More analysis is needed before a decision can be reached on how to better control the flow of traffic at the intersection of Seventh, Greene and Pike streets, according to members of Marietta's city council.
"You still can not move pedestrians through that intersection safely at its current configuration," said Wayne Rinehart, a project manager for Marietta's engineering department during a Marietta City Council streets and transportation committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.
A current suggestion, put forth by the Ohio Department of Transportation, would move the traffic light and main traffic flow to Hardwood Center Drive. The current intersection would no longer have traffic lights, and traffic on Greene Street could no longer turn left onto Seventh Street, said Rinehart.
Marietta City Council members had concerns about that configuration.
"A lot of people I have talked to do not see the need for such a drastic change," said Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward.
Kalter offered several alternative recommendations that he or his constituents have mentioned, including reconfiguring the sidewalk to make a smoother left turn from Greene Street onto Seventh Street, extending the duration of red lights by one second at that intersection, and closing the Green Street Speedway entrance.
If you go
- The streets and transportation committee will meet again Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 26 at 4 p.m.
- Marietta City Council will meet for a special session Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. to discuss the asphalt paving projects for 2013, the closing of the Lord Street railroad crossing and other issues.
- All council and committee meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public.
- More city information is available at http://www.mariettaoh.net/
An outside consulting firm advised the city that for ODOT's recommendation to accommodate the current flow of traffic, the new traffic pattern would require some tricky configurations, including allowing three adjacent left turn lanes. An outside engineering firm is currently re-assessing the consulting firm's analysis, said Rinehart.
At Wednesday's meeting, council also discussed the potential closing of the railroad crossing at the intersection of Lord and Harmar streets.
The closing of the intersection could lead to safety improvements in the surrounding area, but council members expressed concern that they would have to foot the cost of the improvements.
"I know CSX gets money for closing the crossing, but the burden of doing anything to that intersection, we have to pay for," said Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward.
Council members said they were also frustrated that CSX and the Ohio Rail Development Commission have not been more forthcoming with answers to their questions about the projects time frame.
"We'd be doing a disservice to our constituency to buy the cat without knowing the price," said Councilman Michael Mullen, I-at large.
City Engineer Joe Tucker recommended scheduling public meetings to discuss the matter.
"I would definitely like a representative from CSX and the Ohio Rail Development Commission to be there to answer the public's questions," said Tucker.
However, it was decided to schedule the public meetings after more information about time lines and budgeting becomes available.
The streets and transportation committee will meet again Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 26 at 4 p.m.