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Letter: Access, not safety, emphasized by city

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Paul Bissey


Received: Feb. 4

The Jack-in-the-Box article in The Republic on Jan. 5, 2013, indicated that the Bartholomew Planning Commission approved the entrance to and exit from the restaurant to be via 20th Street rather than off National Road because of safety concerns.

That may or may not be true, but at the public hearing in July 2012 there was very little discussion other than National Road was a busy road. If concern for public safety was the reason for moving the entrance, the alternative design may create a more unsafe condition. Whether or not a traffic flow study or a public safety risk analysis was completed as a part of this process, there was no mention of either at the hearing.

The discussion concerning safety was raised by me during the opportunity for public input. By design, the entrance and exit to the restaurant will drive traffic through the residential neighborhoods immediately to the west and southwest of the location.

Traffic to and from the west side of National Road will most likely use 17th Street, Lee Street or Beam Road and 20th Street. This is the most direct route and would prevent traveling on National Road; this is now a popular route to McDonald’s. Autos leaving that want to travel north on National Road will likely take 20th Street to Beam Road to the light at National Road (already a dangerous intersection).

This will prevent them from having to pull into the turn lane to wait for traffic like folks now do leaving McDonald’s. Trucks servicing that establishment will likely use the same paths. These streets (other than 17th Street), have neither curbs nor pedestrian walks and are used by pedestrians, cyclists and both city buses and school buses. If entrance via a new, improved U.S. highway is unsafe, then using residential streets for access can’t be a good idea.

After my comments were made, there was no discussion from the commission regarding the content or any concerns. That is the way the process works.

An article was published in the Jan. 25 edition of The Republic outlining a pending study by the city to evaluate traffic patterns in Columbus, which will include bicycle and pedestrian usage. Hopefully safety provisions will carry a weight higher than convenience of access.

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