Laurie Lyles and her husband, Andy, have spent 25 years in their home at the corner of Toy and Saltzgaber roads.

But in the intervening years, what was once a peaceful area with views of vast farmland is gone, thanks to commercial developments that have brought with them exponential increases in traffic.

"You live here, and you build your life here," she said. "We used to be able to walk our dogs. Now the traffic just flies down our street. They don't move over. They don't slow down. It's just disheartening."

The constant traffic troubles for Lyles and other residents around Toy, Saltzgaber and Swisher roads have worsened year after year with the expansion of nearby commercial warehouses to the west.

Even though signs direct semitrailer traffic to use alternate routes, including Alum Creek Drive, drivers continue to use the narrow, rural roads that were not meant to handle such traffic, Lyles said.

Each of the roads is between 15 feet and 18 feet wide, according to Fritz Crosier, chief deputy engineer for the Franklin County Engineer's Office.

"We understand that there's going to be future development, but there are still residents who live there and people being impacted by this," he said.

Crosier said a traffic count conducted earlier this year showed Toy Road handles 1,550 vehicles a day, Saltzgaber Road handles 1,350 vehicles a day and Swisher Road is used by 450 vehicles a day.

"We want to identify some options for improvement that will satisfy the near-term needs and concerns of the residents but still keep future development in mind," he said. "It's a balancing act."

Crosier presented several options during a March 21 meeting at the county engineer's maintenance building in Groveport. They include:

* A modern roundabout at Toy and Swisher roads, providing a location for eastbound trucks to turn around and head west to Alum Creek Drive. Speeding also has been a concern on Toy Road. The roundabout would act as a "calming device," Crosier said.

* Road maintenance, speed humps and turn prohibitions at Groveport and Swisher roads and Groveport and Saltzgaber roads. Maintenance would include resurfacing and drainage improvements.

* Temporarily closing Toy Road immediately east of Centerpoint Parkway and providing "turnarounds" on each side of the closure for trucks and other vehicles. A study would determine if the closure should be permanent.

Crosier said he hopes an option can be identified by midsummer so local governments can apply for grant funding and begin the project by July 2019. He expects to hold more public meetings and discussions with officials from Groveport, Madison Township and Obetz.

"We've been asked, 'What would the road look like if you had to build it to handle all this truck traffic? What changes would have to happen to the roadway network?' " Crosier said. "These are the options we've been asked to investigate."

Funding for the project would come from Madison Township, which maintains the roads, Crosier said. The engineer's office has pledged to help secure grants or other additional funding. Estimated costs aren't known.

Madison Township trustees John Kershner and Ed Dildine, who attended the March 21 meeting, said they think closing Toy Road is the best option.

Lyles said she's encouraged by the proposals presented by the county engineer's office. However, she said, government officials have presented solutions in the past, including signs to reduce speed and noise barriers.

"I feel like we've just been strung along all these years," Lyles said. "I thought the powers that be -- Groveport, Obetz, Madison Township -- all knew what the long-range plan was and nobody wanted to tell us."

Over the years, traffic has knocked out four mailboxes at Lyles' home. She said the township even installed a guardrail on the property, but it, too, was destroyed several times.

"If this was happening in your neighborhood, you would feel the same way," she said.

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