Tussing turn turbulent

On Oct. 16, a sign posted at the intersection of state routes 204 and 256 prohibited motorists from turning right onto Tussing Road.

However, a green arrow on the traffic signal indicated that right turns were still permitted.

The city of Pickerington quickly removed the sign and apologized for the confusion. The sign was meant to read "no turn on red between the hours of 7 am and 4 pm" rather than "no turn at all."

"It was an honest mistake," said Councilman Keith Smith. "We certainly don’t want to prohibit all right turns."

City staff ordered a corrected sign, which arrived on Oct. 21, but before the replacement could be erected, service manager Ed Drobina told the council that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) requested the sign be placed on hold.

ODOT is currently performing a traffic study on the intersection.

The sign had been ordered by council’s safety committee who decided on the traffic change without knowing that ODOT was working with the service committee on the very same intersection.

ODOT had recommended to the service committee that the city erect a barrier along the two far right lanes of southbound State Route 256 to prohibit traffic exiting Interstate 70 from turning left onto State Route 204.

The barrier would also prevent traffic from Reynoldsburg from turning right onto Tussing Road.

Columbus resident Katelyn Sattler, who lives in the Park Place subdivision off Tussing Road, attended the Oct. 21 Pickerington City Council meeting to voice her concerns regarding both proposals, but especially the barrier.

"Thousands of people live off Tussing and changing the traffic pattern effects lots of people besides just Pickerington people," Sattler said.

Sattler said that the Tussing-area community members shop at stores in Reynoldsburg such as Wal-Mart and Babies ‘R Us. If the barrier were to be erected, they would have to drive to Refugee Road and backtrack to go home.

Mayor Mitch O’Brien said that the city snowplows would have to circle down Tussing Road to Brice Road, enter the interstate, and then take the exit ramp in order to clear the two right lanes of State Route 256 if a barrier existed.

O’Brien said he believed the cost associated with the extra snowplow distance should be part of the discussions with ODOT regarding the feasibility of the barrier. 

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