Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Henderson Road Residents Qualifying for NIMBY Status

Upper Arlington recently held a meeting to discuss the proposed improvements to Henderson Road, one of the East-West thoroughfares that cycling advocates in town frequently look to as a possible solution to the lack of such thoroughfares that can be considered bicycle-friendly.

And the response was not good from the residents that live there.

My favorite comment (and I say favorite only in an "Oh my god, did he actually say that?" way):
Residents expressed concerns that the multi-use path and sidewalk would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, since Henderson Road is too busy for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

"Nobody walks on this road now. What's the need?" said Henderson Road resident Michael Streicher.

Um... no one walks on it now because there's no place to safely walk! If you put in sidewalks, as the city should have done before, then you'd see more walkers. It's been proven in study after study across the country. If you build it, they will come.

Here's the rest of the story.
Residents wary of Henderson Rd. plans
Wednesday, October 1, 2008 2:46 PM
By CHRIS BOURNEA
ThisWeek Staff Writer


Proposed improvements to Henderson Road met with little enthusiasm from residents at a Sept. 25 public forum at First Alliance Church, 3750 W. Henderson Road.

The forum was a follow-up to an initial public meeting held in January to gather public feedback on what amenities should be included in the city of Upper Arlington's plans to reconstruct Henderson Road from Riverside Drive on the west to Sawmill Road on the east.

"We took your comments from the first public meeting and distilled them down into two options," Jeff Barnhart, a city engineering technician, told about 20 residents in attendance.

Both scenarios for Henderson Road improvements include pavement reconstruction, curbs for drainage and traffic calming, additional lighting, and an 8-foot-wide multi-use path along the north side of the road.

The first scenario includes a mini-roundabout to calm traffic at the intersection of Hampton and Tarrington lanes. The multi-use path would meander to avoid larger trees.

In the second scenario, a slightly elevated platform would be installed to calm traffic at the Hampton-Tarrington intersection. The multi-use path would remain close to Henderson road and a sidewalk would be installed on the south side of the road from Hampton to Sawmill Road.

Residents expressed concerns that the multi-use path and sidewalk would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, since Henderson Road is too busy for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

"Nobody walks on this road now. What's the need?" said Henderson Road resident Michael Streicher.

He added that he's concerned that trees that screen homes from traffic on the heavily-traveled thoroughfare will be lost if the multi-use path were installed.

"My fear is the city will ignore the homeowners and the impact it will have on them," Streicher said.

Pat Hall, who also lives on Henderson Road, said she believes the city ignored the concerns of residents that the Central Ohio Medical Building, which was built in 2007 on a 2.57-acre plot at 4026/4030 W. Henderson Road, would increase traffic in the area.

"If our road is really falling apart, they should replace it and not abuse the taxpayers on Henderson Road anymore than we already have been," Hall said.

Based on public input from the Sept. 25 meeting, city engineers will meet with engineering firm Burgess & Niple to modify plans and narrow down the two scenarios to one, with a presentation to be made to council this fall, Barnhart said.

Council will not vote on a finalized plan until fall 2009, when cost estimates for the project will be determined and factored into the city's 2010 capital improvement budget.

People, not speed.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a typical response from somebody living in that area. God forbid any of them should get out of their steel cages and walk or bike for a while.

    I grew up in a house on Henderson Rd. and I always wished there was a sidewalk. We kids would always have to walk through peoples' yards and they weren't terribly happy about it. It makes you wonder about the reaction to this proposal.

    I would rather commute on my bike on 161 across the city than on Henderson Rd. - especially the section addressed in this post.

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  2. It's not a real good section, is it? I sometimes take Henderson down to Sawmill and it's dicey at that point.

    I do have to say, though, that I don't care for the idea of the multi-use path instead of just slowing the traffic on Henderson. Bikes need to be in traffic, not separate - otherwise cars think that the roads are all for them, and that's not the case. I would be more in favor of just dropping the speed limit on Henderson to 35 mph and enforcing the heck out of it. Also, add on some red-light cameras to keep people honest.

    X-ing Columbus talks about lowering the speed limit on Henderson as well!

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