road and Just Imagine Drive would most likely need to be realigned if an interchange is proposed at this location.

    "The next step is to summarize the public comments," Swartz said. "We hope to have something to present to council by late-February or March [2006]." The deadline for submitting comments regarding any of the options presented is Feb. 3. Send comments to: TranSystems Avon I-90 Study Team, 55 Public Sq uare, Suite 1900, Cleveland 44113 or via e-mail: avon90access@transystems.com.''

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    David Maxwell wrote:

    ``Based on last night's [1-19-06] Open House for the Avon I-90 Access Study I have updated my previous submittal ...

  • The Route 83 improvement should continue all the way into Avon Lake stopping at Pin Oak Parkway. This would allow Avon Lake residents to use both Moore Rd. and Route 83 to access the Route 83 interchange (disperse traffic and manage traffic patterns)

  • Avon Rd. is not only to remain open through Westlake but it is to be improved to properly and safely carry traffic.

  • Construct a connector street between Clemens Rd. in Westlake to Just Imagine Drive (Chester Road) in Avon.

  • Jaycox Rd. and Nagel Rd. are improved by being widened to four lanes going north from Detroit Rd. and funneling down to three lanes a mile south of the railroad tracks ...

  • Chester Rd. is improved by being widened to four lanes (between Just Imagine Dr. and Route 83).

  • The option to place the I-90 interchange between Jaycox Rd. and Nagel Rd. is chosen. At this time, reference the attached sketch to review the details involved.

     I90
interchange proposal

    I 90 interchange proposal by David Maxwell

    North-south roads feeding the interchange are shown in aqua.

    Click here for a larger view.

  • This option creates a new Rd. called Maxwell Way that will connect Chester Rd. and the future Middleton Rd. Eventually, Maxwell Way could be extended North of Chester Rd. to intersect with the proposed Avon Commerce Parkway.

  • This option allows for Jaycox Rd., Nagel Rd. and the proposed Napa Blvd. to evenly disperse the traffic coming out of Avon from the South.

  • Conversely, it will allow Jaycox Rd. and Nagel Rd. to evenly disperse the traffic coming out of Avon Lake from the North.

  • This would relieve the burden on the Sweetbriar Estates development from being used as a cut through which is presently happening and causes great concern for the residents of said development.

  • The Willow Creek development, in Avon, also benefits from this selection since it will deter the commercial creep that would be associated with putting an interchange East of Nagel Rd. The residents of Willow creek do not want our development to turn into a short cut much like the Sweetbriar Estates development, in Avon Lake, experiences now.

    Putting the interchange at any one "street" (Jaycox Rd., Nagel Rd., Napa Blvd.) does not allow for even distribution of traffic. It concentrates the traffic onto one road. By concentrating traffic on to one road we are committing the same mistake that affects Crocker Road ...''

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    COMMENTS on the proposed I-90 Interchange by Laura Rouse 1-31-06

    ``Talk about a rock and a hard place. None of the proposed interchange ideas seems ideal for every person concerned. Choosing one will be a decision that will affect thousands of people and could hurt a good number as well. But what is important is that the pros and cons for each are properly weighted in the consideration of each of the proposals.

    As a resident of Willow Creek it would seem I should say put it as far as you can from us or just improve what already exists. But as I review the numbers it becomes obvious that just improving what exists will not solve many problems and placing it at Jaycox would put another neighborhood in the same situation we are trying to avoid, having the interchange at our back door.

    Though it does not solve all of the problems I would choose the Chester-Middleton option as the best alternative. It solves many traffic problems at intersections; it would help serve the industrial side; it would not have as negative an impact on quality of life; it could help keep a hazardous material spill way from a highly residential area; wetlands impacts could be minimized; and property values could be protected.

  • First of all the new interchange needs to help the traffic in the city, this should obviously be weighed heavily ... The Chester-Middleton or "Maxwell" option will give us improvements at ten intersections.

    At the same time "Maxwell" will only cause two intersections to worsen but this will mean going from a grade of "A" to a grade of "B" not a terrible thing to face. The next closest in number of improvements is the Nagel option however this option will take five intersections down.

  • The city wants to have the interchange support industrial growth, keep this in mind and weigh it -- coupled with least residential impact -- heavily. It is stated in the purpose of the project statement that the city of Avon officials would like to build the industrial area of the city to help support the increasing residents' burden on services.

