Miami University and city of Oxford receive $1M ODOT highway safety grant


Median islands provide a pedestrian refuge and discourage mid-block crossings. Islands like these being constructed on Patterson Avenue will be part of safety improvements on High Street.

By Kristal Humphrey, university news and communications

Daily there are 55,000 cars that go through Miami University’s Oxford campus and 86,000 people who cross the roadways. These and other findings from a 2016 traffic study led Miami to develop a plan for enhancing pedestrian safety.

The university and city of Oxford were recently awarded a $1 million highway safety grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation for safety enhancements on the High Street portion of U.S. Route 27.

The project is Phase 2 of the plan that resulted from the study, which also found that the majority of crossings are on High Street (29,000 per day) and the second highest number occur on South Patterson Avenue (17,000 per day).

There were 188 reported crashes on campus roadways in two years, with 32 percent resulting in injuries. Sixty percent of those with injuries were on South Patterson Avenue.

Miami approached Oxford with its proposal for improvements and joined with the city to seek the grant. Since Oxford is the jurisdiction that has authority, the city needed to submit the application, but Miami will provide the 10 percent local contribution needed.

The improvements include creating median islands to discourage mid-block pedestrian crossings. The number of crossings will decrease from five to two and each will include a refuge island and flashing beacons.

Phase 2, High Street section: construction to begin in 2020

Phase 2 includes enhancements on the High Street section between Patterson and Campus avenues. Oxford and Miami will lead the design phase, and construction will be managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation during summer 2020.

Phase 1, Patterson Avenue section, construction to be finished before Move-In Day

Phase 1 involves safety improvements on Patterson Avenue between Chestnut Street and Western Drive near Shriver Center.

Construction on pedestrian islands and landscaped traffic calming islands started earlier this summer. Patterson is expected to reopen Aug. 23.