XENIA — Xenia residents had mixed reactions after attending an Ohio Department of Transportation open house regarding a proposed roundabout.
If the project proceeds, a single-lane roundabout would be constructed at the Columbus Street-US Route 42-East Church Street intersection, eliminating the stop lights and improving the flow of traffic and safety. The streets meet at an awkward angle as Route 42 touches East Church on a 42 degree skew, according to City Engineer Chris Berger.
ODOT, as part of the process, invited the public to view plans and ask questions.
“I’m not a fan,” said Wilberforce resident Danielle Foncette. “I don’t really see it being a big enough problem to warrant it. Personally never had an issue. (And) not everybody is used to roundabouts.”
Carol Wilson, who owns property that would be directly affected by the roundabout, isn’t against the idea but she has some aesthetic concerns..
“There’s been so many accidents with the way it is,” she said. “Nobody knows who should go first. I think it may slow down things. (But) they’re going to have to clarify to us a little more. I was concerned about all the (electric) poles coming back up.”
Phyllis Bryant, who lives off East Church, said the roundabout could create some confusion.
“You have got to be aware of who is on your left because they have the right of way,” she said.
Bryant added that if she is traveling toward downtown on East Church and wants to turn left onto South Columbus, she would have to go all the way around the roundabout.
“I think it’s going to be a problem within itself,” she said.
Around 15 people attended during the first 60 minutes of the four-hour open house. Most were either property owners in the immediate area or those who travel through that area regularly. In addition to Wilson’s concerns about the power lines, others wanted to know where street lights would be, while several requested a more formal, sit-down presentation with city and ODOT officials.
The project is estimated to cost $1.1 million. The city received a surface transportation grant that will cover more than $800,000 of the cost, while the rest would come from the general capital fund, Berger said. If the expenditure is approved by council, construction is slated to begin summer 2019 and be completed by summer 2020.
The city will have to acquire right-of-way from approximately 23 parcels according to documents, however Berger said nobody will have to sell their homes.