A temporary ban on left turns during evening rush hour at Powell's busy Four Corners intersection has become permanent.
Powell City Council on Sept. 5 voted unanimously to keep a ban on left turns from Liberty Street to Olentangy Street in place from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays.
City Council enacted the prohibition in June as a temporary measure to ease congestion worsened by the closure of state Route 315 at state Route 750 just outside city limits.
The city already prohibited left turns from Olentangy Street to Liberty Street during those hours.
City officials said overwhelmingly positive feedback from residents led council members to keep the new restriction in place.
"I hear nothing but positives about the turn restrictions," Councilman Frank Bertone said.
Councilman Dan Swartwout said residents he talks to have been similarly effusive in their praise for the change.
"I have not heard one person say, 'I want it back the way it was,' " he said.
Although City Council is likely to address the issue in the future, multiple council members said they were not ready to support adding days or hours to the ban on left turns at the intersection.
Vice Mayor Jon Bennehoof said it is not the time to expand the restrictions. He said a new traffic signal at Grace Drive and Olentangy Street and a forthcoming signal at Grace Drive and Liberty Street should be in place before City Council considers additional changes at the Four Corners.
"We may not be done with this intersection, but we may have to wait for other pieces to fall into place," he said.
Bertone said he favored a wait-and-see approach on adding to the restrictions.
"I'm just not sure it's right now to go the full seven days a week," he said.
City Manager Steve Lutz said Powell police officers would continue to enforce the ban during the restricted hours.
"In this situation, there probably aren't that many warnings being handed out," he said.
Although a few downtown business owners initially protested the new restriction at the June council meeting when it was enacted, no one returned to provide negative feedback in subsequent meetings.
Lutz said downtown business owners he spoke with after the ban went into effect were content with the results.
Councilman Jim Hrivnak said he thinks business owners realized a daily "bottleneck" at the Four Corners does nothing to help commerce.
"I think it worked out well for them," he said of the restriction.