    The "Maxwell" option will provide the needed service to the industrial area by connecting to Chester. Though this option does require two more turns than some options for traffic to go south but this is a small price to pay for the very big advantage of keeping the interchange away from existing neighborhoods.

    The main purpose of adding an interchange is not stated as getting people south quickly but to serve the industrial area so the extra turns should not be weighted heavily in equation.

    This also stands true for the listed con of not providing direct access to Avon Lake. This main purpose is not to provide direct access to Avon Lake and while this option will not provide the direct access, it will provide closer access for many who live in Avon Lake as they could quickly get to Jaycox or Nagel Roads giving better access than they currently have.

  • This option would allow for the interchange to be built and not be at the back door of either Willow Creek or Avenbury Lakes.

  • This leads me to the next reason the "Maxwell" option would be best. It would not be as much of a burden on the quality of life for residents in the affected areas. I have presented many articles to Transystems stating results from research. This research shows how quality of life can be affected for individuals living in high traffic areas. The areas I am including under quality of life are crime, an increase in trash dumped near interchange, health, and the environment. [Property values and cost should also be considered.]

    Crime: The information about crime is from the FBI website. Every year police departments are required to complete information regarding the crimes that have happened under their jurisdiction and the FBI complies the information to publish Crime in the United States.

    As is stated many entities will use this information and rank cities across the United States. The FBI states these analysis are not entirely accurate because they do not take into consideration the many factors that can contribute either a decrease or increased crime in an area. One of these factors is Modes of transportation and highway system.

    A Westlake police officer in attendance at one of the stakeholder meetings said that an interchange brings more crime into a neighborhood because the criminals want to be able to make a quick getaway. I have an acquaintance who, at one time worked at the Gap in the Promenade of Westlake and she said that store is one of the highest GAP stores in the United States for reported theft because people can come from other cities and easily get on the highway to get away.

    The officer from Westlake told me that right now we may be a small neighborhood but as things grow we become more attractive to criminals because essentially there is more to choose from. More houses to rob more cars to steal, and if there is an interchange near by, an easy way out.

    Trash: I also have an article from the Plain Dealer explaining a study that was done which estimates that 11,772 tons of trash ends up on Ohio's roadways and interchanges each year. The study specifically states that Ohio's interchanges have 392 tons of litter deposited on them each year.

    In an article from the Press it states that boy scouts cleaning Chester Rd. found bottles of alcohol as well as drug paraphernalia and even some marijuana. I would truly hate to have even more of such things dropped so near a neighborhood with so many small children.

    Health: When we built our homes we all knew that we are fairly close to a highway and that can increase the pollution that we are exposed to. However with an interchange there are cars and trucks that are stopping and as they sit they are releasing an increased number of toxins in the air. An interchange in our area would significantly increase the amount of pollutants that will be inhaled by our children and us.

    There is one article that says air pollution can have an adverse effect on lung development in children between the ages of 10 and 18. Air pollution can retard lung development (lungs in healthy people reach their full capacity about age 20) and the potential long term effects of reduced lung function are second only to smoking as a risk for mortality. Another article is on a study, which found diesel exhaust particles, could cause airway inflammation. Another talks about how long-term exposure can cause lung-cancer and cardiopulmonary mortality.

    One article talks of different studies that have been done that show people, especially children, who live close to highways are at increased risk for asthma, heart attacks, lung cancer and leukemia. And yet another article says that men breathing high levels of industrial pollutants and car exhaust may pass pollution linked genetic mutations along to their children.

    There are so many young families in Willow Creek and our children are our foremost concern. Their quality of life is the most important thing to us, their health, their safety and their well being mean more to us than anything. Having an interchange near our neighborhood would affect this greatly. The "Maxwell" alternative takes these concerns one step away from our homes and it needs to be weighted heavily.

    I also spoke with my dad who is the former fire Chief of Sheffield Lake, part of the Lorain County Hazardous Materials Response Team, a hazardous material specialist for the state of Ohio teaching classes across the state, and worked with the NOACA committee stetting up travel routs for transportation of hazardous material.

