NORTH BALTIMORE, OH (Toledo News Now) - In North Baltimore, state Route 18 was redirected away from the Wood County village to lighten congestion from the new CSX Intermodal. A unique traffic pattern was added at SR 18 and Main Street, but drivers are still adjusting in its first month.
The roundabout on SR 18 is the first in Ohio that occurs on a state road. The transition for drivers has been gradual, but safe.
The roundabout helps keep new, heavy traffic coming from the CSX Intermodal travel smoothly without backups. It also acts as a gateway for the community of North Baltimore.
North Baltimore Police Chief, Allan Baer, says they needed an officer on site directing traffic for the first couple of weeks. So far police have only issued one citation. There have been no accidents.
With education sessions, and over time, Baer says the locals are adapting.
"It's unique. A lot of residents from this area have never seen a roundabout or negotiated one. But yeah, they're getting it. But there is still about every day, a complaint or two about somebody pulling up and they go left of center or they go the wrong way," said Baer.
The biggest confusion with roundabouts is who has the right of way. Baer says it is simple: Once a driver is within the circle of the roundabout, he or she has the right of way and everyone entering has to yield.