Simple idea could improve dangerous intersection

The intersection of Rybolt Road and Harrison Avenue.
The intersection of Rybolt Road and Harrison Avenue.

GREEN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Changes could be coming to one Hamilton County intersection after dozens of accidents and two deaths.

The intersection at Harrison Road and Rybolt Road in Green Township is already ranked as one of the top five most dangerous intersections in the county. Two families are petitioning to change that.

The Gipson and Urbisci family each lost a child in two separate accidents at Harrison and Rybolt. They know they'll never get their children back, but they want to prevent anyone else from going through what they did.

They say the goal can be achieved through a simple idea: A switch of light structure.

"My life changed that day… I wouldn't want anybody to go through this. Tommy was my only son," said Julie Gipson as she holds the watch her son was wearing when he died at that intersection.

A memorial is now erected at the intersection where the Urbisci family also lost a child four years ago.

"It was supposed to have been another typical day at work, and I received a call at 4:30 in the afternoon from my wife, that had been trying to reach me, that my daughter and son had been involved in an accident," said Michael Urbisci, whose daughter Melissa was killed.

The accidents that killed Melissa and Thomas may have happened years apart just feet away from each other, but despite the difference in time, the fight is still the same. It's the common bond bringing these families together.

Both families met with Hamilton County officials last week to propose their plan to make the intersection safer. The idea, to fix a traffic light, might sounds small but it's a big start.

"If you don't allow them to make that turn and travel this big long distance, whether it be north or south, they're going to be reduced considerably...the accidents," said Michael Urbisci, who has been working for years to implement safe changes to the intersection.

County engineer Ted Hubbard says that right now the only change they're looking to make is changing the southbound left turn on Harrison, into a Kohl's store, a protected light. A protected light means it would only allow turns when the arrow is green.

Hubbard says they're working on analysis to see if the light switch is a feasible idea.

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