More questions raised about state Route 47 project

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney residents posed more questions to Sidney City Council on the city’s state Route 47 Improvement Project at Monday’s meeting.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Greg Collier and Chris Wooddell asked council more questions about the project, including when and where a decision will be made.

Collier, who presented a lengthy rebuttal of the project at the March 16 public meeting, ask when and where council will be making the decision to proceed or stop the project. At the public meeting, he had said he worked 31 of nearly 35 years in the highway industry with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and was responsible for improvements to enhance highway safety.

Collier asked council if traffic simulation software was used or suggested to determine the effect on traffic instead of literally blocking off one lane on the corridor. He said this would likely be a cheaper method and cause less problems for residents. He also pointed out a House bill that recently went into effect which requires a 3-foot clearance in Ohio between vehicles and bicyclists. Collier said the plans that were presented at the public meeting only showed a 2-foot clearance, and he asked if the new law was brought up to design consultants.

Mayor Mike Barhorst said council has not addressed when the decision will be made yet because they are waiting for all public comments to come in. He also said he doesn’t think simulation software was used (or suggested), and that everyone had been aware the new law was coming into effect.

“This whole thing was a concept that was rolled out for me the same time it was rolled out for you. So, what I was looking for at the (public) meeting was to get information back about the project. And I suspect that was probably the same for council members,” Barhorst said.

Monday night was the second council meeting appearance that Wooddell had questions about the project. He asked if any additional money was spent above the amount already paid out for completed surveying and consulting. He also wanted to confirm that no further action had been or would be taken until the city receives all information/feedback from consultants and comment cards. Also, he asked if there would be another public meeting, or how people would be aware of the city’s decision on the project.

Barhorst told Wooddell, “probably, right here,” would be the place of a future public meeting (during a council meeting). He also said the decision would be announced ahead of time and that their council meeting agendas are always made public and published in the paper. Barhorst and City Manager Mark Cundiff confirmed no other money was spent beyond what was already paid.

Wooddell told Barhorst that many people are still unaware of the project.

The city will continue to accept comment cards on the State Route 47 Improvement Project until April 14.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.