In conjunction with a planned water-line replacement, Upper Arlington officials are eyeing major changes to a section of McCoy Road.

In October 2012, Stantec Consulting Services Inc. recommended the city replace a 55-year-old, 4,600-foot water line along McCoy Road, from Kenny Road to Reed Road, as well as a 64-year-old, 1,200-foot water line from Reed to Mountview Road.

As the city prepares to bring that project forward next year, it's also considering resurfacing McCoy, reducing its number of lanes for motor vehicles and adding bike lanes on both sides, from Kenny to Mountview Road.

Such a strategy is called a "road diet."

"McCoy Road currently has four lanes of traffic," said Kyle Hyong, assistant city engineer. "However, parking is permitted in the curbside lane in each direction. Therefore, there are times when vehicles cannot fully use all four lanes.

"If the city elects to move forward with the road-diet option, McCoy Road would have one lane for eastbound motorized vehicle traffic, one lane for eastbound bicycle traffic, one lane for westbound motorized traffic, one lane for westbound bicycle traffic and one center lane for left turning vehicles in each direction of traffic."

As proposed, the project is estimated at about $2.6 million.

City officials call McCoy Road one of Upper Arlington's "primary east-west connectors."

According to information provided by the engineering division, approximately 7,000 vehicles travel on the roadway each day.

That ranks ninth among the city's roadways, with Riverside Drive (23,000 to 27,000 vehicles per day), Lane Avenue (16,000 to 26,000) and Henderson Road (13,000 to 25,000) being the most traveled streets, according to the engineering division.

The city's website states that the road-diet plan already has been "implemented with success" on Tremont Road, running south from Kenny Road to Zollinger Road.

"In addition to providing expanded access for bicyclists, these road configurations slow traffic, create safer crossing options for pedestrians, and moves motorists wishing to turn left out of travel lanes," the website states.

Hyong said if the changes are implemented for McCoy, the roadway's speed limit of 35 mph is unlikely to change, but officials expect traffic to slow down.

"The goal of the road diet is to reduce overall travel speeds," he said. "According to the 'Road Diet Handbook: Setting Trends for Livable Streets,' several studies have found that road diets significantly reduce travel speeds by 5 to 10 mph."

Bike lanes would be incorporated, according to the city's website, because "residents' desire for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian access in and around the community continues to increase."

The site points to a survey for the 2018 Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Plan that ranked expanded walking and biking trails as a top priority for the city to to better meet the community's recreational needs. As part of the McCoy Road planning, the city conducted an online survey from Aug. 6 to 23 to seek input on the bike-lane design residents would prefer on McCoy.

According to the city's website, 913 people responded, with 564 (61.77%) favoring an option to have a bike lane installed on both sides of McCoy.

"The second option was to leave the road configuration as it currently is," said Emma Speight, the city's community-affairs director.

With that direction and the plan for the road diet, city officials anticipate putting the project out to bid early next year, Hyong said.

"At this time, the city anticipates construction beginning in the spring of 2020 and ending in the late summer to early fall of 2020," he said. "The construction will be completed by closing half of the roadway at a time, allowing one lane of traffic in each direction to pass through the corridor.

"There will be closures at the major intersections to permit construction of half the intersection at a time. The contractor will provide advance notification of closures."

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