Improvements coming for dangerous east Columbus intersection

Major improvements are on the way for the area of Livingston Avenue and Barnett Road. (WBNS)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — It is one of the busiest and most dangerous intersections in Columbus, according to city leaders.

Now, major improvements are on the way for the area of Livingston Avenue and Barnett Road.

"This community has actively voiced their concerns about pedestrian traffic in this area, given the number of children that walk to nearby community institutions, including the recreation center and library," said Shayla Favor, a city council member who is chair of the transportation and public service committee.

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She was part of a contingent of city leaders making the announcement on Wednesday afternoon. The $1.4 million project includes new turn lanes, replacing the existing traffic signal, and the addition of pedestrian walkways and push buttons.

The money for the project comes from a combination of both city and Ohio Dept. of Transportation funds.

"By creating safe routes to schools, we are helping ensure children in our community can walk and bike to school safely," Favor said. "These infrastructure improvements not only create a safer physical health and path for students to get to and from school and to the library, but they also support increased physical activity and better health overall."

Joey Leviner is in the area nearly every day, maneuvering his way around the sometimes uneven sidewalk and roadway in his electric wheelchair.

"Right now, you have to adapt," he said. "I’m a military man. You have to adapt to the situations that’s going on around you right now."

Last year, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission ranked the intersection No. 43 on its list of top 100 most dangerous intersection in the greater Columbus area.

Leviner is aware it can be unsafe, so he puts a reflective yellow vest on his wheelchair. And he is glad that safety improvements are on the way.

"It takes time, it takes time," he said. "But they kinda have to speed up the process a little bit because this area has been down for quite some time, and for them to finally be able to get it together, I’m glad for it, I’m glad for ‘em."

City leaders say the current road project should be finished by mid-September. Construction on the sidewalk project is set to begin next summer.