Changes are coming to Powell’s Four Corners downtown intersection. During its Tuesday meeting, Powell City Council unanimously approved the extension of the left-turn ban at the Olentangy Street and Liberty Street intersection to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m daily.
Previously, the ban existed only during the weekdays and from 4-7 p.m.
Powell’s Operations Committee has spent the past four months discussing options at the Four Corners. The committee held a public forum in June to allow residents to weigh in on what they felt should be done with the left-turn ban.
Councilman Brian Lorenz, who chairs the Operations Committee, said at the time the feedback was mixed, with some favoring an extended ban and others okay with the current hours.
“I know myself and the other members of the committee put a lot of thought, time, and effort into this,” Lorenz said. “Spending time talking to business owners, residents, really trying to do a great deal of public outreach. So, I’m comfortable with the solution the Operations Committee came up with, and it was a unanimous decision to request this implementation.”
“We have taken a number of steps the past few years to improve traffic flow and the safety of pedestrians in downtown Powell with the completion of the Murphy Parkway extension, the addition of traffic signals, and wayfinding signage,” said City Manager Steve Lutz. “It was clear the community wanted this time frame extended after the public forum in June and through the feedback we received from our residents.”
City Engineer Chris Huber said it will take four to six weeks to get the necessary signage and hardware in, which will then be installed on each of the roads approaching the Four Corners intersection.
In the discussions leading up to Tuesday’s passing of the ordinance, the enforcement of the extended ban had often been discussed. Interim Police Chief Steve Hrytzik was present during the meeting to discuss how the police department plans to approach the changes.
He said the plan is to allow a grace period of a week after the signs are installed so that drivers can get used to seeing them. Following that grace period, Hrytzik said a “blitz” period of high-intensity focus will be put on the intersection by police officers.
That increased focus on the intersection will begin as soon as the signs are in place.
Hrytzik said violators will be warned initially when pulled over. However, if they’ve already been warned, violators could be issued a citation at the officer’s discretion.
He later said there is a traffic camera in place in the Four Corners that also allows police to monitor the intersection further, which will be used to assess how the “blitz” has impacted motorists relating to the left turns.
For more information, visit Powell’s website at https://cityofpowell.us.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.