CW looks to upgrade pedestrian safety in its downtown

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Pedestrian safety issues could result in changes to Canal Winchester’s downtown streetscape.

Public Service Director Matt Peoples reported on potential safety changes to a downtown intersection and pedestrian crossing during Canal Winchester City Council’s Feb. 6 meeting.

“As part of the design for the 2023 street program, we started talking about the downtown streetscape,” Peoples said. “It really started with some pedestrian safety issues a couple of years ago. Residents came in with some concerns.”

According to Peoples, in addition to a lack of clear direction regarding crossings at the intersection of High and Waterloo streets and trees heaving up tiles near CornerSmiths, bricks at the bottom of the steps at 10 N. High St. are deteriorating.

Peoples said there are no true crosswalks, just a large depressed curb which he said is inconducive to direct pedestrian routes. The work dates from a 1992 renovation of the area. The same type of concerns were studied where pedestrians cross from Shades to the other side of South High Street.

“Everyone uses the existing brickwork as a crosswalk,” said Peoples. “We thought it would be a very good idea to put a (designated) crosswalk there.”

Design suggestions also included a gateway arch in the area, like the ones in Stradley Park.

“We were planning for this to possibly be thrown into the street program,” said Peoples. “The total price, not including the archway, is about $750,000. That’s not something we really have budgeted. We do want to address pedestrian safety down there, but we need much bigger improvements from what we have now.”

The budget for the annual street program is approximately $1 million. The cost for the intersection improvement is projected at $500,000 and another $250,000 for the street crossing near Shades.

“Hopefully, we can get this in next year’s budget,” Peoples said. “That will be our project for that. This is part of our vision. Downtown defines Canal Winchester.”

McGill Park and other news
•The newest addition to McGill Park—a three season shelter house—will become part of the park as soon as this fall.

“The base bid was $780,000,” said Contract Services Administrator Bill Sims. “That was the structure minus garage doors and a portion of the south wall. We did have an alternative to add the doors and enclose the structure completely to create the three season shelter we were intending previously. That’s an additional $75,000.”

The total for the contract with Ferguson Construction Company, including alternatives and a $3,600 savings in insulation, is $848,697. The contract was unanimously approved by council. The structure will be located next to the farmhouse in the park away from the ballfields.

When asked about the construction timeline, Sims said, “It’s a six-month duration. Obviously, there’s some significant material acquisition early on. The hope is we would be complete by the first of September. My goal is to be able to have it for use this fall.”

•Council approved amending a city ordinance pertaining to publication of notices in newspapers. Finance Director Amanda Jackson said the city’s publication deadline versus newspaper deadlines can be a struggle. Notifications for items such as public hearing variances and items appearing before planning and zoning will now appear on the city’s website.

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