Road Project Sparks Petition By Local Business Owners
The Ohio Department of Transportation said its proposed resurfacing project along Main Street in Chillicothe is needed to make the road safer.
Some local business owners disagree. They believe it would make one of Chillicothe's busiest streets more dangerous.
"It's certainly going to have an impact. People like convenience. They like to get close to where it is they're going," Shawn Bower told 10TV's Jason Frazer.
Bower said he's one of more than a dozen businesses along Main Street that will lose parking spots in front of his business to make way for ODOT's proposed project.
"Parking is at a premium down here in Chillicothe," Bower said.
Forty-seven parking spaces will be eliminated according to ODOT.
"Most of those either in front of vacant lots or are in front of a business or lot that has ample off street parking," said ODOT spokesperson Kathleen Fuller. "You're going to be seeing some turn lane additions at Walnut and Mulberry streets."
ODOT said the project is necessary in response to congestion and accidents along Chillicothe's busiest strip.
Some business owners are now trying to put the brakes on the plan. Bruce Arnold said he's already circulating a petition to axe the plan.
"The downtown is the heart of our city and this plan is flawed," Arnold said.
Arnold told 10TV he was concerned that more lanes of traffic will result in more drivers speeding down Main Street.
Fuller disputed that claim. "We usually don't see that in any downtown city center like this."
ODOT said the project will cost $1.5 million. The city will cover about 20 percent of the cost. City council will make the final decision on if the project will move forward
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