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Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker has announced that effective April 4 the de-facto speed limit for all county highways within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is 35 mph.
A press release posted on the engineer's office website states speeding vehicles has long been a safety issue within the park where pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists comingle with motor vehicles along curvy and hilly county highways. The change in speed limits was authorized by House Bill 455. The previous prima fascia speed limit was 55 mph in the unincorporated portions of the National Park.
"While drivers, riders and pedestrians will still need to use common care and caution within the park, at least we will now be able to post the county's park roads at a more reasonable speed limit," Brubaker said in the release.
While many National Parks have speed limits established by the park commissioner, the roadways within Cuyahoga Valley National Park are the responsibility of the state, county, townships, and cities and therefore their speed limits are governed by the Ohio Revised Code.
This revision to the Ohio Revised Code will only affect county highways since the township highways within the park are already posted at 35 mph or less and the prima fascia speed limit within municipalities is already 35 mph.
Brubaker stated the speed limit change will also have positive economic and environmental impacts. Setting a standard speed limit will minimize the need for costly speed reduction studies.
In addition, the Federal Highway Administration requires different designs for high speed roads when utilizing federal funds to make highway improvements.
The 35 mph speed limit will greatly reduce the need for expensive and environmentally damaging roadway alignment modifications. The dollars that would otherwise be used flattening the hills and smoothing the curves can be used to improve the safety of the highway facilities for all park users by providing paved shoulders for pedestrians, cyclists, and hikers to avoid vehicular traffic.
In 2015 it was reported that the tourists visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park created a $144 million dollar benefit to the area. A safer speed limit will make the National Park a more enjoyable tourist destination and create a positive economic impact in Northeast Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly is commended for making this change a reality.
Affected roadways are as follows:
Valley View Road from the Cuyahoga County line to Chaffee Road
Chaffee Road from SR 82 to Valley View Road
Highland Road from Cuyahoga County line to Boyden Road
Brandywine Road from Highland Road to Boston Heights corporate line
Riverview Road from Cuyahoga County line to Peninsula corporate line
Boston Mills Road from Black Road to Riverview Road
Boston Mills Road from Richfield corporate line to Black Road
Columbia Road from Black Road to Riverview Road
Black Road from SR 303 to Columbia Road
Brush Road from Richfield corporate line to Black Road
Townsend Road from Cuyahoga County line to Richfield corporate line
Wheatley Road from Revere Road to Everett Connector
Revere Road from Everett Road to Wheatley Road
Everett Road from Revere Road to Everett Connector
Everett Connector from Everett Road to Wheatley Road
Everett Road from Everett Connector to Riverview Road
Riverview Road from Cuyahoga Falls corporate line to Peninsula Village corporate line
Akron-Peninsula Road from Cuyahoga Falls corporate line to Peninsula Village corporate line
Northampton Road from Akron-Peninsula Road to Cuyahoga Falls corporate line
Quick Road from Akron-Peninsula Road to Cuyahoga Falls corporate line
Kendall Park/Truxell Road from Akron-Peninsula Road to Akron-Cleveland Road
Ira Road from Kemery Road to Cuyahoga Falls corporate line
Bath Road from Shade Road to Cuyahoga Falls corporate line
Yellow Creek Road from S. Revere Road to Cuyahoga Falls corporate line
Sand Run Road from Akron corporate line to Yellow Creek Road