There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this Business First article, some of which is traffic related.
Can Brice Road retail be saved?
Business First of Columbus – by Dan Eaton
…The city is renewing planning efforts for the Brice Road corridor and has begun meeting with businesses, said Columbus Deputy Development Director Michael Stevens.
Also, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 6 will make its case to its funding board Nov. 6 for $3.9 million for an environmental study of I-70’s interchanges at Brice Road and nearby Interstate 270 – a step toward getting the troublesome interchange improved.
But the area faces challenges beyond traffic congestion. Retailers have moved eastward to the retail strip along Route 256 that connects Pickerington with Reynoldsburg. Some Brice-area merchants are based out-of-town and have hands-off landlords, and retailers would rather find other suburbs with more appealing demographics.
But when talk turns to Brice Road, it isn’t long until traffic dominates the conversation.
“It has been increasingly cumbersome for area residents to move around efficiently and safely in the Brice/Tussing area,” the city of Columbus’ Brice/Tussing Area Plan states.
That was in 1990.
…Answers to the interchange question may come soon.
ODOT in 2003 conducted a study of I-70’s interchanges from Hamilton Road to Route 256, a stretch that carried 140,000 vehicles a day, and recorded 2,300 traffic accidents between Hamilton and Brice roads between 2001 and 2003. More than 90,000 vehicles travel Brice Road daily.
ODOT spokeswoman Nancy Burton said the traffic count in the area is comparatively high.
The study recommended replacing loop ramps at I-270 with so-called merge reducing fly-over ramps like the ones built at Route 161 east and I-270 , reconfiguring the Brice interchange to reduce cars from weaving between lanes and putting traffic signals at all interchange intersections.
A few comments
1. $3.9 Million is a really expensive environmental study.
2. Brice doesn’t carry 90,000 vehicles per day. MORPC traffic counts show a maximum of 53,333 just south of the interchange.
3. I previously considered Brice Road mostly hopeless. I didn’t think there were enough people in the area to support all the retail there and at SR-256. However, 53,000 cars is a really huge volume that should be able to support a lot of retail.
Also, I didn’t include the opening paragraph, but it’s priceless:
There are few people more qualified to diagnose the problems of the Brice Road corridor in east Columbus than Robert Weiler.
The chairman of developer Robert Weiler Co. was a pioneer in the area, bringing shopping centers out of the ground in the 1970s after the Interstate 70 interchange at Brice Road was built, attracting the likes of J.C. Penney Company Inc. and Meijer Inc.
So he who created the problem knows all about how to fix the problem?