COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — James McClendon uses a pedestrian trail that runs alongside Interstate-670 each week. While driving by at the end of June, something caught his eye.

“I saw an enormous hole in the sound barrier wall,” said McClendon.

And the chain link fence that once framed it was crumpled on the ground.

“I was horrified,” said McClendon. Because he believes a large vehicle crashed through both barriers. “If I was on the bicycle trail at that time, I would be dead,” McClendon said.

But McClendon said he wouldn’t be the only one.

“The other day, last week, I saw a family of about six individuals riding their bicycles. Now, I can just imagine, that family at that area at that time, being hit by a vehicle.”

That realization led McClendon to take a closer look at the trail, and he saw that further down the road, a portion of the path is protected by a concrete barrier. That, McClendon said, is something he would like to see along the entire path.

“I want the pedestrians to feel safe and secure,” McClendon said.

That’s when McClendon called the City of Columbus and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“I just kept getting the same answer, where there was more emphasis put on the drivers on 670, instead of the pedestrians using the bicycle path,” said McClendon.

And when Better Call 4 reached out to those agencies, ODOT echoed that response in this statement:

It is unique for a pedestrian path to be located this close to the interstate, so we are certainly keeping an eye on it. Since the crash, our team of safety engineers are studying this location and discussing options to ensure both the pedestrians using the trail and the motorists using the interstate are protected. Pedestrian safety is a key priority for the department that we have dedicated tens of millions of dollars to recently.  But adding structures alongside the highway also makes it more likely a driver hits it and is injured, which is something we try to avoid when we can.

Thankfully, this does not appear to be a high-crash location. Our crash analysis found only two crashes in the last five years in which vehicles hit the fence and zero pedestrian-involved crashes. As we have been doing, we will continue to actively monitor the area and discuss possible solutions that keep everyone safe.