Wednesday, March 01, 2000

Traffic tops Harrison Twp. beefs

Plan group hears growth concerns

Enquirer Contributor

        HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Getting around the growing township topped the short list of concerns by 25 residents who accepted an invitation to respond to the preliminary Harrison Township Comprehensive Plan.

        Close to a dozen county officials and members of the township planning committee heard residents' reactions to the plan. Most of the feedback during the nearly two-hour meeting Monday night centered on proposals for improving traffic flow on several roads and the locations of paths for biking and walking.

        “Traffic is a big concern,” said Sue Jackman, who moved from Cheviot to Carolina Trace Road in 1980. “Since I've moved out here, I've seen a big increase. A lot of times, we have to take the back way to get to places.”

        “When I was growing up in Anderson Township, I used to be able to ride my bike down Beechmont Avenue when it was two lanes,” said Robert Biddle, a former Cincinnati police officer who moved to Har rison Township in 1991. “Look at it now. What they want to do is turn it into another Anderson Township.”

        “I can understand why they would be concerned about traffic,” said Catalina Landivar- Simon of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. “This is still a rural community. You can't just walk to places. It's harder to get around.”

        The preliminary plan was put together by the RPC and the township planning group as part of the Western Hamilton County Comprehensive Plan effort. Many of the township plan proposals were based on ideas generated at a November public meeting.

        While having convenient access to Interstate 74 was considered to be one of Harrison Township's assets, the town ship's growing traffic problems also topped the list when people were asked what they would change.

        Besides Carolina Trace, other problem areas identified by residents included the Dry Fork-Simonson roads area, the Kilby-Campbell roads area and New Haven Road. They also wanted to know about the possibility of improving access for public transportation, such as Queen City Metro buses, and the location of bike-walk trails.

        Ms. Jackman pointed out that one map indicated that planners had identified one stretch of Carolina Trace Road as dangerous, while another showed the same stretch as being a location for a bike-walk trail.

        Those were the types of concerns Ms. Landivar-Simon said will be addressed in later meetings. She expects that a final plan will be ready to present to township trustees by August.

        Meanwhile, Mr. Biddle planned to keep a close eye on the proceedings.

        “What people don't understand is what we're being asked to give up,” he said. “What we have out here is unique. People say we need to improve our tax base. I say for what? Sometimes it's better to say no thanks, but I think people get caught up in the giddiness. Unfortunately, once you unlock the door, the horse is out.”


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