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Italian Village Society Complete Streets Implementing Committee

Submitted by Andy Klein
September/October 2017 Issue (includes July and August meetings)

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MEETING MINUTES: July 27 and August 31, 2017 at Seventh Son Brewing Co., 1101 N. Fourth Street.

Thurs., July 27, 2017, 5:30 pm
Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Sherrill Massey, Stephanie Harris, Rory Krupp, Thurs, July 27, 2017, 5:30pm

Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:38 pm in the back room at the brewery. He noted that this is Isom Nivins last week working for the city, and displayed the Weinland Park manufactured potable going away gift he’d brought, which was admired and discussed. Andy promised to bestow the gift on Isom at a later time.

Short North Parking Study Update Andy distributed the July 9 Dispatch article “City Halts Short North Parking Plan” and discussed the city’s retreat to square one. Rory reported he spoke with Zach Davidson, legislative aide to Councilperson Shannon Hardin, who said the city will be hiring an assistant director in the Public Service Department, whose only job will be parking and whose first assignment will be the Short North. They’ll take their time to make the hire which also allows a cooling off period. Amanda Ford sent an email to the parking group today saying their meetings are on hold pending further direction from the director. The city will not hire a new consultant until after the new hire’s on board. Andy asked what effect this delay will have on current permits, Sherrill noting they expire at the end of the year. Andy and Rory noted that parking variances continue to be granted, e.g. Chris Corso’s Food Hall proposal got a variance from IV Commission allowing zero on site parking. Stephanie asked about the effect on “in lieu” fees for developers, Andy noted that council passed that piece of legislation so it should be in force. Amanda Ford should provide some answers for these questions.

Eden & Pearl Alley Update Stephanie reported that she’s communicating with Kevin Kidder, the city’s new neighborhood services coordinator, and helped mediate concerns expressed by neighbor Mary Cheplowitz about uncut grass, dumpsters and lack of promised landscaping at this intersection. Stephanie noted that two dumpsters owned by The Joseph are sited where landscaping and trees are proposed. The plans presented by Rec & Parks to IVS did not provide for maintenance, so Kevin will be getting back to her on that issue, as well as dumpster placement. Sherrill noted that she’d called Republic on an overflowing dumpster there and got some response. Andy asked about compensation for the loss of mature trees, Stephanie said we've gotten no response but she’s raised the issue with Kevin. Sherrill suggested that we might follow up with Ron Pizzuti, on the assumption he takes personal pride in the hotel named after his father and their claims to be a “green” business might otherwise seem hollow. Stephanie said she assumes he’s unaware of the issues with the Joseph and its backdoor neighbors. Andy asked if the flooding has abated at that intersection, Stephanie indicated that’s no longer an issue.

Third Avenue & Summit Crosswalk Andy questioned whether the crosswalk recently painted on the north side of the intersection is complete, given its lack of cross striping. At yesterday’s IVS board meeting, James promised to follow up with Amanda Ford on this issue as well as the Warren Street traffic study.

Fourth & Summit Parking Restrictions Andy reported that IVS was contacted by the city over its plans to address multiple fender-bender accidents at this location by removing parking on both sides of the street for half the block. They promised letters to affected residents. There’s no sign of the change to date.

I-670 Exit at 4th Street Traffic Study Update Andy reported that Mark Wagenbrenner scheduled a meeting with the city traffic engineers for August 3 and invited our participation. Rory offered to request a letter of support for closing the exit from the University Area Commission, and asked if state engineers will be present, Andy wasn’t sure and promised to make the offer. Andy suggested that re-routing US 23 should be part of the discussion and noted that Indianola, also part of US 23, is being repaved. Rory noted the Indianola bridge replacement was with state dollars. Andy suggested the city’s likely objection to re-routing US 23 (losing the state funding source) might be blunted by having these projects already underway or complete like the bike lanes on Summit and Fourth. Andy also noted the closure of the Olentangy River Road/SR 315 “pinball exit” onto eastbound N. Broadway as a possible precedent for the proposed closure.

Sidewalks and Curbs Survey Update Andy distributed maps of IVS provided by Marc Conte from the Council of Historic Neighborhoods, and the surveys and excel spreadsheets used by German Village Society. He suggested that we establish 2 training dates in September, and suggested we need someone with computer expertise to lead the effort. Andy will try to recruit Evelyn Van Til for the task, Stephanie will consult with Jason Sudy on this and the recent Commission discussions of demolitions (proposed and by neglect).

Area Commission Discussion Andy noted the suggestion by City Council Legislative Analyst Sandra Lopez at the July IVS general meeting that the Society consider establishing an area commission to get more respect from the city. Both German Village and Victorian Village have similar setups to ours, that is, an historic review commission that has both zoning and design authority. Rory noted that University Area has a bifurcation of zoning and design responsibilities between the area commission and design review board. Rory noted that there is a formal election process, some individuals serve on both bodies, and that generally the area commission acted first on the zoning, and only afterwards does the design review board do its thing. We all found the idea intriguing, and deserving of a cost-benefit analysis of the advantages and disadvantages.
Meeting Adjourned at 6:27 pm. Respectfully submitted, Andy Klein, Chair, Streets Committee (07/27/17

Present: Andy Klein (Chair), Sherrill Massey, Evelyn Van Til, Rex Hagerling. Thurs, August 31, 2017, 5:30pm, Seventh Son, 1101 N. Fourth St.

