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Front Page News

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Here’s an artist rendering of what Catawba Ave. and Delaware Ave. would look upon completion of the island’s first roundabout. The famous Jose DeRivera statue will be relocated to the center of the roundabout, with a brand new water fountain and garden display surrounding it. Only minor portions of existing property would need to be seized by the Village in order to complete the project.

Island Traffic Congestion Solution

The car and golf cart traffic congestion during the summer has increased dramatically these last few seasons, and it looks like the trend of backed-up vehicles on Put-in-Bay’s main street, Delaware Ave., and other parts of the Village won’t end soon unless something is done.

Fortunately, help may be just over the horizon. The Put-in-Bay Village Council has hired a private firm to do a traffic flow study this month.

Officials say they envision at first one or more roundabouts at either the corner of Delaware and Toledo by the Bus Depot, Delaware and Hartford by the Boathouse, Delaware and Loraine in the center of town by the Roundhouse, or one at Delaware and Catawba (pictured above) at the Beer Barrel Saloon, Mojito Bay and The Fishbowl.

Village Administrator Ann O’Jay did not rule out the potential for additional roundabouts. “The eventual goal is to have no stop signs anywhere in the Village so traffic is always moving,” she told our Gazette beat reporter. She says there is a potential for roundabouts at the corners of Toledo and Bayview by the Monument Visitor Center, Hartford and Bayview, at Bayview and Catawba by the Boardwalk and Mossbacks, at Bayview and Victory Avenues by the Crew’s Nest, and lastly at Erie Street and Catawba where the Reel Bar is located.

The new roundabouts should solve the traffic problems, but there are a few drawbacks. The biggest one is that property will have to be seized by the Village through Eminent Domain. One Councilperson told the Gazette, “For example, the one at the corner of Delaware and Catawba would require the taking off the corner portions of the Beer Barrel Saloon and Mojito Bay, plus purchasing both the corner of DeRivera Park and part of the lot next to the Fishbowl.”

On a brighter side, in pre-preliminary discussions, the Garden Club has agreed to put flower plantings in the center of any and all roundabouts the Village decides on. “Put-in-Bay will be a world-class flower garden menagerie when all is done,” said past Flower Club president Barb Hunner from Fox’s Den.

After the traffic study is done in April, the efficient new Council will make a final decision in May about which roundabouts they want. The project will be bid out in June and construction on the first one will begin in July.

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An aerial view of the proposed roundabout on Delaware and Catawba Ave. in downtown Put-in-Bay.

In A Related Matter

Island Twp. Trustees are also concerned about traffic problems in their portion of the island. They recently voted to increase the speed limit on Langram Rd. between the Lime Kiln Dock and downtown from 35 mph to 55 mph. By speeding up traffic they hope to move people faster so they have more time to visit more island attractions, bars and restaurants, instead of being stuck in slow traffic. The BayZette has championed a speed limit increase on all island roads and believes this an important first step.

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Island visitors will love thes golf cart pontoon boats that will be for rent on the island this season. Watch for more detailed info in next month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette.

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