Joint News Release
October 18, 2016 – The Blendon Township Police Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation continue to work together to make an intersection on the northeast side of Franklin County safer.
‘Target enforcement signs’ have now been installed in both directions of State Route 161 between Sunbury Road and State Route 3.
The signs are one more way police and ODOT are trying to get folks to slow down and avoid distractions as they travel through the area via Interstate 270, Route 161 or local roads.
In August, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission released its list of the most dangerous intersections in Central Ohio. The intersection of State Route 161 and Buenos Aires Boulevard made the ‘top 20.’
Blendon Township Chief of Police John Belford has been working, at meetings and on social media, with the neighbors who live near the intersection. “We are a small community with a big problem,” Belford said. “I was amazed at how fast ODOT was able to get resources here to help us. Our goal is to work in partnership with the State and with the local community to get this intersection back to an acceptable level of safety.” Belford said.
The Blendon Township Police Department has also received a state enforcement grant that will be used for extra police officers on this section of roadway. The goal of the extra enforcement is to reduce crashes and get impaired drivers off the road.
ODOT shared with police that there is already a safety study underway for the State Route 161 and Buenos Aires intersection. That study will examine crash data, signage and pavement condition as well as other factors.
While there is currently a ‘prepare to stop when flashing’ sign on Rt. 161 before the intersection, ODOT plans to upgrade and install additional signs at the intersection before the safety study is concluded. This includes adding a ‘signal ahead’ sign before drivers reach the Strawberry Farms/Buenos Aires intersection.
ODOT’s safety study and recommendations are expected to be completed by spring of next year.
Contact: Chief John Belford, Blendon Township Police Department at (614) 882-8500 or Nancy Burton, ODOT District 6 Public Information at (740) 833-8063