    According to the study Transystems is conducting 75% of the area zoned industrial in Avon is yet undeveloped. This leaves the potential for a lot of industry to come in and the potential for the transportation of hazardous materials in and out of our area. If there were to be a spill the fire department for the City of Avon would be able to handle the spill but it could take up to an hour for the team to set up and assess the situation. That leaves a lot of time in which we could be sitting in our homes or playing in the yard with our children before we are alerted that there is a hazardous material in the area.

    The potential for a spill is greater with an interchange in the area because around an interchange many people are changing their speed, changing lanes and at times there is stopping on the highway, all increasing the potential for accidents to occur. The "Maxwell" option has the trucks further away from a residential area and hopefully will keep the danger at bay; this ties into the health of residents which, again, needs to be weighed heavily.

    Environment: I also have concerns involving wetlands and other environmental impacts. The Willow Creek neighborhood is built with many areas of protected wetlands as well as a large pond. And Avenbury Lakes is a development that also has acres of wetlands and ponds. Increased pollution in these areas can negatively affect the beautiful wetlands, the water and consequently all of the wildlife living in the area ...

    Property Values: Also very important to all of us would be the impact on our property. We do not plan on moving, ever. But you never know what might happen. An interchange close to our homes could impact our property values. The "Maxwell" option keeps the interchange away from a large number of home owners and would help to protect their properties.

    Finally there is obviously a cost factor that comes into this. But it has been said before that this needs to be done the right way now not done cheaply and try to correct things later.

    Cost: The "Maxwell" option is not the least expensive but the money spent cannot be compared to the health and safety of the residents in the effected areas. In addition to this the money spent is well spent because, again, this option helps the most intersections involved. When considering cost it must be carefully compared to the more important things that are priceless. It is for this reason I would not weigh cost as heavily as some of the other factors involved.

  • [Rebutting the cons listed for the "Maxwell" option:]

    Rebutting one of the cons listed for the "Maxwell" option it states that it does not connect to the planned thoroughfare. Neither does an interchange at Jaycox and nor does one at Nagel but this is not listed as a con for either one of these options. The 'upgrading current interchanges' also do not mention this as a con.

    In addition to this there is nothing that has been said that a new interchange has to connect directly to the planned thoroughfare. To say that the "Maxwell" option not connecting is a con is to push thoughts towards the only one that does connect as being a positive or the way it is supposed to be. This is an unfair way of listing a con to the "Maxwell" option.

    Those are the reasons I think the "Maxwell" option is the best choice. However there are some reasons I feel the Napa and Nagel options would be poor choices. These include some of the same reasons listed above.

    If an interchange were to be built at either Napa or Nagel it would have a great impact on Willow Creek. It would have a negative an impact on quality of life including trash, crime and most importantly health: it could put a hazardous material spill in our highly residential area: wetlands impacts could be vast: and property values could go down. We would also have increased traffic in our area contributing to an increase in the noise and a decrease in safety.

    It seems unreasonable to not look at the possibility of Avon Rd. closing. The city of Westlake has said they want it to happen. If this should happen and there is an interchange at either Nagel or Napa the residents of Willow Creek will be stuck between a closed road and a lot of traffic from the interchange.

    This would make access to the hospital or emergency room difficult for us and makes it difficult for emergency vehicles to get to us when time is most important. In addition to this, if Avon Rd. closing is not part of the plans an alternative at Napa or Nagel could look like a good option but end up a failure due to the closed road.

    There are two schools off of Nagel, and traffic here would be increased if an interchange were to be built at Nagel. Increased traffic could also affect the children's health.

    I would ask the city of Avon to keep in mind the residents of Willow Creek and Avenbury Lakes in their future plans. Is what you are putting on paper what you would want in your backyard? ...''

    [Since property values in Avon depend on how much people want to live here, degrading property values in one neighborhood makes all our property values go down.]

    Top -- Home

    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 2-18-06, by V. David Sartin, Plain Dealer Reporter

    [TranSystems recommends interchange at Nagel Road]

    ``AVON -- A consultant's study paid for by Avon and property owners recommends that a third interchange be built along Interstate 90 in the city.

    It would be at Nagel Road, between the existing Crocker Road/Bassett Road exit in Westlake and the Ohio 83 exit in Avon. The nearly two-year study was a necessary step in the process toward winning approval for a new exit.

    No interchange can be built without approval from federal and state officials and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, a five-county planning group.

