The goal of the proposed State Route (SR) 741 project is:
- Reduce the congestion on the roadway
- Prevent additional cut-thru traffic in the adjacent residential neighborhoods
- Decrease congestion as well as cut-thru traffic in other areas of the City
In 1973 construction began on the “Mason By-Pass” Road connecting US 42 to Kings Mills Road allowing traffic to bypass downtown to get to the Interstate. Traffic counts predicted for 1996 were 8,500 vehicles per day while actual counts were over 13,000 vehicles per day in 1996. In 1997 construction began on widening SR 741 between Parkside Drive and Kings Island Drive and the replacement of the 4-way stop at SR 741/Parkside Drive intersection with a traffic signal. At the time traffic counts projected for 2016 was 18,100; today’s and actual count exceeds 20,000 vehicles per day.
Today the SR 741 corridor is a major arterial roadway for residents commuting to and from Cincinnati and Columbus, for employees of businesses located in Mason and for visitors to some of Mason’s local attractions. For over 10 years the City has projected and prepared to fill a growing need for additional improvements to State Route 741, applying for funding through grants and continuing periodic traffic counts in the area.
The current intersection configuration causes confusion to drivers looking to continue on SR 741 due to the turn movement required. This results in accidental cut-thru traffic westbound on Parkside Drive and southbound on Kings Mills Road. The majority of the over 21,000 vehicles traveling that roadway daily are making a left at the intersection of State Route 741/Kings Mills and Parkside. This significant left turning volume, which has the highest probability for injury crashes, increases delay at this intersection.
That intersection today is a Level of Service C. Issues along that corridor of SR 741 include:
- Traffic backups during morning a.m. and p.m.
- Need for an additional signal timing adjustment at the intersection
- Growing number of rear-end accidents at the intersection (20 crashes in 2015)
- Problematic Kroger weave
- Increase in number of trucks entering Parkside Drive
- Increase in cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods (Kings Mills Road, Mason Morrow Milgrove Road, Stone Ridge, Forest Ridge, Marble Ridge to Parkside Drive)
Additional development north along US42 and SR 741 – including several residential developments currently under construction, anticipated commercial development both within and outside the City, as well as future development of vacant land on SR 741 between Parkside and I-71 will all increase traffic pressure along this route.
The City has been exploring several options for improvements along SR 741 that would meet traffic projections for the next 20 years.