New Albany officials say the intersection at Market Street and Johnstown Road should be redesigned soon to accommodate nearby developments.
"Our goal and our strategy is to maintain or improve traffic flow in the village center, especially at that intersection," city spokesman Scott McAfee said. "We hope to create different design concepts that encourage pedestrian safety."
City officials met July 9 with consultant Mark Johnson of MTJ Engineering of Wisconsin; the city's engineering firm, E.P. Ferris and Associates; planners from MKSK of Columbus; and officials from the New Albany Co., which owns land on the north and south sides of the intersection.
Adrienne Joly, New Albany's deputy community development director, said the city's updated thoroughfare plan calls for the intersection to increase to four lanes on all sides by 2035 to handle traffic from proposed developments.
Joly said if the city builds a roundabout at the intersection, the "footprint" would be smaller and the intersection could function as well as it does today.
McAfee said city officials anticipate 80,000 square feet of new commercial space will be built on the northwest side of the intersection beginning later this year.
The city is working with the Daimler Group to build a two-story, 52,000-square-foot community health and medical facility on land owned by the New Albany Co. southwest of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.
The New Albany Co. and the Daimler Group also are building a 26,000-square-foot office and retail complex at the northwest corner of Market Street and Johnstown Road.
Joly said 51 single-family homes are expected to be built off Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road south of Maplewood Cemetery. The development would connect to the intersection via Strait's Lane.
Additional multifamily residential homes also are expected to be built on the east and west side of Johnstown Road south of Market Street on land owned by the New Albany Co.
Joly said the city has no cost estimates to improve the intersection but it needs to be done quickly because construction of the two complexes on the northwest side of the intersection will begin this year.
"We need to figure out the cost and design details," she said.
Joly said timing is important because it would be better to make road improvements while the buildings are under construction, rather than closing parts of the road at two separate times.
"There's going to need to be future improvements, one way or the other," McAfee said. "We want to do the best, most efficient improvements that will make the intersection safe."
Last March, members of the city's architectural review board said they did not believe a roundabout or circular intersection would be appropriate at Johnstown Road and Market Street.
Their conversation was in response to local businessman Leslie Wexner mentioning in March that a roundabout might be a good option for the intersection. Wexner was giving his annual update to country club members at a private event at the New Albany Country Club.
ARB Chairman Bernard Costantino said the roundabout might not be easy for pedestrians to navigate.
At the July 9 meeting, McAfee said Johnson told city officials a roundabout would be easier for pedestrians to cross than a four-lane intersection because they would have to look only one direction for oncoming traffic.