The Ohio Turnpike logged another record year in traffic volume in 2017.
This is the third year in a row the turnpike has broken traffic records, with a total of 55.2 million vehicles traveling the tollway last year, up from 54.9 million in 2016, according to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.
The increased number of vehicles, however, did not lead to more traffic issues. The commission reports that the number of fatalities from crashes dropped in half from 12 in 2016 to six last year. It also reports the roadway remained free of traffic jams 99.84 percent of the time in 2017.
“With our continued focus on safety and efficiency, it’s especially satisfying to see a significant decline in fatalities and an increase in our free-flowing traffic,” said commission Executive Director Randy Cole. “Our customers expect a better way to travel without delays and we look forward to exceeding expectations again in 2018.”
The commission attributed the improved statistics to the following:
- Increased use of night-time work in construction and maintenance zones when traffic volumes are lower, which keeps more lanes open during daytime travel;
- Increased enforcement by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, including aerial enforcement of speed limits in construction zones;
- Use of dynamic message boards to slow vehicles in construction zones;
- Increased communication with drivers on zone notifications and the importance of safety, including driving without distractions, observing the speed limit and driving appropriately during inclement weather;
- Installation of LED speed limit warning signs in lanes at busy toll plazas (Exits 71, 161 and 218);
- Reduction of credit card transaction times as a result of a new credit card software processing system installed in 2016.