    If landowners help pay for the $14.6 million interchange and road widening, the new exit and entrance could be completed by 2012, said Jim Piazza, Avon planning coordinator. If state and federal tax funds pay for the entire cost, drivers should not look for new ramps until at least 2016, he said.

    In Avon, landowners say their plans for new housing, office buildings and industrial sites have been stymied largely because commuters cannot easily get there.

    Ron Twining, community development director for Lorain County, said the eastern edge of the county needs an interchange ...

    For example, the Cleveland Clinic told Avon officials two years ago that it would move its Westlake Family Health Center to Avon if the interchange was built. [Ripping off Westlake will not help keep Avon Rd. open or with connecting Chester to Clemens.] ...

    The city hired TranSystems Corp. of Columbus to look at interchange proposals, including a scheme that would not bring any changes to I-90. About 250 people attended a public hearing last month on interchange plans, and more than 140 submitted written recommendations, city officials said. TranSystems delivered its report to Avon on Thursday [2-16-06].

    At 7:30 pm Monday [2-20-06], City Council is expected to discuss the TranSystems plan, financed largely by donations from the Jacobs Group, Henkel Consumer Adhesives, Donald Brown, Maroon Manufacturing, North Coast Bearings and other businesses ...''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 2-19-06, by Shawn Foucher

    ``AVON -- A new interchange at the Nagel Road overpass on Interstate 90 may be in Avon's future, city officials said Saturday. City Council will consider the results of a two-year engineering study at its Monday meeting [2-20-06, 7:30 pm at City Hall], said Jim Piazza, city planning coordinator.

    The study contends an interchange at Nagel Road would curtail the traffic flow on Detroit Road, for years a burgeoning artery. "We were especially concerned about Detroit Road," Piazza said. "Everyone heads down that way, and lessening the traffic there was a big reason we looked at this."

    [Traffic will increase on Detroit Rd. unless Middleton is constructed as a "vehicle-access" street connecting to Avon Road to create a south marginal road for the the interchange. Chester (Just Imagine) should be expanded to five lanes and connected to Clemens in Westlake to make a north marginal serving Avon's industrially zoned land. These marginal roads must be built before the interchange is put in.]

    In a best-case scenario, construction on the $14 million project could begin in three to four years. Before construction, the city will have to seek the next phase, an engineering design and environmental study. "That could be 12 to 18 months," Piazza said.

    Piazza said he's hoping the city tries to secure private or local funds for the project, such as using tax property money for infrastructure improvements; so it can avoid appealing to the state for help ... Piazza said he's also hoping developers and businesses in the area will agree with the possibility of redirecting property tax money to the Nagel Road interchange. [Why wouldn't they agree to a TIF? Those without 100% tax abatement could TIF to get it.]

    [Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a form of tax abatement that was used, for example, for the Polaris shopping center in Columbus. It will take real estate tax dollars that should go to the schools to help pay for the interchange.].

    The $148,900 study ... was done by engineering firm TranSystems. Other aspects of the study looked at property around possible interchange sites, and Nagel Road was the only location that didn't entail the city gathering up homes through eminent domain [The Chester - Middleton alternative would not have required taking homes by eminent domain].

    That's not to say that the city won't use eminent domain, Piazza said ...''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 2-21-06, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

    ``AVON -- The best option for a new interchange on Interstate 90 in Avon is at Nagel Road, according to the Columbus-area consulting firm hired by the city to study area traffic.

    TranSystems Corp., based in Dublin, told City Council last night [2-20-06] that constructing the interchange at Nagel Road would be the best of seven proposed options for the stretch of I-90 between the SR 83 exit and the Crocker-Bassett Road exit in Westlake ...

    Swartz said the only drawback to the Nagel option would be increased traffic on the already-busy road.

    ''It will substantially increase traffic between Chester and Detroit roads, but only by seven percent [?] south of Detroit Road,'' Swartz said. [What happens to the cars when they arrive at Detroit Rd. from the interchange? Do they disappear into thin air? What will be the effect of large-scale commercial development in the vicinity of the interchange?]

    Avon resident David Maxwell challenged Swartz's conclusions, saying the increased traffic that would result on Nagel Road would be more than the community could handle. [David Maxwell pointed out that Nagel would be a direct connection between I-90 and I-480]

    ''The Chester-Middleton option offers more [opportunity to disperse traffic] than the other three,'' said Maxwell. ''If we put traffic on Nagel, it won't disperse. It'll be another Crocker Road. Five years after it's done, you'll be back here figuring out how to [fix] it.'' ...

