Westerville News & Public Opinion

East Schrock Road rebuild

Westerville wants feedback on 'complete street' and roundabout plans

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Schrock Road is set to get a new look next year, but first, the city will put the proposed "complete street" look before residents for feedback.

The city plans to replace the two traffic lanes in each direction, with parking allowed on both sides in a narrower parking lane, and a bike lane and traffic lane in each direction, said Westerville Planning and Development Director Karl Craven.

The plans will be displayed at two public open houses, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 23 and 24 at Everal Barn at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave.

The road would be restriped from Otterbein Avenue to Spring Road, with the complete reconstruction of the road from Pointview Drive to South Hempstead Road.

Knowing that the road was set to be reconstructed, the city began exploring instituting a "complete-street concept," planned to accommodate bike traffic as well as vehicular traffic, last summer, Craven said.

The complete-street concept is better suited than the current configuration, he said, because the intent of the roadway has changed since it was constructed.

"At one time, Schrock Road was supposed to be this major road that went across the county," Craven said. "Now, it's really just a residential road (in that area)."

As they present the complete-street concept at the open house, city staff members also will present concept drawings for a roundabout at Schrock Road and Spring Road.

The city is looking for an alternative to the current intersection configuration, which features four lanes for both roadways coming to a four-way stop.

"The intersection of Schrock and Spring is huge," Craven said. "It's just a monstrous amount of pavement, and there's all these lanes."

However, after the concept of a roundabout was unveiled to City Council in November, the city received mostly negative feedback about the idea, Craven said.

"I would say the leaning now is not to support the roundabout. I just get the feeling that there's an uncomfortable feeling toward it," he said. "I'm hoping that we would get some good, honest comments back (from the open houses)."

Craven said the city staff does expect to see support for the complete-street concept, but if residents reject it, the city would keep the roadway striped the way it is after the reconstruction.

"It's either status quo what you see out there or this rendering. We're really proposing that we introduce this bike lane," Craven said.

The bike lane would tie into the bike lane under construction on Hempstead Road, and after improvements are completed at Schrock Road and South State Street, to the bike lane farther west on Schrock Road, which extends to Worthington, Craven said.

For the reconstruction in 2014, the city plans to spend $2.7 million, and the Westerville Electric Division is budgeted to spend $900,000 for new streetlights from Otterbein Avenue to Hempstead Road.

If the public supports the complete-street concept, the city likely will institute the same thing on Spring Road.

"Since the restriping of these pavements just takes paint, if this concept is accepted by the community, we'll go ahead and restripe Spring Road as part of the Schrock Road improvements," Craven said.

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