By Lance Mihm
MINSTER -- About 20 village officials from the Minster and New Bremen areas discussed a plan to create uniformity, from speed limits to landscaping, on state Route 66 between the two villages.
Focus on the area became evident during a community needs survey conducted by the village of New Bremen in 2002. Many citizens expressed concern about traffic problems on the two-mile stretch of roadway from Ohio 119 in Minster to the Amsterdam Plaza in New Bremen. Speed limits vary and a large amount of commercial growth has made for dangerous intersections along the route, village officials have said.
"One of the things we have heard most often since the beginning of this process is that there is a lack of a consistent speed limit," Randy Mielnik, an associate with Poggemeyer Design Group, told village officials meeting Monday.
The group, which includes officials from New Bremen, Minster and German and Jackson townships, hired Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green in June to develop a plan for the state Route 66 corridor. A $10,000 Community Development Block Grant was secured to help pay for the development plan, with each village putting in another $1,000.
Mielnik said points to be addressed in the plan would include speed, traffic control, pedestrian movement, urban design, land use, zoning and landscaping/aesthetics. He said Poggemeyer likely would recommend limiting access from side roads and limiting curb cuts to control traffic flow. Spots for new traffic signals also would be identified.
Mielnik also said a stop light is expected to be proposed for the state Route 119 intersection in Minster.
Further improvements possibly could include a bike path, pedestrian areas, sidewalks and a uniform zoning code along the corridor.
"Obviously we are looking at a fairly long-term plan," he told the officials. "Something that will keep conformity 20 years down the road."
Poggemeyer has set a Dec. 1 deadline for presenting a rough draft of a plan and will schedule another public meeting in December or January.