Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Rookwood traffic brings 150 to community forum


Second scheduled for tonight

By Marie McCain and David Eck
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        City officials and residents of Oakley and Hyde Park today will get a second chance to discuss ways to alleviate traffic congestion at the new Rookwood Commons.

        Rookwood, which is in Norwood, borders both neighborhoods.

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Directory of stores
        On Monday, about 150 people attended a 7 p.m. meeting at Withrow High School nearby on Madison Road. The second meeting will be at 7 tonight, also at Withrow.

        Cheryl Maloney, who lives on Mooney Avenue in Hyde Park, said she is getting a lot of cut-through traffic be cause of the Rookwood development.

        “We're desperate to maintain the residential character of our neighborhood,” Ms. Maloney said. She said any continuation of cut-through traffic would drive residents out of the area.

        Shannon Brower lives on Zumstein Avenue in Hyde Park.

        “I'm worried about Christmas,” she said. “We don't have the streets to handle that kind of traffic.”

        “The way traffic flows is awkward at best,” Hyde Park Council President Charles Desando said of the mall.

        Oakley and Hyde Park residents, he said, are concerned not just about traffic on individual streets, such as Madison and Edwards roads, but about the overall impact that the mall expansion could have on the surrounding residential areas.

        A task force of residents was formed more than a year ago to address traffic concerns. Any traffic problems arising from Rookwood will be addressed by this group, he said.

        “We want to head off any problems before they devel op,” Mr. Desando added.

        Developer Jeff Anderson called residents' concerns “preliminary,” considering that the expansion has yet to be completed.

        He said workers still have to complete another roadway, inside the mall, that separates retailers from the office portion of the mall.

        That street, Arbor, should be finished by October, he said, adding that it would also provide a way into and out of the mall.

        Any traffic congestion on streets such as Madison or Edwards could be alleviated, he said, if shoppers used the entrance and exit on Edmondson Road.

        “Edmondson is designed for the increased traffic,” he said. “If people would just use that, there wouldn't be any problems.”

        Steve Bailey, Cincinnati traffic engineer, said there has been some discussion about restricting access to certain residential streets off Madison.

        “Residents have some suggestions. We have some suggestions,” he said. “This is all very preliminary.”

        Norwood residents who border Rookwood, such as Kathy Simon, have already expressed similar concerns about traffic on their streets.

        Ms. Simon has lived on Ed mondson for eight years. Her house is directly across from the mall's main entrance and exit.

        She said Monday that she plans to sell her home because she doesn't like the mall's proximity.

        “I feel like I'm being imposed on.”

Rookwood Commons stores



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