Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sheffield Lake Gets Its First Traffic Light – December 1964

Back in the mid-1970s, when I first learned how to drive, my father cautioned me about speeding through Sheffield Lake. "You can get away with going five miles over the speed limit,” he said, “but one more mile after that will get you a ticket.” He warned me that it was especially risky to speed in the vicinity of the shopping center, because that’s where the police sat waiting.

I never forgot that advice.

Well, actually I guess I did – because I got a ticket right in front of the Shoreway Shopping Center just a couple years ago!

Anyway, I recently found this article about Sheffield Lake getting its very first traffic light back in 1964. And since any post about Sheffield Lake gets to go to the front of the line (since I live in that fine city), here’s the article, which appeared in the Journal back on December 11, 1964.

And where was this light located?

For that you'll have to read the article. But not too fast there, Bub.

1st Stop Light Up in Sheffield Lake

SHEFFIELD LAKE – The first stop light in the history of this municipality was erected at SR 6-2 and 301 yesterday.

“The light is for our children.” stated Councilman Al Fuhrman, chairman of the safety committee, who initiated action on the matter at council three months ago.

He explained that many youngsters will be using the new Domonkas Library while their mothers were shopping in the center across Lake Rd. and the pedestrian traffic would be heavy.

“We felt there would be many fatalities at this intersection if there was no protection,” Fuhrman added.

The light will be used as a blinker for two weeks, until drivers become accustomed to it. Then it will be placed on the regular, routine lighting system.

Members of the safety committee also felt that bathers in the park would benefit from the light.

The city will also install a light at Harris Rd. and Lake Rd. The red light and accompanying siren will be on only when fire trucks are entering Lake Rd. traffic.

Firemen will then radio back to the station to have the light turned off. When they return from their emergency calls, firemen will radio ahead to have the light turned on again.

On Sunday, a patrolman will manually operate the light to alleviate traffic congestion after church services. This light was designed by Safety Director Myron Piggott.

What a difference 53 years makes.

Since that time, the designation of State Route 301 has been moved about 2 miles to the east and is now Abbe Road. The small bathing beach park has been paved over, and is now the boat launch.

And the biggest change of all? The traffic light mentioned in the article was taken down in the last few years.


Anonymous said...

Reading this reminded me to ask about the brick, "garage-like" building that sits at the corner of Lake Rd. and Sunset. It looks quite old. Do you know what it was?

Dan Brady said...

Yes, that used to be the fire station.


James Jablonski said...

Got my first speeding ticket not far from that spot. No more "friendly warnings" after that.

Lisa Marconi said...

Thank you for the heads-up in maintaining the speed limit in that area. About two or three times a month, I drive west on Lake Rd (starting at the corner of Sloane and W. Clifton in Lakewood) and head toward Fligner's, then head back home the same way. For some very odd reason, I enjoy traveling WAY west on Lake Rd., taking in the old buildings and shopping plazas. It's comforting to me and I don't know why. Anyway, I really enjoy this blog! Keep 'em coming!

Dan Brady said...

Hi Lisa! Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you like the blog. That is a nice drive from Lakewood to Lorain, full of interesting sights. I’ve written about a few of them on the blog: the Lakewood Manor Motorist Motel, now the Days Inn; the Harbor View Motel; the Close Quarters, etc. That drive is really terrific during the Christmas season; I do it myself at least a few times when the Christmas lights are up.