Officials from Canal Winchester and Columbus are compiling traffic statistics for a section of Gender Road with an eye toward applying for a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Officials from Canal Winchester and Columbus are compiling traffic statistics for a section of Gender Road with an eye toward applying for a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

EMH&T began work on the study in February.

The study area starts at the off ramp going north on Gender from U.S. Route 33 to north of Lehman Road.

Village engineer Steve Farst said officials are analyzing data pertaining to the number of accidents, especially rear-end collisions, that occurred in the area between 2004 and mid-2007. He said the study will identify short- and long-term measures needed to improve safety.

"The focus is addressing existing safety issues," Farst said.

He said the study will not deal with how to accommodate traffic trends that have changed because of development in the area. It will focus on ways to reduce the number of accidents that occur, he said.

Mary Carran Webster, assistant director of public service for Columbus, said Canal Winchester is the contracting agency for the study, which she said is costing each municipality $12,000.

Once the information is compiled, Columbus and Canal Winchester traffic officials could decide to apply for funding from ODOT's Highway Safety Program to pay for safety improvements, Farst said.

Matt Peoples, Canal Winchester's public works director, said some ideas for the area, especially at the intersection of Winchester Pike and Gender Road, are to add a center turn lane, add more striping and marking on the pavement, or install additional signs or a traffic light.

"Adding a center turn lane would be perfect through there," Peoples said.

Farst said representatives from Columbus and Canal Winchester will meet at some point to decide if the measures needed to reduce the number of accidents in the study area warrant seeking ODOT funding.

Once the application is filed, ODOT District 6 officials will review the traffic study. According to information from ODOT, a six-member committee at the agency's headquarters makes the final decision on what projects get a portion of the approximately $65-million awarded annually to improve safety at the state's top locations for traffic crashes.

According to ODOT information, one of the factors used is to identify locations where there are more than 150 rear-end crashes in a two-mile section.

"I don't know if it's accurate to call it a competitive process," Farst said.

If all goes according to plan, he said results of the discussion with Columbus traffic officials will be released at village council's next service committee meeting May 19.