After years of dead-end conversations with the city of Upper Arlington, London Drive residents finally have a workable plan aimed at calming the traffic that cuts through their neighborhood.

After years of dead-end conversations with the city of Upper Arlington, London Drive residents finally have a workable plan aimed at calming the traffic that cuts through their neighborhood.

In a series of public forums June 16-19, residents worked with city officials and nationally recognized urban planners to identify solutions. After two days of discussing suggestions with residents, traffic-calming experts Dan Burden and Pete Sechler of Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin Inc., an Orlando, Fla.-based engineering firm, unveiled the draft of a plan for London Drive at the final public forum on June 19 at the city's Municipal Services Center.

The plan includes installing mini-circles and median islands at strategic points along London Drive as well as gateway markers at three neighborhood entrances at Kenny, Tremont and Fishinger roads.

Burden, an Upper Arlington native, noted that gateway markers have been effective traffic-calming devices in neighboring communities such as Marble Cliff.

"It's announcement that you're now in somebody's neighborhood," Burden said. "You're not on a collector-type road."

Sechler said London Drive's Westwood Acres subdivision is facing traffic problems that are affecting other areas of the community that are similarly situated between major thoroughfares.

"London Drive is emblematic of some other areas and some other issues that are going to start to impact Upper Arlington," said Sechler, who also grew up in Upper Arlington.

Of about 20 London Drive residents in attendance at the June 19 forum, all raised their hands when Burden asked if they support the proposed traffic-calming plan.

London Drive resident Pete Williams, who along with wife, Stephanie, helped get Burden involved, said the plan is the culmination of years of talks with the city's Traffic Safety Coordinating Committee.

"When we first met with TSCC five years ago, they told us every five years Westwood Acres comes back and tells us they have a problem," Pete Williams said.

Assistant city manager Joe Valentino said once city council signs off on the plan later this summer, the city will begin implementing the recommendations into next year's street improvement budget.

"In 2010, the first pieces will start to go in. And then in 2011, 2012, it will be done," Valentino said. "It's very important that it's done quickly and done right because it will be the model for the rest of the city."

Valentino said the city plans to hold another public meeting in the fall that will address traffic problems citywide.

The London Drive meetings included a June 17 demonstration in the neighborhood using orange cones to show how the medians and mini-circles would function to keep speeds down on the 25 mile per hour street.

London Drive resident Leslie Preston said she believes the medians, mini-circles and gateways will be more effective than residents' previous suggestions to install stop signs and speed bumps.

"This has a much better, positive effect than throwing those in," Preston said.

London Drive resident Danny Due said the city and traffic-calming experts took the residents' feedback into account throughout the planning process.

"The process made it feel like we owned it," Due said.

Burden said the goal was to devise a traffic-calming plan for London Drive that would garner the support of both city officials and residents.

"There seems to be a high level of acceptance. A lot of questions got answered," Burden said. "A lot of people seem like they want the master plan as long as it works in front of their house."