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Commission seeking sidewalks
For members of the Southwest Area Commission, the lack of sidewalks is a constant safety issue.
According to the adopted Southwest Area Plan, major roadways such as Brown, Dyer, Gantz, Hart and Stimmel roads Harmon Avenue and Harrisburg Pike, do not have sidewalks on either side of the street.
For public safety reasons, residents and commission members have expressed a strong desire to see sidewalks in place at these locations in the near future, and the commission is prepared to get the ball rolling by writing letters to the Franklin County Commissioners and Columbus City Council members encouraging them to implement these safety measures as soon as possible.
“I think it would be good to get our name in the hopper for capital improvement projects,” said commissioner Clyde Miller.
Before they could draft the letters, the commission discussed which roads they feel should be given a higher priority for potential sidewalk installment.
“I feel the focus should be along Frank Road and Brown Road,” said Vice-Chairperson Jennifer Miller. “These are two heavily trafficked areas and public safety is paramount.”
Commissioner Ralph Horn concurred with Miller’s sentiment.
“I think Brown Road needs to get done as quickly as possible,” he said. “It is too heavily traveled and very dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
After Frank and Brown roads, commissioners feel future sidewalk installments should include Gantz Road, the strips along Hardy Parkway devoid of sidewalks, and areas near Finland Elementary, Finland Middle and Franklin Woods Intermediate School, which are also without sidewalks.
Clyde Miller noted it could get tricky when installing sidewalks in residential areas because, in some cases, residents are asked to foot the bill.
“I want there to be sidewalks for that area (by the schools), but I’m leery of doing it unless someone is picking up the price for the people,” he said.
Resident Don Parsons suggested the commission inquire about Safe Routes to School, a national program that uses federal funding to construct new bicycle lanes, pathways and sidewalks near elementary and middle schools.
“I think that would be a plus for the whole community,” Parsons said.
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