Input needed on SR 161 study


Staff Report



The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is studying proposed improvements to State Route 161, also known as Dublin-Granville Road, between Sawmill Road and Olentangy River Road. ODOT is working with several partners to study the corridor including Columbus, Worthington, Perry Township, Franklin County, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).

The group believes improvements to the 161 Corridor between Sawmill Road and Linworth Road are needed to reduce congestion and rear-end crashes. Other concerns include improving access for property owners, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will host a public involvement meeting to get feedback on the conceptual alternatives for the SR 161 corridor. The public meeting was held Tuesday, June 6 in Worthington.

Currently, the project team has considered several corridor improvements based on a variety of factors, one of the biggest being the impact to private properties and businesses along the corridor. Other factors include environmental impacts, traffic flow and how the community as a whole will fare if 161 is widened.

Certain stages of project development require public input specifically on the impacts versus the benefit to properties, the environment and community as a whole. Comments from the public will assist the project and help the team identify a Preferred Alternative. That could be widening Route 161 to three lanes as the best way to keep traffic moving and reduce crashes.

The work to get the project team to this first public meeting began last year when the project team formed an Advisory Committee. This committee was made up of members from each jurisdiction, plus neighborhood groups along the corridor. The Advisory Committee met five times between August 2016 and April 2017 to provide input, discuss potential alternatives, and review preliminary concepts for the SR 161 corridor.

It was clear that many members of the Advisory Committee expressed a strong preference for a 3-lane road not five lanes throughout most of the SR 161 corridor. The Advisory Committee also expressed concerns about the anticipated property and environmental impacts of a roundabout at the Linworth intersection and an overpass at the railroad crossing. That is why a roundabout and overpass at the railroad are not being considered.

The Advisory Committee members were in agreement that accommodating pedestrians and cyclists is important, but there was no consensus on the best way to serve these users on the corridor. Several different alternatives that show sidewalks, bike lanes, and shared use paths will be presented at the open house for the public to review and comment.

Following the open house, the Advisory Committee will meet again, review the public comments and recommend the alternatives to carry forward.

Anyone interested in this project is encouraged to attend the open house. Comment forms will be available at the open house or comments can be submitted to Mr. Brian Davidson, District 6 Project Manager, at Brian.Davidson@dot.ohio.gov or Ohio Department of Transportation, District 6, 400 East William Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015.

In order to proceed with the project in a timely manner, all comments must be submitted by Friday, July 7, 2017.

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Staff Report