MIAMI TWP., Ohio (WDTN) - Austin Boulevard is one-of-a-kind in Ohio and the gateway to one of the prime developments in Montgomery County.
While some drivers tell us it's made their lives easier, others are honked off.
When community leaders cut the ribbon on Austin Boulevard two years ago, it represented more than a decade of planning and a 22-million dollar investment, paving the way for growth in and through southern Montgomery County.
But fast forward to today, and there are those who tell you they're suffering from growing pains.
"It seems to be too many things going on at once,"said Jared Thiergart, motorist.
What is happening here at the intersection of Austin Boulevard and state route 741 is exactly what community leaders want to see happen.
Buildings are going up. There's a hustle and bustle that spells growth and jobs and the last thing anyone wants to do is put the brakes on progress.
"We have more development at this stage of the game than we ever thought we'd have," said Paul Gruner, County Engineer.
At the crossroads of development is the first and for now,only continuous flow intersection in Ohio.
The "2 leg" version includes special "indirect" left turn lanes designed to keep cars moving in all directions. The reviews from drivers are mixed.
"I don't like it." Kristin Blatz finds it confusing, but that's not the only reason she avoids taking her children that way.
"It says it's continuous flow but I don't see how it's continuous flow when you have to wait and wait at lights."
Like Kristin, Shaun Greggersen is a parent. However, Shaun finds the continuous flow intersection helpful when he takes his kids to his mom's house. "I can literally get here on Austin take all the way to Paragon, straight shot. I can go straight on 725 too but this is such a more relaxing drive a good segment of it and not stoplight every 50 feet and people jammed up your bumper," said Greggersen.
Drivers like Shaun aren't intimidated, but Kristin isn't alone either. So, we checked to see if the Austin Boulevard area is a dangerous destination.
2 News on Assignment looked at traffic reports from both Miami Township and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Here's what we found.
-3 Austin Boulebvard intersections are on the townships list of "top ten" crash hot spots for 2011.
-Coming in second with 15 crashes is Austin at 741... one less than on Austin at I-75 75.
-The state reports since 2010, there have been of 45 crashes at the intersection of 741 and Austin Blvd.
7 resulted in injuries, 38 in property damage. No one died.
Craig Eley, an ODOT engineer, is an expert on this intersection. He told me it's safer than the alternative.
"One of things the CFI does do is it reduces the left turn angle crashes which are the severe crashes," said Craig Eley, ODOT engineer.
Remember, drivers turning left can travel at the same time as those moving through the intersection. There's no conflict. What there is, is traffic, much more than what was expected.
ODOT says about 45,000 vehicles travel through the intersection each day.
So, some drivers feel stuck.
ODOT and the City of Springboro believe that one of the reasons there's congestion at Austin Blvd and 741 is because people are trying to avoid this area, the construction going on right now on State Route 73 and once this is done they believe traffic will be flowing even better through the continuous flow intersection.
ODOT says there is another lane in the works... likely to be designed early next year and completed within two years.
"You'll be able to bascially continue through the intersection without stopping. It will be a continous movement.
Pam Elliot: So those folks getting off the interstate who want to travel home to Springboro will be able to do so without stopping," said Eley.
Eley says the funding isn't available right now to upgrade the Austin intercgange, but the Montgomery Transportation Improvement District has been known to help.
Steve Stanley is in charge. "My guess is it will be a cooperative multi-party effort to move it forward as rapidly as possible."
If you would like to let ODOT know what you think of this intersection or any other project, you can go to the ODOT website and look for district 7. Then look for the word "feedback" at the bottom of the page. Click that and you will be able to write your comments.
ODOT told me because of comments from drivers, engineers actually changed the timing of some signals and enlarged signs at the continuous flow intersection.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa's president says Nelson Mandela has died.
Two people were arrested in Preble County Thursday accused of stealing anhydrous ammonia.
2 NEWS questioned ODOT about the reconstruction of U.S 42 and if the specific intersection is posing a risk to drivers.
A winter storm is moving toward the Miami Valley today and Friday. A Winter Storm Warning is already in effect for Thursday night through late Friday night for most of the area.
Storm Team 2 is ready with our action plan to get you safely through the storm.