By Sandi Latimer
Plans for a new park on West Broad Street were discussed on Oct. 16 by the Westland Area Commission (WAC).
WAC member Shawn Thomas said long-range planning as begun with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. Thomas will serve on the advisory committee, which will meet monthly to hear project updates and collect residential feedback.
The commission has advocated for an area park for several years. The city of Columbus owns land in the Westland area where the park is being considered, according to WAC members. One of the ongoing obstacles is funding.
City officials said they also want to build a community center, but have not decided on a final location site. The park and community center would feature a soccer field and a walking path along West Broad Street.
Thomas said Greene Countrie Park is still without sufficient lighting. Residents voiced concern about safety at the park.
I-270 construction near completion
WAC member Bill Steimer said construction on I-270 from Route 62 to Roberts Road is near completion. Over the past two years, the state has spent $80 million to repave the highway and widen bridges, he said.
The commission also discussed the Conrail Railroad on Hilliard-Rome Road.
“We’re going to have to have something over the railroad tracks,” he said. “The areas on both sides of the tracks are growing and at some point we’re going to have a life threatening situation.”
Over the years, residents have complained about lengthy trains and occasional stopped locomotives that tie up traffic.
Steimer encouraged the commission to continue pursuing residents between the Conrail Tracks and Roberts Road to become WAC members.
“I don’t want to see people in Columbus get police and fire protection, but not have a voice,” he said.