For years, officials have talked about widening busy Route 161 between Sawmill Road and Route 315 west of Worthington.
For many reasons, that hasn't happened. On Tuesday, state and local officials will hold a meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Thomas Worthington High School, 300 W. Dublin-Granville Road, to discuss options with residents — again.
Should 161 be widened to three lanes? Should there be a bike path along the 2.2-mile route? Should there be an underpass at the CSX railroad crossing in Linworth? Roundabouts at intersections?
The Ohio Department of Transportation is putting together yet another study, following a traffic study the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission prepared in 2014.
"It's congested, with some real safety concerns," ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton said. She said 60 percent of the crashes in the corridor are rear-end collisions, which are likely linked to congestion.
Up to 18,000 vehicles travel along that stretch of 161 — West Dublin-Granville Road — each day.
John Ehlers, who leads the Northwest Civic Association, said the three biggest concerns among residents are safety at the railroad crossing, safety for bicyclists and backups along 161, which Ehlers said can last up to half an hour through Linworth during morning and afternoon rush hours.
The planning commission's traffic study showed that traffic can back up more than a mile when a train passes through Linworth. Ehlers said there is some interest within the community of widening 161 to four lanes with an underpass at the railroad crossing.
There is no money for construction now, ODOT's Burton said, and widening to five lanes is not an option.
Nick Gill, the assistant director of transportation for the planning commission, said a mix of federal, state and local money could be used once they come up with a plan and cost.
Stan Apseloff, a West Dublin-Granville Road resident and a member of an advisory committee for 161, said he'd prefer to see it widened to three lanes, provided that crews also install islands or other devices so drivers can't use the center turn lane to pass. Also, if there's a multi-use trail, he'd like it built on the south side of the road so it doesn't cross driveways.
Officials from ODOT, Columbus, Worthington, Perry Township and the regional planning commission will attend Tuesday's meeting.