After a heated public meeting to discuss the possibility of a left turn lane on East North Broadway at High Street, the Clintonville Area Commission will wait for more information from the city before making a recommendation on the issue.

After a heated public meeting to discuss the possibility of a left turn lane on East North Broadway at High Street, the Clintonville Area Commission will wait for more information from the city before making a recommendation on the issue.

"We do have a number of questions," said CAC Chairwoman D Searcy. "We're backing up. We're saying, 'Let's get some more information.' "

During the Jan. 21 meeting, the city's public works department presented three options for the intersection: leaving it as is, widening East North Broadway by 10 feet at North High Street to add a left turn lane and adding a left turn lane without widening the road.

The city proposed the left turn lane after the community asked for a solution to cut-through traffic on side streets surrounding the intersection, where left turns from East North Broadway onto North High Street have been illegal since 1966.

City traffic engineers said the root of the cut-through traffic is the inability to turn left at the intersection.

Neighborhood residents, mostly those living on North Broadway, contested that claim during the Jan. 21 meeting, saying the city did not have evidence to back up those claims and had not adequately studied traffic in the area.

During the meeting, city officials said they had performed only two traffic counts at the intersection, which angered residents. But Mary Carran Webster, assistant public works director, said the traffic engineer responsible for the proposal was not able to attend the meeting, meaning the engineer filling in did not have all of the background information.

"We studied traffic, and we watched what was going on -- not just on North Broadway, but in the surrounding area," Webster said.

Webster said it is always difficult to gather data on cut-through traffic, as each motorist traveling down residential streets surrounding an intersection would have to be stopped and questioned. The city traffic workers who looked at traffic in the area said a left turn lane would alleviate the cut-through traffic.

"It is almost impossible to quantify the cut-through problem," Webster said.

Now that traffic engineers have presented proposals for the intersection, a decision will fall on the community, likely through a recommendation from the CAC.

The project would be paid for out of Urban Infrastructure Recovery Funds allocated to the Clintonville area. Those funds can't be spent without support from the community.

The city has received complaints for years about people using streets surrounding North Broadway to make left turns to head south on North High Street, Webster said.

More vocal than residents complaining about cut-through traffic at the Jan. 21 meeting were East North Broadway residents opposing a turn lane.

Tempers flared during the nearly three-hour meeting, as residents yelled at city officials, Clintonville commissioners and each other.

"People didn't come prepared to listen," Webster said. "People came to say they didn't want (a turn lane). They didn't care why it was being proposed."

As the CAC considers the proposed turn lane, Searcy said the points of view of all Clintonville residents will be considered.

While the vast majority of residents who spoke at the public meeting opposed a turn lane, Searcy said many residents came to her afterward and said they favored the proposal but didn't want to speak in front of the confrontational crowd.

"We're going to take a pause and look at it more as a big picture kind of thing," Searcy said. "Everyone would be able to come and calmly express their opinions without fear of intimidation."