Thanks to a story from Columbus Local News, we get a chance to see how sprawl slowly develops.
Route 315 at Powell Road: City, ODOT join to solve trouble spot
By GARTH BISHOP
Most anyone who lives in or around Powell — or just passes through on occasion — has noticed the traffic bottleneck that defines the intersection of state Route 315 and Powell Road.
Responding to complaints, the city of Powell and the Ohio Department of Transportation are looking at the intersection and its stoplight in an effort to determine the cause of the problem, hoping there will be a way to alleviate the traffic.
Let’s just snip it right there, because I think I know the cause of the problem!
The area is ridiculously overdeveloped and now…surprise surprise…the existing infrastructure can’t handle it.
Local motorists can’t expect much sympathy from the rest of us in this situation. Choosing where to live is a complex decision, but a decision nonetheless. There’s no rule that says that ODOT needs to bail people out when they have consciously decided to sit in traffic so they can live on freshly developed farmland.
As it turns out, ODOT’s hands are (thankfully) tied in this situation. As NBC4 is reporting, they can’t use their modus operandi and add lanes…
Commuters said a long-term solution may be hard to find because S.R. 315 is lined by the Olentangy River to the east and a steep hill to the west.
“They can’t do much,” a motorist said. “There’s just no room to make extra lanes.”
An ODOT representative said agency leaders plan to meet with Powell city officials in the next week to discuss the intersection.
It’ll be interesting to see if they turn to dynamite to make way for the the poor motorists, or if they’ll shrug their shoulders and say, “Sorry man, get XM radio or something.”
It’s time the good folks at ODOT simply focus on maintaining the existing infrastructure we have, let some folks sit in traffic, and start looking at alternatives like rail and bikeways. They’ve been looking at transit problems with the same 50 year old design guide for too long. Transit decisions are more than moving 30,000 cars from Point A to Point B as quickly and safely as possible. They dictate how we build our cities, how our economy grows, how our culture develops, how we socially interact with one another, and a good chunk of our future taxes.
It’s time for some fresh thinking.