It's all about access in the transportation element of Anderson Twp.'s comprehensive plan

Vision takes walking, riding, driving into account
It's all about access in the transportation element of Anderson Twp.'s comprehensive plan
Posted at 7:00 AM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 07:00:02-05

This is part of a series of stories explaining the proposed Anderson Township 2016 Comprehensive Plan.

It's a community that focuses on quality of life and is in the third phase of a plan that sticks to the vision.

Anderson Township, with 43,500 residents, is about well-being, said Dr. Steve Feagins, transportation advisory committee member and vice president of medical affairs for Mercy Health East Market. And its revised comprehensive plan reflects what residents value most -- education, walkability, access and convenience being high on the list.

The plan, which will likely be adopted in January by the township trustees, addresses seven areas of priority in the city, from transportation, housing and development to economic health -- all of which work together as a blueprint that the city uses to make decisions, said Dee Stone, Anderson Township trustee.

Transportation, from roads and mass transit to walking and biking, is a big part of the equation, said Paul Drury, director of planning and zoning in Anderson Township. "We're dependent on the region, and access is important."

The Eastern Corridor project, which includes street, possible rail and pedestrian transit, is something the plan and officials support.

"We really want to connect to the city better," said Feagins, who was also on the steering committee.

That means more paths, more routes and rail are all part of the discussion.

The township is serviced by Metro service and has a transit hub at the town center. The comprehensive plan also talks about the proposed Oasis Line that would run through the northern part of Anderson with a possible station in Newtown.

While light rail may not be in the near future, conversations are happening about the possibility, said Drury, noting that it would help with congestion for commuters and others heading to the city center.

"It's maybe pushed back on the city agenda, but we continue to try to be proponents," said Feagins.

Roads remain a priority, and the biggest township project for now is the corner of Beechmont Road and 5 Mile Road, which is about finished. Contractors will wrap up concrete work before winter, said Drury, and the new street signals will be installed in the spring.

But it won't stop there. The comprehensive plan calls for maintaining overall streets and continuing to push for new road connections, such as the Ancor connector that would connect Broadwell Road to U.S. 32 near the village of Newtown.

And more trails for pedestrian and bike connectivity are priorities for the township residents, said Feagins.

Trails and sidewalks keep expanding, said Stone, adding that five years ago there was a lack of pedestrian access to the townships schools. 

Trails include the Five Mile Trail that runs from Turpin High School to Anderson Town Center, including a section beside Mercy Health.

Feagins said he wanted to see the path happen, and it's part of Mercy's participation in the community. The township wants to see a more coordinated effort with regional planning services to advance more pathways as well.

The Ohio River Trail would be a route to downtown, said Feagins, and would offer an option to people.

Regional engineering is already being conducted to construct a bridge across the Little Miami River to connect the Little Miami Scenic Trail to trails at Lunken Airport, which will then connect to the Ohio River Trail, according to the comprehensive plan.

More sidewalks are a continuing part of the plan, said Drury. All new construction is required to build sidewalks.

Most parts of the transportation portion of the plan don't have deadlines, but it is a plan that is used daily as the township makes decisions and rates priorities, said Drury.

And, "while they seem little," said Feagins, "one by one they add up."

The Anderson Township Comprehensive Plan was first created in 2005 and is updated approximately every five years. Find the plan at