Holiday Shopping Season: Parking Lots Are Riskier Than You Think

Auto insurers report the number of claims spike on Black Friday and run above normal throughout the holiday shopping season……………..

More than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries. And, around the holidays, parking lots become even more dangerous.

Auto insurers report the number of claims spike on Black Friday and run above normal throughout the holiday shopping season. The number of incidents is probably higher than insurance claims indicate, as many fender-benders go unreported.

So Many Distractions

Thousands of pedestrians end up with broken bones, tissue damage or even worse because of cell phone or other distractions in parking lots.

In a National Safety Council public opinion poll, 66% of drivers nationwide said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. Respondents also said they would:

  • Program GPS systems (63%)
  • Text (56%)
  • Use social media (52%)
  • Send or receive emails (50%)
  • Take photos or watch videos (49%)

NSC found teens (59%) were more likely to engage in personal grooming than adults (53%) while driving in parking lots, but less likely to be on the phone (60% vs. 66%).

During the hectic holiday season, drivers and pedestrians also are likely to be distracted by extensive to-do lists and are hurriedly trying to get from one place to another.

Stay Alert

Safety isn’t guaranteed just by driving slowly in parking lots. Following are some safety tips for drivers courtesy of the Oswego (IL) Police Department:

  • Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across lots
  • Drive slowly and use directional signals
  • Anticipate the actions of other drivers
  • Obey stop signs and no-parking signs
  • When backing out, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians
  • Watch for small children and parents with baby strollers

Tapping into Technology

NSC analysis of government data indicates more than one-third of pedestrian deaths in parking lots result from backup incidents. Many vehicles today are equipped with backup cameras, which provide a wide view behind a vehicle operating in reverse, but that view may not be clear if the camera lens becomes obstructed.

Three safety reminders:

  • It’s best to conduct a quick, 360-degree walk-around before backing, keeping an eye out for low-lying objects
  • Don’t rely completely on technology; look over your shoulder and use your mirrors as you back up
  • When parking, pull through on arrival whenever possible and if it works with the flow of traffic

Monitoring systems can alert drivers of vehicles in blind spots. Typically, drivers are warned of another vehicle’s presence via symbol, sound or vibration. These systems may not detect motorcycles, smaller objects or people, however.

Other Parking Lot Pitfalls

Inadequate pavement striping, potholes or cracks, lack of signage, debris, poor lighting, puddles, and snow and ice also can lead to pedestrian injuries. Slips, trips and falls are common in parking lots, and falls in general are the leading cause of death for older adults.

Choosing the right parking spot can go a long way toward deterring theft and crime. Consumer Reports provides some simple safety rules:

  • Pick spots that are well-lit and close to stores you will be shopping at
  • Lock your doors
  • Store purchases in places that are out of sight (in the trunk or tucked under dark-colored blankets)

Large parking lots, such as those found at shopping malls, are considered most vulnerable to crime, according to the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center. One way for consumers to steer clear of trouble is to pick a lot where pedestrian traffic is restricted and video surveillance equipment is used to monitor the facility.

Source: National Safety Council

I – 75 Construction Update at Findlay – Nov. 22

Beam setting originally scheduled for this week will now close U.S. 68 ramps next week…

LIMA (Nov. 22, 2017) – The following impacts to traffic related to the reconstruction and widening of Interstate 75 through Findlay and Hancock County are occurring or scheduled to occur in the coming weeks:

Dates to Note: 

Nov. 22

All work which could affect traffic will cease today at noon and will resume at 6 a.m. Monday in observance of Thanksgiving.

-I-75 southbound exit ramp to U.S. 224 will open by noon today, entrance ramp from U.S. 224 to southbound I-75 reopened last evening.  (details below).

Dec. 1-3

-I-75 southbound ramps at U.S. 68/state Route 15 will close during setting of bridge beams for the new flyover ramp (details below).

Interstate 75

Interstate 75 both northbound and southbound from south of the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange to county Road 313 continues to be reduced to one lane through the work zone for construction of bridge piers for the future flyover ramp at the interchange.

  • The restriction is in place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night.
  • Two lanes in each direction on Interstate 75 are maintained during daytime hours.

The Interstate 75 northbound lanes from the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange to county Road 99 have been shifted to the right onto the outside shoulder.

  • Two lanes of traffic are maintained during daytime hours. Some nighttime lane closures will continue.
  • The legal speed through the work zone is reduced when workers are present.
  • Speed limits are displayed via electronic message boards which display the legal, posted speed through the zone.

I-75 southbound from just south of the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange to county Road 99 is operating in a contraflow traffic pattern, meaning one lane of southbound traffic is traveling on the northbound side of the interstate, separated by barrier wall, at various locations through the zone.

  • The far right, southbound lane of Interstate 75 is now traveling on new pavement next to the median wall.

