City to improve road safety

Columbus is adding stop signs and lowering a street speed limit to improve safety.

Columbus Board of Works members on Tuesday approved installing an all-way stop at Brooks and Illinois streets. Board members also reduced the speed limit on Poshard Drive between Central Avenue and Middle Road from 40 to 35 mph.

The proposed changes were among seven requests the city received over the last several months to install all-way stops, reduce speed limits and implement parking restrictions on certain streets, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer. No changes were recommended at the other five locations the city received requests about, Hayward said.

Those included a request to install no parking signs on Eighth Street between Franklin and Lafayette streets; installing stop signs at the intersection of 10th and Michigan streets, at the intersection of 19th and Midway streets and at the intersection of Spring Valley and Willowbrook drives and reducing the speed limit along County Road 400N.

Criteria such as traffic counts, speed limits, accident data and physical site visits are among the items used to determine whether a change is warranted. Traffic studies are also performed at each respective location, he said.

“Safety’s the number one thing we’re looking at,” Hayward said. “You need some compelling reason to spend the effort to look at it.”

The intersection of Brooks and Illinois streets is located a half-mile away from CSA Fodrea Elementary School and is controlled by stop signs for eastbound and westbound traffic, Hayward said. He also recommended placing school speed limit signs of 20 mph on both sides of the street.

Poshard Drive has had four accidents in the section being targeted by the speed limit change in the past three years, Hayward said. Three of those accidents involved disregarding a stop sign or failing to yield. The city will install additional speed limit signs along the street.

To request the city engineering department look into additional signage or lowering speed limits, call 812-376-2540.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com