Although he believes a left-turn lane at East North Broadway and North High Street "would improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood," Mayor Michael B. Coleman nonetheless this week tossed the controversial issue back into the laps of Clintonville Area Commission members.

Although he believes a left-turn lane at East North Broadway and North High Street "would improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood," Mayor Michael B. Coleman nonetheless this week tossed the controversial issue back into the laps of Clintonville Area Commission members.

"(Coleman) believes it to a Clintonville issue rather than a citywide issue, and that it's up to Clintonville residents to control it," CAC chairman John DeFourny said March 22.

"Mayor Coleman has agreed to let the intersection at Broadway and High remain as it has for the last 60 years," East North Broadway Street Association president Carole W. Tomko wrote in an email reacting to the news.

In a memo dated March 20 to Department of Public Service director Mark Kelsey and Boyce Safford, director of the city's Department of Development, Coleman outlined how, for around three decades, the "prohibition of southbound turns from East North Broadway onto North High Street has led to increased traffic through neighborhoods and much debate about how to address it." He discussed how the area commission in August 2009 voted 5-4 in favor of the turn lane, only to reverse that position in September 2010 with a change in the advisory panel's makeup.

"A lack of neighborhood consensus regarding this project led me late last year to thoroughly review it myself to determine the appropriate course of action for the city of Columbus," Coleman wrote. "Having now studied this issue thoroughly, it is clear to me that a left-hand turn lane from East North Broadway Street would improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood by reducing traffic through the neighborhoods and increasing the prospects for commercial development at the southwest comer of the intersection. It is for these reasons that I support the left-hand turn lane.

"However, the CAC, the elected body representing Clintonville, opposes the left-hand turn lane. While I disagree with its position, the CAC has chosen on behalf of its residents to live with these traffic conditions. As this is not a health, safety or welfare concern, I will respect its decision."

DeFourny called the mayor's statement "a good clear message."

He indicated that it will now take yet another vote by the CAC to bring the issue back to the forefront, something he doesn't see happening any time soon.

"We are grateful to the community for its steadfast support of the preservation of this historic street and for the tireless efforts of the many volunteers who have worked so hard to preserve and protect this neighborhood treasure," Tomko wrote in her email. "We are thankful to Mayor Coleman, his staff and city council for demonstrating their open-mindedness and willingness to hear the voices of the entire community of Clintonville."

Tomko said the green ribbons, which East North Broadway residents had wrapped around trees great distances from the proposed 100-foot widening to construct the turn lane, had been removed. They had been in place to express fears that the turn lane would only be the first step toward an overall widening project that would have resulted in removal of the tress.

This was never in the cards, according to Coleman's memo.

"I also want to state my firm opposition to any proposal to widen East North Broadway," he wrote. "As long as I am mayor, East North Broadway will not be widened beyond that needed to install the turn lane at High Street."