PDT Staff Writer
The request by Shawnee State University to have the city close Third Street from Gay Street east to Waller Street will come up again this Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. during a meeting of the city’s Traffic Committee. The meeting will be held in the Engineering Department on the second floor of the municipal building.
The university says closing of the street would allow for continued growth of the university, accommodate a cohesive living-learning campus environment for the students and improve the safety for the 1,000 students living in university housing.
The request is based on what the university says is their recent and planned growth, the need to maximize limited space as outlined in the University’s 2007 Master Facilities Plan that was developed with members of the community and city government officials and traffic studies conducted in 2009 and 2012 by an independent traffic engineering consultant.
The first time the item came before City Council, on Dec. 13, 2010, it was defeated by a 3-3 vote. First Ward Councilman Kevin Johnson said the main concerns at that time were traffic flow being pushed up to Fourth and Gallia streets and how that change in traffic would impact the high school, two elementary schools and the Portsmouth Public Library. Another concern is the disruption of traffic from the residential east end into the city and the inability of the city to afford the upgrades to Fourth Street necessary for the increased traffic.
Johnson said the Social Security Administration’s office on Fourth Street was most concerned for the unresolved impact on its clients.
The Traffic Committee meetings are open to the public.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org