Powell City Council has banned all left turns during evening rush hour at the city’s busy Four Corners intersection in an attempt to improve traffic congestion worsened by a closure on state Route 315.
Council members Tuesday, June 20, voted unanimously to ban left turns from Liberty Street to Olentangy Street from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays until two weeks after the intersection of Route 315 and state Route 750 reopens. The city already prohibits left turns from Olentangy Street to Liberty Street during those days and hours.
Council passed the legislation with an emergency clause, which allows the measure to take effect immediately.
The Ohio Department of Transportation closed Route 315 between Route 750 and Jewett Road just east of the city earlier this month to allow workers to install a wall needed to prevent the Olentangy River from further eroding the roadway. Multiple council members said they have been inundated with complaints about traffic conditions in Powell since the closure began.
While some members of the public asked council to wait for more feedback from residents and downtown business owners before enacting the restriction, council moved ahead.
Councilman Tom Counts said existing traffic conditions required council to act fast.
“Yes, it would nice to wait,” he said. “Yes, it would be nice to get more input, but I think we have to do something now.”
While it could take as long as a few weeks before new signs are fashioned and installed, city officials asked the Powell Police Department to post officers near the Four Corners to enforce the ban and help direct traffic in the meantime.