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Open House to Focus on East Side of Columbus

Community members are encouraged to share their feedback on two major improvement projects contemplated for East Columbus at a public open house on Thursday at Foundation for Youth, located at 405 Hope Ave. The open house will give residents an opportunity to provide their ideas on the revitalization of the State Street area and input on a potential Indiana Avenue improvement project.

The planning process for the State Street corridor focuses on the long-term revitalization of the State Street area, including the surrounding residential neighborhoods, as well as industrial and commercial areas. When completed, a revitalization plan for the State Street corridor will include an evaluation of current conditions in the State Street area and provide strategies and recommendations for improving the area in the future. During Thursday's open house, community members will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on possible street improvements and property redevelopment ideas.

The potential Indiana Avenue improvement project would widen the street between State Street and Marr Road to provide one lane in each direction in addition to bicycle lanes and parking lanes. Sidewalks would be constructed along both sides of the street, and storm water filtration areas and a storm sewer system will also be included. The project must gain public support from those who use and live on Indiana Avenue before the project moves forward.

"The east side of our community is home to many of our residents and offers potential for commercial redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization," Mayor Kristen Brown said. "A comprehensive plan can help guide the future development and revitalization of the State Street area. We also want to gauge the public's interest in the Indiana Avenue improvement project."

The open house will feature information stations that focus on the Indiana Avenue project and different topics related to the improvement of the State Street area. Each station will provide an opportunity for public feedback. No formal presentation is scheduled, enabling residents to arrive at any time between 6 and 8 p.m. to participate.

Once completed, the State Street Corridor Plan will include recommendations regarding:

· Appropriate land uses within the area;

· Opportunities for street and sidewalk improvements that will make the area safer and more efficient for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle users;

· Improvements in the overall appearance of the area;

· Future redevelopment scenarios, based on market analysis that focus on the types of businesses that the State Street area can support; and

· Appropriate short- and long-term implementation strategies for the plan.

The Indiana Avenue improvement project would transform the busy street from a secondary street to a proper channel for the amount of traffic it handles, improving access to the neighborhood and Columbus East High School. The traffic volume on Indiana Avenue in 2010 was 2,400 vehicles per day. That number is expected to more than double by 2030.

The city of Columbus has completed the acquisition of right-of-way for the improvement of this section of street, and construction plans have been completed. City officials say the funding source for the project is 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent local. Construction could begin in the spring of 2014 and be completed within a year.

Mayor Brown says that she encourages all community members who are interested in the future of the city's east side to attend this public open house.

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 4:25:18 PM

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