BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Braving the traffic on Route 224 in Boardman can be a driver’s worst nightmare during the holidays, but it is something police and firefighters deal with every day.
Sergeant John Allsopp with the Boardman Police Department said Route 224 from the mall to Poland is one the busiest traveled in the state of Ohio.
All that traffic, especially around the holidays, can be a challenge for emergency crews. Delia Lample of Springfield said she has seen the problem first-hand.
“There was a fire truck trying to get through and there was no room for it to get through between all the traffic,” Lample said. “It just squeezed through and they were just able to get over enough to let it pass by.”
Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer advises drivers to pull to the right when they can but realizes that’s not always an option.
“We just ask you to kind of stay put if in that case you really can’t pull right because there are other cars next to you. Just sit tight and we will maneuver around,” Pitzer said.
Lieutenant Nakia Hendrix with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Route 224 is prone to accidents. Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 4 there were 51 crashes – the most in Mahoning County.
“Most of our crashes are people rear-ending each other or someone trying to make it through the light at the last minute,” Hendrix said.
Both OSHP and Boardman police will have extra patrols through New Year’s Day to help traffic move smoothly and watch for impaired and distracted drivers.