U.S. 68/State Route 15 Interchange with Interstate 75

On Dec. 1, 2 and 3, the I-75 southbound entrance and exit ramps at U.S. 68/state Route 15 will close during setting of bridge beams for the new flyover ramp over the railroad and over the existing I-75 southbound to U.S. 68 loop ramp. The ramps will close beginning at approximately midnight on Dec. 1 and will close each of those days at midnight until 5 a.m. the following day:

  • Entrance ramp from U.S. 68/state Route 15 to I-75 southbound
  • Traffic will be detoured to I-75 northbound to state Route 12 back to I-75 southbound.
  • Exit ramp from I-75 southbound to U.S. 68/state Route 15 (loop ramp)
  • Traffic will be detoured to state Route 12, Main Cross Street in the city of Findlay, and state Route 37 in the city of Findlay back to U.S. 68/state Route 15.

The exit ramp from I-75 northbound to U.S. 68/state Route 15 (exit 156) closed June 19 for approximately three years.

  • Traffic is detoured north to the state Route 12 interchange to Interstate 75 southbound back to U.S. 68/state Route 15. (see map)

The exit ramp from I-75 northbound to U.S. 68/state Route 15 remains open.

State Route 12 interchange with Interstate 75

  • All exits at the state Route 12 interchange are currently open.

U.S. 224 interchange with Interstate 75

The southbound entrance and exit ramps to and from Interstate 75 at U.S. 224 closed mid October. The entrance ramp from U.S. 224 to I-75 southbound reopened the evening of Nov. 21. The exit ramp from I-75 southbound to U.S. 224 will reopen by noon today.

·       Traffic on Interstate 75 southbound wishing to access U.S. 224 will continue south onto Interstate 75 to the state Route 12 interchange to Interstate 75 northbound back to U.S. 224.

·       The northbound ramps at the interchange remain open.

Related Construction

River Road and Howard Street

  • River Road and Howard Street, north and south of the Blanchard River beneath Interstate 75, are closed periodically as needed through late fall during reconstruction of the bridge carrying Interstate 75 over the Blanchard River.
  • Access to all residences and businesses will be maintained.

Harrison Street over Interstate 75

  • Harrison Street over Interstate 75 closed May 15 for approximately nine months for reconstruction. Traffic on Interstate 75 in the area of Harrison Street will be restricted to one lane at times for work related to the reconstruction of the bridge.
  • Placement of the concrete deck on the bridge is complete.
  • Access to the Oakwoods Nature Preserve during the closure of the Harrison Street overpass will be available at all times during construction by accessing county Road 144 from the north via Sandusky Street.
  • By contract, the bridge is scheduled to be closed until February 2018 but could potentially be open by the end of the year.

Service road construction

Construction of a service road off Lima Avenue connecting to Lake Cascades north of the U.S. 68/state Route 15 interchange is under way.

  • The vast majority of the construction is complete.
  • Final tie-in to Lima Avenue will occur in the third and final year of construction in 2020.

Noise wall construction

Construction of noise walls is under way.

  • Construction of the foundations for the wall has begun in the south end of the project area on the east side of the interstate near Harrison Street and is proceeding to the north.
  • Construction of all noise walls is expected to be completed in July 2018.

About the Hancock I-75 project:

Interstate 75 will be reconstructed and widened beginning just south of Harrison Street/County Road 144, which is just south of the U.S. Route 68/state Route 15 interchange, to the county Road 99 interchange, Findlay, Hancock County. The project will reconstruct approximately five miles of the existing four lanes of Interstate 75, construct an additional lane of travel in each direction, replace all mainline bridges on I-75, replace the Harrison Street overpass, redesign and reconstruct the interchange between U.S. 68/state Route 15 and Interstate 75, and redesign and reconstruct the interchange with U.S. 68/state Route 15 at Lima Avenue. The project also includes the construction of noise walls at particular locations. Expected completion is May 2020. Beaver Excavating, Canton, serves as the general contractor.

Project information may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/hancock75

Tax Reform Survey

For Ohio families and small businesses, complying with our nation’s confusing tax code can be a nightmare. It’s tens of thousands of pages of complicated provisions that often take tax software, an accountant, or a lawyer in order to comply.

For Ohio families and small businesses, complying with our nation’s confusing tax code can be a nightmare. It’s tens of thousands of pages of complicated provisions that often take tax software, an accountant, or a lawyer in order to comply.

More than 31 years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed an overhaul of our tax code that paved the way for economic growth, higher wages, and more American jobs. Unfortunately, much has changed in the last three decades and our tax code has fallen behind the times.

We’re working in Congress on legislation to fix our broken tax code and provide relief for middle-class families.

While the bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, there is more work to be done. I want to hear your thoughts on this legislation.

Click here to take a survey and weigh in on tax reform.

NB Veterans Slide Show 2017

North Baltimore School put together a slide show of NB veterans compiled from photos submitted by students and the community.

North Baltimore Schools put together a slide show of NB veterans compiled from photos submitted by students and the community.

More that 140 photos were submitted to NB High School!

Thank you to all for your service and sacrifices!