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As many of you will recall, city traffic engineers met with a roomful of concerned citizens a few weeks ago regarding problems with traffic congestion at the Lower Huntington Road-Bluffton Road intersection. Since then the traffic engineers have studied the situation further. They're recommending that the lane markings on Lower Huntington Road be better aligned and that speed control be enhanced in the area of that intersection and they are planning to make those improvements when the weather warms a bit. It won't come as a surprise to many who attended the Fall '01 meeting that the traffic engineering staff continues to feel that adding left turn signals would actually slow the flow of through traffic so much that any possible benefit would be negated with drivers spending more time than ever sitting at that intersection. I've listened to their arguments and respect their position as traffic engineering experts. Despite that fact I definitely do not agree with their decision regarding this matter which is very important to the thousands of citizens and businesses who use that intersection every day. I'm "lobbying" Mayor Graham Richard and have asked him to instruct the traffic engineers to install left turn signals—at least on a trial basis with consideration for doing so permanently. This is one of the rare occasions when I've disagreed with the city's fulltime experts. Traffic engineering is directly under the control of the Mayor. Help me lobby him with our calls and letters and personal comments when you meet him at a public event so we can get done what needs to be done for the Waynedale community!

Another reminder that now is the ideal time for every neighborhood association to review which street or sidewalk or other improvements need to be completed during the next couple of years. Talk with your neighborhood leaders and make sure that the CEDIT request form recently mailed to your neighborhood officers is competed and sent to the Board of Works for consideration no later than April 15th. City engineers will review every request and projects will be completed utilizing CEDIT tax funds and other revenue sources. If a previously requested project hasn't been completed in your neighborhood due to funding limitations be persistent and eventually it will be if the engineers agree that the project makes sense from the engineering point of view.

I recently voted, as did my 8 fellow council members, to close a single block of Harrison Street downtown to help with the construction of the greatly expanded Grand Wayne Center. I doubt that any council member voted to close that section of an historic downtown street without agonizing over his or her vote. The problem is that constructing the Grand Wayne Center without closing Harrison will divide the convention center into 2 separate buildings connected by walkways and tunnels. Worse yet, building the GWC over and under Harrison Street would actually add several million dollars to the cost of this project that is already somewhat "tight" on funding. The expanded Grand Wayne will be a great step forward for our city and needs to be done right so it will continue to draw even more visitors to our city. Let me know your thoughts regarding this important matter.

Finally, congratulations and welcome to Attorney Brent Klender who recently joined Attorney Jim Springer in his office on Old Trail Road in Waynedale. Best wishes for much success in your new law practice during the coming years!!

 

Tom Hayhurst
City Councilman
4th District
432-8418


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