BEXLEY, Ohio (WCMH) — The cities of Columbus and Bexley are working together to improve safety along one of its shared corridors, where numerous crashes have taken place over the years.
The area is a section of East Livingston Avenue next to I-70 with both on and off ramps.
Several ideas were presented during a meeting between the two municipalities Wednesday, with the goal of slowing down drivers in the area.
“Early in the morning, 5 o’clock in the afternoon, you can get hit crossing the street,” said Cecil Gulledge, who lives along the stretch of road.
The two cities are trying to improve the portion of East Livingston between Nelson and James roads. It’s a little more than a mile and a half long.
“Speed is definitely an issue — I see about three or four accidents every day,” Gulledge said.
The consultation group for the city presented options during Wednesday’s meeting. A proposed commercial site would maintain five lanes, but would also add new wider sidewalks, potted plants, and benches.
Meanwhile, a residential side proposal recommends narrowing traffic to one lane on each side with a center turn lane, while adding medians further down the road.
“Nobody should live in fear of a car coming through their house, right?” said Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler. “I feel like that’s a very basic starting point.”
The consulting group looked at four years of vehicle crash data and five years of pedestrian data. It found 652 crashes, 199 involving injuries or death, and 437 instances dealing with property damage.
“Overtime, it’s kind of become a busy highway almost for traffic,” Kessler said. “I think the goal here is to reclaim a neighborhood and the neighborhood isn’t Bexley, it’s Berwick, it’s Eastmoor, it’s Bexley, it’s Driving Park, it’s areas east and west.”
It will take time to implement changes with input from the public playing a role in the final plan.
“it’s critical that the two sides agree — have a shared vision, and then together we can implement it, so this is a really important plan,” Kessler said.
There will be one more work session to finalize the plan that is sent to Columbus and Bexley, with the goal of having an option ready for a vote in early 2022.
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