Engineering Consultant Says Rothrock is Principal Road, Not Residential
URS engineer Eric Smith testified in the Copley v. Fairlawn Rothrock Road trial Friday.
Eric Smith, an engineer with URS Corporation, said Friday that Rothrock Road is serves as a major thru-way into and out of the Montrose area. Smith testified Friday in the Copley v. Fairlawn Rothrock Road trial in Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty's court.
Smith, who was integral in creating several traffic impact studies regarding Walmart's relocation to Rothrock Road, was called to the stand by Jacob Pollock's attorney Jordan Berns. Pollock is suing Fairlawn for its plan to barricade Rothrock Road at Sawgrass Drive.
Berns went over several exhibits with Smith, one of which was the zoning code he helped the city of Fairlawn develop for its zoning code. In the code, URS helped classify different types of roads in the city, namely arterial roads (most heavily traveled) and collector roadways, which are broken down into general collector and residential collector roads.
Rothrock Road is classified as a general collector, Smith said, because it links to arterial roadways and it can handle an average daily traffic volume between 3,000 and 10,000 cars per day.
A residential collector does not link drivers to major roadways, has a lower speed limit and can handle less traffic, Smith said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation classifies Rothrock Road as an urban local road, which Smith does not agree with.
"In order to be an urban local road, you have to meet three criteria under ODOT," Smith said. "The road has to provide access to adjacent land and it has to provide access to higher systems. The third is that it cannot carry through traffic. Rothrock Road fails in that regard."
Smith's traffic study said there are approximately five cars per minute traveling down Rothrock Road. If Walmart were to build, that would increase to 10 cars per minute and the road would be at 18 percent of its capacity.
"It's not that many cars," Smith said. "I'm not here to tell you how long it takes emergency vehicles or anyone to respond to the area. I'm saying there's no way to get back to state Route 18 without Rothrock Road if Cleveland-Massillon were closed for some reason."
Fairlawn's lawyer Stephen Funk asked Smith if he agreed that the southern part of Rothrock runs through a residential neighborhood.
"No, I don't," Smith said. "It runs around it. We're not concerned about what the road is called or classified as, we're concerned about what the road can do."
Smith continued, "Rothrock Road is not minor in terms of its usefulness. It's a major access route to that commercial area. It is no less important than any other road. For me it's a principal route in my daily travels."