When it comes to turns during rush hour at downtown Powell's busy Four Corners intersection, city officials have determined left is not right.
Powell City Council on June 20 banned all left-hand turns from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays at Liberty and Olentangy streets. Although the move came as a temporary reaction to increased congestion caused by the closure of state Route 315 at state Route 750, city officials announced Aug. 15 the rush-hour restriction would become permanent.
City Manager Steve Lutz said the "great majority of feedback" on the turn ban has been positive.
"It does seem to assist with the afternoon (and) early evening traffic flow," he said.
Multiple downtown business owners initially opposed the restriction, expressing concerns it could discourage customers from visiting.
Lutz said city staff recently met with representatives of the business community who said they do not favor expanding the hours of the ban, but now do not oppose it from remaining in place in its current form.
Councilman Jim Hrivnak said he thinks business owners realized the status quo before the ban was implemented was beneficial to no one.
"I think they quickly found (the restriction) was an improvement," he said.
Hrivnak said he is not yet convinced council should expand the hours of the ban.
While council is not expected to formally vote to make the restriction permanent until early September, the board unanimously expressed support for the measure.
Councilman Frank Bertone said he's heard "nothing but positive" feedback.
Councilman Brendan Newcomb said he supports the restriction, but noted motorists often ignore signs posted at the intersection unless police officers are present.
"Enforcement will have to be an ongoing issue with our police department," Lutz said.
Councilman Tom Counts said city officials also need to keep an eye on the recently installed traffic signal east of the Four Corners at Grace Drive's intersection with Olentangy Street. Grace Drive acts as a bypass for drivers looking to avoid the Four Corners.
"That light is going to change a lot of things and we don't know what it's going to change," Counts said.