Keep Powell Moving – The Facts
GETTING YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO GO
You’re on the move and it’s our job to make sure you get there safely and timely. You had a vision in mind and our comprehensive plan put it on paper. Now we’re putting that plan into action, with the Keep Powell Moving initiative.
While six out of ten people believe Powell is an exceptional place to live, only one resident in three is satisfied with local traffic.1 Traffic has dramatically increased over the years, and you’re frustrated.
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?
We heard you, and we are taking a number of immediate steps to improve traffic circulation, add parking, and increase walkability and bicycling in our ever-evolving city. This includes re-routing traffic to and from the zoo and the Polaris area where possible. Here are some specific ways the City of Powell, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Delaware County and the City of Columbus are improving your commute.
|Murphy Parkway extension (Powell)||Fall 2016|
|Sawmill Parkway extension (Delaware County)||Fall 2016|
|Widening State Rt. 750 and new shared-use path (Powell/ODOT/Township)||Fall 2016|
|Widening of Hard Road to State Rt. 315 (Columbus)||Winter 2016 – See more information from the City of Columbus|
|Shared-use bike path connections on Liberty & Rutherford (Powell)||Spring 2017|
|New traffic signals on Grace Drive at Olentangy Street & North Liberty Street (Powell)||Spring 2017|
|Improvements at Liberty Road & Seldom Seen Road intersection (Delaware County)||Seeking grant funds|
WHY NOT WIDEN EVERY ROAD?
While it may seem logical to widen roads to solve traffic jams, research proves you can’t always pave your way out of congestion. Widening roadways can actually attract more vehicles. Plus, some roadway expansions just aren’t practical or sustainable. If we widened roads to meet traffic forecasts:
- State Rt. 315 would need to be widened to five lanes south of Carriage Road. Obviously, we don’t want to expand into the Olentangy River!
- State Rt. 750 would need to have at least five lanes all the way from Sawmill Parkway to US 23. To make that possible, many buildings in downtown Powell would need to be removed.
A BALANCE OF SOLUTIONS
A well-planned network of streets, sidewalks, shared-use paths and transit access can make it easier for people to leave their cars at home and reduce cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets. Development that easily connects people between their homes, jobs and favorite local destinations also minimizes the need to drive. We still need to accommodate cars, but we must look for a balance of sustainable solutions that give people multiple ways to get around.
HOW DO WE PAY FOR IT?
There is never enough budget to pay for all of a city’s needs, and Powell must rely on multiple sources of funds to pay for infrastructure improvements. The following is a list of local, state and federal sources.
The City of Powell has the fifth lowest income tax rate in Ohio, at 0.75 percent. Those income taxes account for about 45 percent, or $5.5 million, of Powell’s annual budget, and go toward operating and maintaining the status quo. An additional $550,000 is generated each year via Powell’s local share of the gasoline tax and driver/vehicle licensing fees. These funds are directed toward road improvements.2 Also, Powell receives approximately five cents of every dollar in property taxes.
Powell also has three tax-increment financing districts, where it uses growth in property taxes generated in those specific areas to help fund infrastructure improvements.
City of Powell residents passed a $7.1 million renewal bond levy in 2012 to fund a portion of Powell’s infrastructure needs. This is helping to pay for the Murphy Parkway extension, shared-use path connections, traffic signals and a portion of The Park at Seldom Seen.
There are a variety of state and federal grants that can be pursued; however, no one grant source will likely cover the entire cost of any of the proposed solutions. Local and/or private funds are typically needed to “match” grant funds. Potential sources include ODOT, the Ohio Public Works Commission and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
New development can bring jobs and provide some needed infrastructure improvements (roads, sidewalks, etc.) based upon its location and impact.
We are working with residents and businesses to finalize a plan and prioritize projects that will further address traffic concerns, as funding allows. We will also soon be working with ODOT and Delaware County to add more signs to direct through traffic around downtown Powell.
In all cases, we want to hear your thoughts. Communicate with us via any of the City of Powell networks below or use the contact us submission. Thank you for your patience while, working together, we Keep Powell Moving.
2See Fiscal Analysis, City of Powell Comprehensive Plan, for more detail on the sources of Powell revenue and how they are spent.