ROSSFORD, OH (Toledo News Now) – Casino traffic and parking have already become issues for the city of Rossford. With casino traffic being directed through Rossford, residents said they are concerned about safety.
Glenwood Road in particular is seeing heavy traffic. It is where the city is now directing traffic to Interstate 75.
People who live on Glenwood said they are worried the heavier traffic they already see on the casino's first day will make existing problems worse.
Glenwood runs through two school zones. Rossford School District officials said many students walk to school down Glenwood, which has areas with no sidewalks. People who live on the street said people already speed down the road twice as fast as the speed limit allows. Now the casino is bringing more traffic through the area and more out-of-town drivers who are unaware of the safety concerns.
Rossford Police said they are going to increase patrol along Glenwood over the next few weeks.
The city of Rossford is also taking on parking issues with the casino.
Overflow lots became even more important opening day because Hollywood Casino's garages were full. Rossford Police said providing overflow parking is not just an additional perk, it is their way of protecting the community.
Rossford Police expected 7,000 cars for Hollywood Casino's opening day. They said that is more than twice the amount the casino's garage can hold.
That is where Rossford's overflow parking lots come in handy.
"If they fill up over at the casino, they're going to come here and it's just going to get them off the streets so that people aren't just parking everywhere and taking up spots in places they shouldn't park. I think it's going to get pretty crazy. I mean, we're pretty well-prepared as it is," said Tyler Line, a parking volunteer.
Line and his classmates in Penta Career Center's criminal justice program are handling parking in a lot by Pilkington Company. They are asking people who park there for an $8 donation toward their program. Students said they are not worried about parking fees turning drivers away. They are expecting all 450 spaces to be full by the end of Tuesday night.
"It's going to be overwhelming. I mean, we're going to have a lot of cars, a lot of people probably screaming at us, but I think we'll be fine," said Gabriel Diaz, a parking volunteer.
If that lot overflows, Rossford Police said they have a backup plan. The Rossford School District has given them permission to use the high school lot as an additional overflow parking after school hours.
"They're going to send them all this way. Rather than have them turning around and doing things that might cause other traffic problems, we thought it would be wise to have a couple of backup areas to park them, just in case," said James Rossler Jr., Rossford School Treasurer.
Police hope they will not have to use all their fallbacks, but they said being proactive allows them to maximize any benefits the casino has to offer, and minimize possible damages to their community.