Site icon West Franklin Boulevard Rehabilitation

Project Feedback

Update #4 (4/28/2022): Project and Schedule Updates

In early 2022, the Mayor’s office received outreach from several residents with both support for and concerns about the plans for the W. Franklin rehabilitation project. After thorough review and consultation, the City has elected to move forward with roadway construction this Spring. Letters from Councilmember Jenny Spencer (Ward 15) and Interim Director Jamie DeRosa further describe these discussions.

In addition, project details are available now that design is complete:

The City will post additional project and construction updates after a contractor is identified. Please share your contact information using the form on the home page to receive direct notification when this information is available.

Update #3 (8/17/2021): Additional Project Updates

Since the public information session on July 29, the following additional updates have been made to the project:

For other project refinements since the initial date posting, including curb realignments, curb bumpouts with delineators, and mini-roundabout design enhancements, please see Update #1 and Update #2 below.

Update #2 (7/30/2021): Franklin Boulevard Rehabilitation – Public Information Update Meeting

Thank you for your project feedback! We received numerous and thoughtful comments, and as a result we have made several updates to the design. We are also providing additional context for how decisions are made as the project moves forward from the conceptual design in the Franklin Traffic Calming Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) Study published in 2019. The narrative below seeks to address this while responding to the most frequent public comments. In addition, the City hosted a special Information Session on July 29, 2021, to share this project update in-person and answer community questions. The presentation from this meeting is included below.

Update #1 (7/26/2021): Updates From Feedback

Project Update Summary

Since the initial project designs were posted online for public feedback, the project team has made the following updates to enhance the traffic calming impact and address comments:

Revised Project Timeline

In addition to the website updates, the upcoming public information session, and conversations with stakeholders, the project team is currently working on the detailed design for intersections where a mini-roundabout is proposed to maximize the traffic calming impact in each location, minimize the loss of on-street parking, and avoid impacts to the tree canopy along the corridor.

We will provide updates through additional website posts and community announcements when further information is available.

The updated project timeline is:

Project Overview

Following the Franklin Traffic Calming Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) plan (, the West Franklin Boulevard Rehabilitation Project seeks to slow down traffic, increase comfort and safety for people walking and biking, and improve the pavement condition along the corridor. As proposed, the project will include the following key safety and traffic calming improvements:

Please refer to the annotated corridor maps link below for more information.

Design Process

The NOACA TLCI recommendations included removal of existing traffic signals, new neighborhood traffic circles, new curb extensions, and new and enhanced pedestrian crossings, based on measures offered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in their Traffic Calming ePrimer. These recommendations were offered at a conceptual level, which is the first step in the project design process. The conceptual plan is refined as the project moves forward through the design process and is followed by preliminary design (sometimes called Stage 2), detailed design (Stage 3), and bid documents (Plans, Specifications & Estimates; or PS&E). At each step, the feasibility, constraints, and project impacts are refined and clarified, and the project evolves accordingly. Specifically, Stages 2 & 3 consider geometric constraints related to turning movements of large vehicles; something that is not typically possible in a conceptual plan without exact intersection measurements.

The preliminary design for Franklin Boulevard was presented on this project website in April, 2021 and included all the recommended traffic-calming measures that conform to city policies, designed to current engineering standards. The preliminary design draws on the following additional information gathered by the design team:

The comments received on the preliminary design have helped define the detailed design, which is currently under preparation. The bid documents are scheduled to be delivered to ODOT later this fall to meet the procurement deadlines for federal and state funding.

Each of the proposed treatments has a safety benefit and calming function at the location where it is proposed. Although each treatment stands on its own as an effective traffic calming measure, their distribution along the corridor will also create a cumulative impact of calmer traffic along the street.

Speed Limit Reduction

The City will continue to explore and advocate for methods to reduce the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph in conjunction with this project on Franklin Boulevard. ODOT sets all speed limits in Ohio, per the Ohio Revised Code. The City has already engaged ODOT and the City’s Law department regarding Franklin, and is working with ODOT to meet their requirements that would allow lowering the speed limit. In the last year, ODOT has convened a statewide committee to update the speed zoning process, which is the process by which speed limit reductions are approved. The committee is in the process of adopting policy changes which should help make Franklin eligible for speed limit reduction, including:

Even with these policy revisions, the current dynamics of Franklin Blvd. may not qualify it for a 25 mph speed limit, underscoring the importance of physical improvements to the roadway to calm traffic and support a lower posted speed limit.

