By Linda Dillman
Groveport Road residents in Canal Winchester are concerned about the proposed re-configuring of the roadway in front of their homes.
A preliminary plan for the Gender Road and Groveport Road intersection called for adding a lane along the right-of-way on land owned by private citizens. Public Service Director Matt Peoples said the city went back to the drawing board when the plan generated a lot of reaction.
By not adding the through lane along Gender Road from Groveport Road to Foxhill Drive, Peoples said the plan not only eliminates the need for the city to procure additional easements, it also reduces the cost. The bulk of new construction would be on land on the north side of Groveport Road owned by the city. In addition, the bike path would shift a little north to where it crosses Gender Road.
“There will be no construction outside of existing pavement limits,” Peoples said. “We can show we’re not impacting any residential property. We have plenty of room with acquiring the Detty property.”
However, resident Brian Carney is not happy with plans to increase the number of lanes along Groveport Road along property he’s owned for two decades. He said the city already took a significant slice of his land during a previous road project.
“I haven’t seen any studies about the soil on the land owned by the city indicating they can widen the road,” said Carney. “What happens if they can’t build there? Will they ask for more of my land? We’re not anti-development. We’re just protecting everything we’ve worked for for the last 20 years. I saw the new plan and I’m still not happy with it. It impacts the safety of our homes.”
Carney said if the present plan goes through, his family and visitors will have to cross three lanes of “busy” traffic to access his driveway. In light of a recent incident, where a car barely missed the house east of his property during a late-night accident, Carney felt opening up the intersection will open up the area to more traffic and an increased risk for a more serious accident.
“In the last month or two, we’ve seen a huge increase in truck traffic,” said Carney.
Resident Jim Bohnlein said he does not know why they need to make changes to the intersection and run the risk of impacting traffic and property values.
“The new proposal looks more problematic with traffic,” said Bohnlein. “I think the intersection is just fine as it is. There’s not a problem.”
According to Peoples, the Gender Road OPWC Phase IV project is not a “done deal” and still needs to proceed through the application process, which includes a public hearing.