Roseanne Martinez has lived at the corner of Secor and Bancroft Roads, just over the border from Toledo, for almost 30 years.
She and her husband were married in the backyard. They raised four kids there. Every Sunday, they walk right across the street to attend church at Hope Lutheran.
But Martinez found out recently she might lose her home — or at the very least, a big part of her yard — to a road widening project. The City of Toledo and the neighboring upscale suburb of Ottawa Hills are planning to widen the residential stretch of Secor Road, adding roundabouts, 12-foot lanes and maybe even a turn lane. Martinez’s house and about 13 others are in the crosshairs.
“I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under us,” Martinez said of learning about the project. A roundabout would bring traffic almost up to her front door. Now she’s not sure she can sell, and if she stays, and the house isn’t demolished, her quality of life might be ruined.
“We’re long-time members of the community,” she said. “We were really blindsided. “
This $12 million widening project isn’t all bad. Replacing a couple high-crash intersections with roundabouts would be a legitimate win for safety. And the plan calls for adding a sidewalk on the east side of the road.
But the lack of concern for surrounding residents and intense focus on providing wide lanes for car traffic is troubling residents like Dana Dunbar, an Ottawa Hills resident who has also lived in Toledo’s Old Orchard neighborhood. Dunbar says she thinks the city is missing a big opportunity, potentially undermining one of the healthiest residential and commercial areas in the region.