Intersection plan not right for Norwood residents

A vote could come in the next several days on changes to the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection in Marietta, and it looks like the proposed plan will pass.

We urge council members who plan to vote yes to re-consider.

The plan has many great parts, including safer measures for pedestrians.

However, there is one aspect that remains controversial and that’s the elimination of the left turn from Seventh Street to Greene Street used to access Ohio 26 and the Norwood area of town.

It may seem like a small thing, but for those who live in Norwood, it’s a big deal. Eliminating that turn would be a huge daily inconvenience for many, as said by councilman Tom Vukovic at a meeting this week.

Vukovic has it right.

This plan is not the right one for residents and that’s who council should be serving.

The intersection is labeled as unsafe but how many of the fender benders that those safety statistics are mostly comprised of involved that left turn? We would bet very few, and eliminating it probably won’t make the intersection safer.

Eliminating that turn will also likely lead to more people illegally using the Speedway parking lot as a shortcut, and increasing the risk for accidents.

There have been suggestions of changing the timing and order of the traffic lights there to increase traffic safety yet that hasn’t been tried. Why not?

Talk about this intersection has going been on for years so why hasn’t something simple been attempted before resorting to a multi-million dollar project that will use taxpayer money and cause major traffic delays during construction and inconvenience for drivers afterward?

Those on council in support of the project have said they’re anxious to move forward partly because discussions and planning have gone on for so long, and that they don’t want to miss the opportunity for funding-mostly from ODOT- that’s available now.

But those who live in the city, and especially in the neighborhoods most affected, don’t want a decision based on impatience or frustration or a fear of losing out. We want a decision based on the belief that this is a plan that benefits the most Marietta residents and negatively impacts the least.

Residents have had the opportunity to give feedback by attending a meeting or visiting a website devoted to the project. But how was word about this spread? For many who aren’t regular readers of the newspaper, they may never have known.

All the submitted comments also required a name, address and became public record, something that might have kept some from voicing an opinion.

But for something that’s been debated for this long and is this divisive even among council, shouldn’t a real effort be made to find out opinions, whatever they may be? If you really want to know, go to the people, don’t make the people go to you.

Council candidates do plenty of knocking on doors when campaigning. Why not go knock on a few in Norwood this weekend and really get the pulse of the community?

Before spending $3.2 million, we think that’s your duty.