The city of Powell is preparing to play host to a public forum to discuss whether residents want to ban left turns at the city's Four Corners intersection beyond the hours of 4 to 7 p.m.

Since last fall, Powell leaders have been mulling the possibility of more left-turn restrictions on the downtown intersection of Olentangy and Liberty streets.

Left turns at the intersection are prohibited between 4 and 7 p.m. weekdays because the stop in traffic flow can severely back up traffic during peak hours.

In September and October, Powell police held three "targeted traffic enforcements" at the Four Corners, writing more than 30 tickets over the three days.

Now, with functional alternate routes in Murphy Parkway, Bennett Parkway and Grace Drive -- which has a newly operational traffic light at Liberty Street -- the city is ready to discuss further limitations on those left turns.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Powell's Municipal Building, 47 Hall St., the city's operations committee will host a public forum aimed at gathering input on the possibility of those changes.

"Our goal is to gather feedback from our businesses and residents," City Manager Steve Lutz said. "We have taken a number of steps the past few years to improve the flow of traffic in our downtown with the completion of the Murphy Parkway extension, the addition of traffic signals, installing wayfinding signage and more."

A proposed change likely would have the support of law enforcement. In October, former police Chief Gary Vest said he would "certainly encourage" the prohibition of left turns.

"I think it would be easier for motorists and for people to get used to the alternate routes," he said. "It may not be applicable at midnight, so if it was a daytime thing from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. or something (it would be fine). But people are used to making a left turn there -- and if there's anything else on their mind, they're likely to make the turn (in the afternoon)."

Residents with comments may email city spokeswoman Megan Canavan at mcanavan@cityofpowell.us.

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