New Albany News

Market-Main roundabout plat tabled

Commission to reconsider intersection plan Dec. 16

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The New Albany Planning Commission on Nov. 18 tabled a plat for a roundabout at the intersection of Market and Main streets.

"We're used to things with a little more detail than a plat," said commission Chairman Neil Kirby.

Kirby said the commission makes recommendations only on right of way needed for the project, but commission members were hesitant to approve the application without learning how the roundabout could get pedestrians across the intersection safely.

"The planning commission is used to reviewing applications with more detail," said City Planner Stephen Mayer. "The plat shows the boundaries, but they wanted more details on the road."

Kirby said the commission learned that pedestrians will cross only one lane of traffic at a time, pausing at a berm that separates north and south lanes of traffic.

Pedestrians will cross behind cars entering the roundabout, in front of a car that already is stopped, he said.

"The other cars (in the lane) can see the stopped car and are more likely to stay stopped (as the pedestrian crosses)," he said.

The project requires 0.31 acres of right of way from six parcels on the north, south and west sides of the intersection.

The right of way needed is owned by the New Albany Co., one of the company's subsidiaries and the city, Mayer's report to the planning commission said.

Commission members voted 4-0 in favor of tabling the application and reconsidering it at their Dec. 16 meeting.

Commission member Ray Silverstein was absent from the meeting.

New Albany City Council could include the project in the city's 2014 capital-improvements budget. A budget has not yet been approved.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov told council Nov. 19 that the project is estimated to cost $3.3 million and could be funded with revenues from the village center tax-increment financing district.

Stefanov said the project would require some utilities to be moved, which could cost $440,000.

Councilman Glyde Marsh asked why the roundabout needs to be started in 2014.

Stefanov said current traffic doesn't warrant the improvement, but vehicular and pedestrian traffic are expected to increase when the two buildings under construction at the intersection open within the next year.

The two buildings are:

* A two-story, 52,000-square-foot health facility called the Core, the New Albany Center for Community Health, at the southwest corner of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.

* A 26,000-square-foot building at the northwest corner of Market Street and Johnstown Road. It is anticipated to include medical offices and retail space.

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