Sunday, October 5, 2003

Mason road plan worries residents

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Noble and Marilyn Johnston have lived in their one-story brick home in the heart of downtown since 1958.

Now, their home and other residences could be plowed over to make room for a proposed thoroughfare to reroute truck traffic from Main Street.

"It totally destroys everything we own," said Marilyn Johnston, who grew up in downtown Mason. "It makes me nauseous just thinking about it."

The Johnstons are among several residents planning to fight the proposal at Tuesday's city planning commission meeting, where several proposed amendments to the thoroughfare plan will be discussed.

Among them is extending Third Avenue from Main Street to Mason-Montgomery Road and then to Kings Mills Road - which would knock out homes like the Johnston residence.

City Manager Scot Lahrmer said these are only proposals, stemming from city council's desire to lessen congestion along Main Street/U.S. 42. A traffic study has shown that at least two more lanes are needed through the area.

Lahrmer added that it could take years before the plan was acted on and that it does not have an immediate effect.

Business leaders and residents feel differently. They are asking the city to hold off on the plan and instead look at other options like better timing of traffic signals and relocating U.S. 42 along Tylersville and Mason-Montgomery roads.

But the city's been against that sort of plan for years, Lahrmer said. "We do not want large trucks going through the concentration of Mason City Schools," he said.


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