Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beechmont comment period entering final phase

Public comment is being accepted for changes to Beechmont Avenue that could make the roadway safer for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists alike.

The Mount Washington Community Council (MWCC) and Business Association have been working with the City's Department of Transportation and Engineering to slow traffic between Elstun Road and Burney Lane since shortly after a 2004 Ohio Department of Transportation reconstruction eliminated a "zipper lane" from the roadway.

Now, it's not uncommon for driver speeds to approach 45 miles per hour, upping the accident rate and making it more difficult for the pedestrians to patronize the neighborhood business district.

Alternatives presented at a public open house last Wednesday at the Mount Washington Recreation Center included:

  • Lane reconfiguration, such as the narrowing of lanes and the addition of a median or center turn lane;
  • Bicycle lanes, either bi-directional or a shared downhill and uphill "climbing" lane;
  • The addition or subtraction of on-street parking in targeted locations;
  • A "tightening" of the intersection of Beechmont and Mears avenues to improve pedestrian safety;
  • Relocated or improved crosswalks; and
  • Street trees.
Similar changes were included in the 2007 Mount Washington Comprehensive Plan, supported by a 2008 resident survey, and further bolstered by a MWCC letter of support to City Council in April 2010.

Beginning in March, concepts will be narrowed down to a preferred alternative based upon public feedback.

Changes could be implemented as soon as this summer.

Previous reading on BC:
Mount Washington confirms support for Beechmont calming (5/4/10)
Preliminary Beechmont drawings on display tonight (5/13/09)
Mt. Washington board to see Beechmont plans (2/4/09)
MWCC: Don't let a few negative comments outweigh desires of community (1/12/09)
Resident: Traffic calming on Beechmont a 'joke' (12/17/08)