The City of Loveland has been awarded a grant to install an automated traffic signal system at the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail crossing along West Loveland Avenue.
To create the new system, two types of signals will be installed — traditional overhead traffic light signals for vehicles and traffic light signals designed for trail users. The system will deliver automatic traffic control and establish “Right of Way.”
Currently, the West Loveland Avenue crossing has a pedestrian-activated flashing crosswalk system, and crossing guards work high-volume events to improve traffic flow through the crossing.
The new system will be coordinated with the “smart” traffic signals already installed at West Loveland Avenue/State Route 48, Second Street/Broadway Street, and West Loveland Avenue/Karl Brown Way. The traffic lights will be able to “talk” to each other through radar vehicular detection, activating a new overhead signal at the trail crossing to ebb and flow with traffic volume.
“Adding the automized signalization at the West Loveland Avenue crossing brings the plan for downtown’s traffic lights full circle. The traffic lights will work together as a network and can adjust within seconds to improve vehicle flow,” explained City Manager David Kennedy.
For instance, when the vehicular traffic lights are red at the West Loveland Avenue/Karl Brown Way intersection (i.e. vehicle traffic is paused), the trail crossing’s signal automatically will be activated for cyclists and pedestrians to pass.
The proposed automated signal system will have LED light signals along the trail for cyclists and pedestrians.
The new signalization is funded through an Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) grant totaling $281,898. It is one of 34 transportation infrastructure projects funded in 2022 by OKI, a metropolitan planning organization responsible for distributing federal money for regional projects.
Because of the technology, the project requires very specific engineering, which the city will do throughout 2023. The city will coordinate with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) throughout the design process. Installation is projected to occur in 2024.
“We anticipate there will be an education period when the signal system is first installed, but this project is a true ‘win’ for pedestrian and cyclist safety, as well as a way to help improve traffic congestion in the downtown area,” Kennedy said.
Historic Downtown Loveland has three trail crossings: Harrison Avenue (near Nisbet Park), West Loveland Avenue (center of downtown), and Broadway Street (near Linda J. Cox Trailside Parking Lot). In recent years, improvements have been made, as allowable. Improvements have included the pedestrian-activated flashing crosswalk system, new signage, and road/path striping upgrades.
For more information about city infrastructure and construction projects, please visit click here.