A planned widening of Washington Avenue could adversely affect safety on the street, says a group of residents. Mike Wendling, who has owned a duplex on Washington since 1988, presented a petition to the Fort Thomas City Council at the April council meeting.
While the petition says residents are very happy with planned improvements on Washington including road resurfacing, sidewalks and curbs, they are concerned that widening the road will increase the volume and speed of traffic from nearby Newport and Southgate, bring cars closer to pedestrians and make their street less safe for those who live there.
Wendling said the narrowness of the road helps to slow down traffic as it is not possible for cars going opposite directions to pass each other while other cars are parked along the street. Drivers are forced to slow down and stop to let each other pass. He cited the city’s comprehensive plan that states traffic for nonresidents should be discouraged on streets considered local.
Widening of the street, said City Administrator Ron Dill, was intended to improve the street by allowing for safer maneuverability. About three feet of space would be added to ease tightness between moving traffic and parked cars.
Wendling went on to request that if the widening plan goes through that council take a close look at which side to widen and at ways to discourage flow through traffic. He also expressed concern over loss or relocation of street lights.
Council discussed adding “No through traffic” signage and other similar measures to discourage outside drivers on the street.