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Colerain Township business owner concerned a crosswalk to nowhere does more harm than good

crosswalk sign colerain twp
Posted at 6:41 PM, May 24, 2022

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Typically a newly installed crosswalk is something neighbors celebrate.

But in Colerain Township, it’s concerning for one local business owner.

“I guarantee someone will get killed within a year,” said Jack Knab, owner of Knab Auto Shop.

The crosswalk, installed by ODOT last fall, sits just in front of Knab’s shop on Colerain Avenue and connects to where the vacant Kroger site is. Without the Kroger store, Knab said he believes there is no reason for the crosswalk to still exist.

He also said cars do not stop or slow down for pedestrians when the lights are blinking.

“I almost saw a lady and two kids get killed out there, Friday night, 5:30 p.m. Scared me,” he said. “And like I said, it’s not even 300 feet to the next crosswalk. Where there is a (traffic) light and it’s a lot safer."

Knab said the crosswalk affects access to his building. And, can be confusing to drivers because it cuts away at the center lane which is used for turning.

“It’s just not in a safe spot,” he said.

“We were seeing people crossing mid-block and there was nothing there for them,” said Kathleen Fuller, a spokesperson for ODOT District 8.

Fuller said planning for the project goes as far back as 2017. It started as a sidewalk project but was expanded to include the crosswalk after crews studying the area saw the need.

She said even with the Kroger being gone, the crosswalk is still needed.

“We still have a bus stop there, at that location,” explained Fuller. "So that’s critical for those who might be using the bus. Also, we don’t know what the future development might be. Basically, the decision was really made on the pedestrian activity that was there and we still have pedestrian activity there. Yes, Kroger was there at the time (of planning), but that wasn’t solely the decision or thought process behind (the project)."

In total, the project cost roughly $600,000.

Fuller said she has reached out to ODOT’s safety department so it can look into the issue. She also said the department can work with local law enforcement to educate the public about the crosswalk.

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