U.S. Route 23 in Lewis Center as seen next door to the new BJ’s Warehouse Club on a weekday morning. When completed, new turn-ins and turn-outs will add to the traffic along what is also known as Columbus Pike, as well as nearby Orange Centre Drive, a connecting road to the retail business.

Gary Budzak | The Gazette

There will be another round of public meetings regarding U.S. Route 23 in November, the Ohio Department of Transportation said.

The meetings will summarize prior public feedback and introduce new ideas to improve travel along the U.S. 23 corridor between I-270 and Waldo. “Concepts to be discussed range from small changes to fix existing stop-and-go conditions, to larger changes that would create a more freeway-like condition,” ODOT said. The goal is “to balance more reliable travel times with maintaining local access points along U.S. 23.”

As motorists on Route 23 know, there is a lot of semi-truck traffic that shares the busy road with commuters, travelers and shoppers. Previously, the public has told ODOT that congestion south of the city of Delaware and safety north of the city of Delaware were their main concerns.

Delaware County isn’t the only area taking a look at U.S. 23. Toledo television station WTVG reported in March that ODOT was trying to find improvements traveling from Toledo and Sandusky to Columbus.

ODOT has said Route 23 is already handling 30% more traffic than the roadway was designed for, “leading to increased congestion, unpredictable travel times, bottlenecks, and higher crash rates. This study will support Columbus as a national logistics hub by strengthening connection and access to northwest Ohio, Michigan, and Canada.”

ODOT now wants to know:

• “Is increasing travel time reliability or maintaining access points more important to you?”

• “Where along the corridor are you concerned about changes to access?”

• “Which of the proposed improvements make sense to you?”

The meetings will be in-person and online. The in-person meetings are open-house style and are all the same. They will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Ag Building at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware. The other meetings will be held at the same times on Nov. 14 in the North Carolina Building of the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, 100 Green Meadows Drive, Lewis Center.

The online meetings are at noon Nov. 15 and 6 p.m. Nov. 16. A brief presentation will be followed by questions and answers. The meetings are online at publicinput.com/23Connect or join by phone at 855-925-2801, code 4637.

The website also has the meeting materials and a comment form. The comment period for this phase of the Route 23 study ends Dec. 15. Raleigh, North Carolina-based PublicInput is assisting ODOT with the study.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].