NEW ALBANY —
Tuesday’s public hearing on proposed Mt. Tabor Road improvements pitted a city administration supportive of the $3.9 million in upgrades against residents who said the project goes too far.
More than 100 people attended the mandated hearing, and most that spoke said they opposed the project as planned.
Of particular concern for many residents who live near the proposed project area is the planned roundabout, which would be installed in place of the four-way stop that is currently at the intersection of Mt. Tabor Road and Klerner Lane.
Scott Whalen said the city would have to take 45 feet of right of way off his property to make room for the roundabout and would limit the space near his house.
“It would be six feet from my garage,” Whalen said.
The city hired the firm Beam, Longest and Neff to design the project, and the roundabout has been suggested to improve traffic flow at the intersection.
Ben Carnahan, the lead engineer with the firm, said roundabouts promote pedestrian safety, reduce time spent waiting in traffic at signals or stop signs and allow for green space at intersections.
But other property owners whose land would be affected by the installation of the roundabout said it would bring traffic too close to their homes.
Kelly Feiock said the amount of right of way the city would need for the roundabout impedes on the property owners that, like herself, live near the intersection.
“They’re not going to do anything about the speed issue, and they’re creating an expense with the roundabout as well as causing more danger to our homes,” she said.
But according to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts should be considered for federally funded projects such as Mt. Tabor Road, which will require only a 20 percent local match from the city.