By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON - The planning commission this week did not OK a much-debated proposal to extend a downtown road and divert traffic from the central business district.
More than 100 residents and business people were at Tuesday night's meeting. Many spoke against some of the proposed thoroughfare plan changes. After hearing their concerns, the planning commission did not recommend approval of the Third Street extension or changes in right of way requirements, City Engineer Richard Fair said.
Other proposals did get the commission's approval. The changes still need City Council's OK.
"Planning commission (members) took their cue from merchants," Fair said. "If they don't want it, we'll try to do something different in the future that they can agree on."
Residents and members of the Downtown Mason Association have been vocal in their opposition to extending Third Street, in the core of downtown, because it would take out several homes and deter local traffic - not truck traffic - from the shopping district.
Some said it goes against the principles of the city's newly adopted downtown revitalization plan.
"Residents want a downtown they can be proud of," said Don Williams, a resident since 1951. "The city has committed themselves. Now we want to see them work towards it, not against it."
They asked the city to look into other options, including timing traffic lights differently and possibly even relocating U.S. 42.
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