BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County’s first roundabout officially opens Wednesday.
It will help keep traffic flowing through the intersection of Mathews Road and Sheridan Road in Boardman. But neighbors said people have been driving around the barricades for weeks now.
Robert Reber and his kids just moved into an apartment at the corner of the two streets three months ago. As our news crew was talking about his concerns with the new roundabout, they caught Reber’s biggest complaint on camera.
“Here’s someone coming through the roundabout right now. Hey, here they come, alright. This is all the time. It’s mostly in the day, but see, there you go. Now what if my kid was up there,” Reber said.
Reber said this happens on a regular basis and our crew saw it twice in just 45 minutes.
“They move [the barricades]. They just slide right across over there. They were just here yesterday cleaning that up because it was all dirty with the asphalt. People have been driving through here, oh yeah,” Reber said.
His biggest concern is making sure kids in the neighborhood are safe while they’re out playing or riding their bikes.
“Chaos. Just non-stop, waiting for, God forbid, an accident but none, thank God. But it’s just been crazy,” Reber said.
But not everyone thinks the roundabout is a bad idea.
“As long as you skirt the inside, it’s great. I mean, I think it’s so much easier than waiting at a stop sign or a light,” Linda Galka said.
Linda Galka already uses the roundabout in Columbiana and said motorists just have to follow the signs.
“I think this is real simple to understand. I think it’s going to be a good thing,” Galka said.
“What kind of direction is that, three arrows going in a circle?” asked Reber. “This is going to be ‘beep, beep!’.”
Reber says he would prefer the old traffic light to the new roundabout. But Galka is excited for a faster drive to work and no more detours.
“I think that anything that comes new to the area is what we need. Anything. Any development needs to be done,” Galka said.
The intersection has been closed since June 16. It will reopen Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The project cost nearly $700,000 and was funded by federal money and local gas tax revenues.
The Mahoning County Engineer’s Office explains how a roundabout works here.
Reported by Erika Thomas