Chagrin Falls works to keep pedestrians safe from cars at ‘messy’ intersections

Councilwoman says city will look at more safety precautions
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 12:11 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 12:14 PM EST
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CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (WOIO) - Sixteen accidents involving pedestrians in the last five years has prompted the city to act at the intersection of North Main Street and River Street

“It’s dangerous,” said Debi Walkden.

“I think there’s way too many close calls,” said Mandie Wilson, echoing Walkden’s concerns.

People walking through the quaint downtown around the scenic waterfall while tourists and residents drive on the narrow streets has prompted permanent “No Left Turn Signs” from River onto North Main, addressing the problem of people getting hit in the crosswalk.

“We’re down here a lot and we’ve seen several times people doing the crosswalk and cars just zipping by,” said Walken.

“I’ve been a little nervous myself and I don’t cross that unless I know for sure people are stopping and not turning,” Wilson seconded.

Robin Schwind has worked at Chagrin Falls Hardware beginning in 1968 and he said the intersction needed to be fixed, not just with temporary measures during the busy times.

“You’re not trying to cross two lanes of traffic doing a left-hand turn when everybody wants to go right,” he said.

Councilwoman Angie DeBernardo has championed the safety effort and says the city will discuss other changes at the Safety Committee meeting on February 13. But the initial change has gotten good reviews.

“You can walk around down here without being worried about getting run over by a car,” said Hannah Kepple.

“For years, a lot of them said there were no problems but, yeah, there are problems and they gotta be fixed or at least addressed somehow,” said Schwind. “A lot of people walking, a lot of people not looking, a lot of people driving and not looking either.”

“We have kids here, there’s a lot of dog walkers, a lot of families,” according to Walken. “It’s a big enough crosswalk people should recognize it.”

There will be no reconfiguring of the quaint streets in the historic downtown so safety measures will provide the only solution.

“If it keeps people safer, do what you gotta do,” said Kepple

The city will try to make these safety concerns water under the bridge.