Public hearing voices community's concern over Eastern Corridor project
12:20 AM, Aug 4, 2011
4:49 AM, Aug 4, 2011
City council members got an earful Wednesday night regarding both sides of the debate over the Red Bank Expressway.
Concerned residents, business owners, and employees filled Madisonville recreation center Wednesday night to learn more about the Red Bank Expressway portion of the Eastern Corridor project.
In June, Madisonville community council passed a resolution opposing the Ohio Department of Transportation's plan for the Red Bank Expressway.
The council said, "the current plans that have been developed by O.D.O.T follow a 1960/70s-style suburban high-speed highway model that is completely inappropriate."
Part of O.D.O.T.'s plan calls for a high-speed limited expressway running to and from I-71 and Lunken airport.
Community members want to make sure the corridor fosters economic growth and supports the recreational needs of the community.
"It would be nice to improve other alternate transportation forms than to have people passing through the community and not even know it's there," explained Bob Mendlein, former council president. "We're trying to develop a lot more business and I don't see this really helping that."
John P. Parker school is located near the corner of Madison and Red Bank. The corridor could potentially swallow a chunk of the school's football field and garden area.
"We're very concerned not only about our property and our football fields that provide fitness activities for our kids and a garden for our school and community," said Kimberly Mack, the school's president. "We're also concerned about the safety of our kids as they're walking to and from school. So we're very concerned about insuring that this corridor is safe for our kids."
Neighboring communities including Hyde Park and Oakley showed support at the meeting Wednesday night.
Community members say they believe the project will benefit the community as long as discussions, like the one Wednesday night, continue.
Mendlein said, "I think it could be very good for the community if they do it right."
A motion has also been put forth to name the corridor Dunbar Parkway, acknowledging the historic Dunbar community that is still around currently.