    Council President Clinton Pelfrey asked Swartz to rank the other three options for new interchanges.

    Swartz said the second-best was Jaycox Road, next was Chester-Middleton, and the worst was the Napa option, because it negatively affected the most homes.

    Taylor J. Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, said Detroit Road, with many homes more than a century old, needed to be preserved.

    ''Regardless of where the new interchange is located, the important thing is not to destroy Detroit Road,'' said Smith. ''The key to solving the problem is having alternative ways to go from Jaycox to Nagel, besides Detroit.'' [south marginal -- Middleton - Avon Rd.; north marginal -- Chester - Clemens; both interchange marginals opening on Bradley.]

    [Susan Swartz suggested that a Nagel Rd. interchange would serve Westlake while the Crocker Rd. interchange was being rebuilt as a SPUI (Single Point Urban Interchange). If that happens, access at Bradley Rd. will be critical; otherwise interchange traffic from Crocker Rd. will have to move along Detroit to Nagel. By that time, Crocker will also be a direct connection between I-90 and I-480. Traffic from Bay Village would have to move south on Bradley to Detroit.]

    Swartz said City Council must now decide whether to accept TransSystem's recommendation and develop a funding plan. Review and approval will have to come from the Ohio Department of Transportation [ODOT], the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency [NOACA], and the Federal Highway Administration, according to Swartz.

    If Avon can come up with all the money needed for the project, Swartz said, construction could begin between 2009 and 2012.''

    sallyn@morningjournal.com

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 2-23-06, By Mary Davies, Staff Writer

    ``Many options to ease traffic

    AVON -- City Council members have ahead of them a long and laborious task of deciding from a list of projects intended to help alleviate traffic in and around this rapidly growing city.

    Though TranSystems Corp., an engineering firm the city hired to study the area and recommend a project, favors a new interchange at Interstate 90 and Nagel Road, some residents are asking council to consider other options.

    "If we put it on Nagel, it doesn't disperse the traffic as soon as possible," said David Maxwell, a resident of the Willow Creek subdivision, near Nagel Road. "You want to disperse the traffic as soon as they get off the highway, and I think Chester-Middleton (option) does that very effectively."

    Resident Jack Smith told council it must preserve the "Sunday drive" character of Detroit Road. He suggested creating marginal roads to draw traffic away from Detroit and provide better traffic flow to Westlake.

    "Regardless of where the interchange is located, the important thing is not to destroy Detroit Road," Smith said ...''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 2-22-06, By Julie A. Short

    ``AVON -- After years of public meetings and a recent open house to review proposed locations for a possible interchange off I-90 in Avon, Dublin-based TranSystems, hired by the city to conduct an access study, informed Avon city council members Feb. 20 [2006] that constructing a new interchange at Nagel Road would be the best of seven proposed options for the stretch of I-90 between the SR 83 exit and the Crocker-Bassett Road exit in Westlake.

    The first conclusion from the I-90 Access Study, is that a new access point should be pursued ...

    The $14.6 million project (including preliminary construction costs, as well as improvements to the arterial which it connects, but does not include other projects costs, such as environmental studies or property acquisition) was the third-cheapest alternative. [This cost does not include the construction of the north and south marginal roads, which must be a vital part of this project.] ...

    David Maxwell, a resident of Willow Creek located east of Nagel Road, has been a strong supporter of the Chester-Middleton option. ''The Chester-Middleton option has more improvements than any of the four options put together,'' Maxwell. "If you put the interchange at Nagel, it won't disperse traffic. It'll be another Crocker Road, which has already seen five facelifts. Do we want another Crocker Road in Avon? Nagel Road already connects to I-480."

    Council President Clinton Pelfrey asked Swartz to rank the other three options for new interchanges. Swartz began with the worst, which was the Napa Boulevard option because it would negatively affect the most homes. Second best was Jaycox Road, next was Chester-Middleton.

    Avon Historical Society President Taylor J. Smith explained, "regardless of where an interchange is located," it is important not to destroy the character of Detroit Road, where many historic properties are located. He suggested the construction of north and south marginal roads in the area near I-90, which would provide alternative ways to go from Jaycox to Nagel without using Detroit Road. Smith would also like the city to establish better relations with the city of Westlake, which has been silent through most of the I-90 access study.

