BEXLEY, Ohio (WCMH) – The cities of Columbus and Baxley are working together to improve safety along one of its shared corridors, where many accidents have taken place over the years.
The area is a section of East Livingston Avenue off of I-70 with access and exit ramps.
Several ideas were presented during a meeting between the two municipalities on Wednesday, with the aim of slowing down motorists in the area.
“Early in the morning, at 5 in the afternoon, you can be hit while 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 over a mile and a half long.
“Speed is definitely an issue – I see about three or four crashes a day,” Gulledge said.
The city’s consultation group presented options at Wednesday’s meeting. A proposed commercial site would retain five lanes, but would also add new, wider sidewalks, potted plants and benches.
Meanwhile, a residential side proposal recommends reducing traffic to one lane on each side with a center turn lane, while adding medians further down the road.
“No one should live in fear of a car driving past their house, right?” Said Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler. “I feel like this is a very basic starting point.”
The focus group looked at four years of vehicle crash data and five years of pedestrian data. It found 652 accidents, 199 involving personal injury or death, and 437 cases involving property damage.
“Overtime has kind of become a very 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 Eastmore, it’s Bexley, it’s Driving Park, it’s the east and west areas. “
It will take time to implement the changes with input from the public playing a role in the final plan.
“It’s essential that both sides agree – have a common vision, and then together we can implement it, so this is a really important plan,” Kessler said.
There will be another working session to finalize the plan which is sent to Columbus and Bexley, with the aim of having an option ready for a vote in early 2022.
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