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The Village of Rogers at the crossroads of Routes 7 and 154 in Columbiana County is literally a one-traffic light town.
It’s probably best known locally for the weekly open-air flea market held there.
In recent years, the community of approximately 260 people has been struggling thanks to state funding cuts and a shrinking tax base. There are no full-time employees on the village payroll and its part-time, one-man police department was disbanded in March.
But the village has a serious traffic problem.
“The traffic just flies down through here. The semis, we’re all probably guilty, just like everybody else,” said Rogers resident Billie Lewis.
“I have walked plenty of times to Save-A-Lot and the dollar store from where I live, and walked down here, and the traffic, yeah, no one hardly does 35 miles an hour,” said resident Marsha Harig.
And that’s in spite of posted 35 mph speed limit signs. Residents said the speed problems seem to be worse in the afternoon.
But recently, Village Council members agreed to look for a company to install, and then maintain, a traffic camera right in the middle of town.
The mayor said the idea would pay for itself and provide an extra $20,000 a year for the village. But officials hope once it’s in place and the word gets out, drivers will pay attention to it.
“It would get people to slow down coming into town and coming down off the hill. Tend to have a lot of people coming in real fast,” said Amber May of Middleton Township. “People are trying to get home. They tend to go a lot faster then and that’s the worst time because then you have the little kids that are running around just out of school. We’ve got so many little kids around here in the neighborhoods and they walk all over.”
While the area has seen plenty of traffic over the years, neighbors said the recent oil and natural gas boom has added even more heavy trucks to the roadway. They’re hoping the camera will keep things from getting too dangerous.
“Somebody’s gonna come through here and not pay attention. Don’t have to be speeding. You’re gonna pull out, hit one of these tri-axle trucks, you know, that can be the end of it,” said village resident Mark Altomare.
The mayor said she hopes once the camera is in place later this summer, drivers will realize it’s there and start slowing down on their own.