    The next step in the process is for council members to make a recommendation on which concept to pursue and then develop a funding strategy. Review and approval will have to come from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

    Environmental and preliminary engineering studies will have to be conducted to determine exact layout and extent of improvements, with reviews from ODOT and the FHWA. How these tasks occur, by whom and what timetable, will be determined by the implementation plan and funding strategy. Depending on how the project is financed, construction could begin between 2009 and 2012.

    John Kahl, CEO of Henkel Consumer Adhesives in Avon, was in attendance at the meeting and agreed the Nagel Road option "appears to be the best choice," based on the data presented. ...

    Henkel, along with the Jacobs Group, Bearing Tech, North Coast Bearings, Drug Mart, Jenne Distributors and Wonder Machine donated money to offset some of the costs incurred by the city of Avon for the $140,000 I-90 access study.''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 2-24-06, by Susan Vinella and Thomas Ott, Plain Dealer Reporters

    ``Jackson seeks to end battles over businesses

    Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson wants Cleveland and its suburbs to stop poaching from each other.

    In his State of the City Speech Thursday [2-23-06], Jackson said cities in the region should craft a policy in which they share income taxes when a business moves from one community to another. A good starting point, he said in an interview after his speech, would be a 50-50 split.

    "I think it's fair," he said ...''

    To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: svinella@plaind.com

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 2-28-06, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

    ``Avon picks Nagel I-90 interchange

    AVON -- ... City Council last night [2-27-06] voted to accept a recommendation to build a new highway access at Nagel Road.

    Avon's transportation consultant, Dublin-based TranSystems Corp., recommended the Nagel Road interchange over six other options at last week's City Council meeting.

    TranSystems has estimated that construction on a new interchange, no matter where it is located, probably would not begin for three years under the most favorable conditions.

    After council's vote, Rick Rockrich, a TranSystems vice president, said the firm would submit its report to the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency to ensure the project is placed on the agency's Transportation Infrastructure Plan, which would help with funding.

    The city will now be required to hire another consulting firm to conduct an environmental study of the area. Rockrich said TranSystems will bid to do that study ...

    Some residents in attendance were displeased by council's vote.

    ''I question the judgment of rushing it through,'' said Bentley Park resident Brian Parsons. ''Why do they have their foot on the gas here? Last week they said they would take their time, but now they've accepted the conclusion (that Nagel Road is best).''

    Several residents of the Willow Creek subdivision protested council's vote as an emergency measure, saying not enough time was given to review the expert's report. Willow Creek is the closest residential neighborhood to a possible Nagel Road interchange.

    Eileen Sullivan, who said she has lived in Willow Creek since 2003, said she was disappointed with council. ''I want council to do some critical analysis,'' said Sullivan. ''They need to look at the opinions of all residents who might be affected. There was no discussion and no debate. We didn't get any feedback from council.''

    Willow Creek resident Linda Rouse said she was one of the first to move into the neighborhood, almost three years ago. Rouse asked City Council if the members had seen the complete report from TranSystems.

    ''We, the residents, haven't seen the full report of every option,'' said Rouse. ''If the council hasn't seen it, why accept the expert's conclusion?''

    Pelfrey replied that part of the consultant's job was to summarize the results and make a recommendation.

    ''We hire experts to give us guidance,'' said Pelfrey. ''We trust them to give us a synopsis. Tonight we're just giving them the go-ahead for the next step."''

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    NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle Telegram, 3-1-06, by Stephen Szucs

    ``AVON -- City officials are moving forward with plans for a new I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. City Council agreed to the proposal Monday night [2-27-06], and will now request proposals for engineering and environmental studies ...

    The proposal ... would be located 1,400 feet east of the current Willow Creek development. Avon planning coordinator Jim Piazza said residents of the development are concerned about an increase in traffic and noise.

    The best-case scenario for the project would be for construction to commence in 2009, he said, and conclude 18 months later.

    Council President Clinton Pelfrey said ... that a 12-year wait for state funding may be too long, and suggested the project could be funded through bonds issued on behalf of Avon ...''

    More Documents Relating to the June 8, 1998, Decision Against Avon

    Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon

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