Andy called the Streets Committee to order at 5:39 pm in the back room at the brewery, asking everyone to identify themselves and their affiliation, and describe their least favorite IV location. Andy noted that Isom Nivins retired last month as our city liaison and we will need to contact his replacement, Chris Suel, North Side Pride Center Interim Manager, 248 E. 11th Avenue,, 614-724-1909.

Area Commission Discussion Andy led further discussion about creating a commisson to get more respect. Rex noted it would likely cover a larger area than just Italian Village, and would likely add another layer of approvals for developers but give us greater leverage with the city, citing how the South Side Area Commission will refer applicants to a neighborhood association like Reeb-Hosack to get new projects zoning approved. Similarly, the University Area Commission refers projects to the Weinland Park housing committee before they’ll consider the merits of a case. It gives developers early feedback and smooth sailing through subsequent commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and City Council hearings. Andy asked if IV Commission could require IVS approval before considering new developments requiring zoning changes, Rex thought that was the policy in the past but the new “fee in lieu” removes the commission from the process. Evelyn suggested speaking with other neighborhoods in commission areas for their insights.

Sidewalks and Curbs Survey Update Evelyn, who agreed after last month’s meeting to spearhead this effort, reported she’d scheduled a meeting tomorrow with OSU Assistant Professor Amber Woodburn in the School of City and Regional Planning to help us conduct the survey using her students to collect and analyze data, and help us determine the best practices for cataloging the information collected, using Google Maps, spot checks, and technology. Sherrill asked if trees were included in the survey, Evelyn agreed that would be helpful, and that FLOW had catalogued them in the University in the past. Rex noted that with better information, a better tree planting plan will result. Andy suggested the survey should include the presence and condition of tree grates, handicapped ramps, fire hydrants, and street furniture in addition to the condition and type of curbs and sidewalks.

Short North Parking Study Update Andy circulated a chain of emails between IVS, Short North Civic Association and the Short North Alliance directed at how to improve employee parking in the wake of the loss of existing parking during the High Street Beautification Project over the next 2 years. No one involved in the discussion was present for further clarification.

I-670 Exit at 4th Street Traffic Study Update Andy reported that he and IVS Board member Stephanie Harris met with the city, ODOT, traffic engineers from Carpenter Marty and Wagenbrenner representatives on August 3 to discuss the “pinball” exit’s closure. Reynaldo Stargell with the city emphasized the need to consider the impact on surrounding exits and surface streets from a closure. Dirk Gross with ODOT noted that 3 prior studies of redesigns for this exit he’d reviewed all proved unworkable and that the Federal Highway Administration would probably object to the loss of an exit and the effect on weaves by the closure, and would require accident statistics first. April 2017 traffic counts show 510 cars/hour using the exit, while only 310 get off under the convention center. Mark Wagenbrenner noted the need for better signage to increase usage of that exit and also increase use of the new parking garage on Goodale. One alternative to closing the 4th Street ramp is a stop light at the bottom of the existing ramp as has been done successfully at Hilliard-Rome and I-70 westbound. Andy noted that several persons have expressed the need for better visibility by cutting back growth on the traffic island separating the exit from N. Fourth Street. Reynaldo agreed to research who had maintenance for that island, and Andy noted it had been cleaned up since the early August meeting. Andy asked if losing the US-23 designation would ease closure, ODOT's Dirk said it wouldn’t make a difference, as the national (freight) network federal designation still includes Summit and Fourth and imposes certain access requirements, and that they don’t like to piggyback state routes onto the interstate system in urban areas. The gist of the meeting was that traffic calming other than closure will be considered, and that way finding signage and landscaping for better visibility should be investigated further.

High Street Beautification Andy distributed the weekly email updating progress, noting King reopens today and the sidewalks around the Greek Orthodox Cathedral are ready for the Greek Festival this weekend.

Meeting adjourned at 6:29 pm. The next meeting is 5:30pm, Thursday, September 28, 2017 in the backroom at the brewery at 1101 N. 4th Street. There will be no meeting in October, with the final two meetings of the year set for November 30 and December 28. Respectfully submitted, Andy Klein, Chair, Streets Committee (09/02/17)

These minutes, as well as those of the IVS general meetings, are available online in PDF format at


The Streets Committee meets monthly on the last Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm at Seventh Son Brewery to discuss issues surrounding the public use of our streets and sidewalks. Our goal is to make our neighborhood streets “complete streets” in the sense they should unite our neighborhood, not divide it, and safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit riders and adjoining residents as well as vehicular traffic. We address such issues as parking, cross-walks, lighting, street trees, promoting storm water management and Blueprint Columbus, sidewalk amenities, signal timing, one-way vehicular traffic and development as it affects our neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks and their safe use.

These minutes, as well as those of the IVS general meetings, are available online in PDF format at

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