Mini-Roundabout Design Details

Mini-roundabouts fit within an existing intersection where they slow traffic by forcing a turning movement around a central circle. They are very similar in function to the neighborhood traffic circles described in the Franklin Traffic Calming TLCI, but meet engineering standards that allow them to replace traffic signals and safely accommodate larger vehicles (see FHWA discussion).

Benefits of mini-roundabouts include:

Key elements of mini-roundabouts include (see Figure 1 below, developed by the Federal Highway Administration, FHWA):

Franklin mini-roundabout design elements:

Mini-Roundabout access by school buses, emergency, and service vehicles:
The mini-roundabout center island will be plowed in the winter to be utilized by school buses and larger vehicles. The middle circle is wide enough to accommodate the plow blade. Drivers of snow plows, school buses, emergency vehicles, and other local service vehicles will be instructed on how to safely navigate the new intersections, and educational information will also be shared with residents and area employees through community channels.

Other FAQ’s

Tree and Canopy Vegetation Impacts

1. How will this project impact the tree canopy? Most of the work for this project will occur within the existing pavement, between the curb lines. The only locations where work will be performed within the tree lawn is to install new curb ramps, curb extensions, or to replace existing deficient curb ramps. New curb ramp locations will be selected to avoid healthy trees, and the contractor will be instructed to protect existing trees. The City’s Urban Forester has been consulted and their recommendations will be followed to minimize impact on existing trees. At this time, we do not anticipate any loss of trees along the corridor associated with this project. When the detailed design (Stage 3) is complete, we will provide an update if this changes.

2. What is the impact of the RRFB installations on the landscaping? The RRFB installation will have limited impact on landscaping. The location of the RRFBs and ADA curb ramps have been carefully evaluated to avoid conflict with the trees.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Elements

3. Why aren’t raised crosswalks included in the project plans like the TLCI plan recommended? The TLCI plan recommended raised crosswalks at unsignalized intersections along Franklin where additional pedestrian priority was desired. The raised crosswalks were recommended at different locations than the mini-roundabouts, and as proposed in the TLCI did not have an interactive relationship with or impact on the effectiveness of the mini-roundabouts.

4. At this time, the City does not have a finalized policy for raised crosswalks, speed tables, or speed humps, so they are not included for implementation in this project. The City is developing a pilot policy for this type of traffic calming feature, in coordination within the city administration, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Public Safety, and City Council, which would allow them to be installed on select lower volume residential side streets to inform final eligibility criteria for installation on other streets.

5. How are crosswalks being designed to ensure pedestrian safety? All of the enhanced crosswalk locations proposed in the Franklin Traffic Calming TLCI will receive high-visibility markings, signage, and curb extensions or delineators where possible. In the detailed design, an additional enhanced crosswalk will be provided near West 80th Street based on public request. Single crosswalks instead of double are proposed at West 44th, West 32nd and West 29th to prioritize pedestrian movements and to match the locations of proposed RRFBs.

6. Can RRFB’s be installed at all crosswalks that are not part of the mini roundabout? RRFBs will be installed at West 69th and West 57th Streets because they are school crossings and at West 44th and West 32nd to replace the removed traffic signals.

7. Are there examples of RRFBs being used in residential neighborhoods with success? The city has used RRFBs in residential neighborhoods at several school crossings with higher car traffic than what would be expected on a typical residential street. Examples include Halle School, Fullerton School, Harvey Rice School, and Alfred Benesch School. 

8. The intersection of West 38th is being used by children going to Near West Intergenerational School. How will the children know to get drivers going around the roundabout to stop for them, and how will drivers know to yield to pedestrians? The crosswalk locations at each mini-roundabouts are selected to maximize drivers yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk, and to provide visibility for pedestrians crossing the street. (See the Mini-Roundabout Design Details section for more information.) Additionally, for the W. 38th Street intersection, the City will establish a school zone with flashing beacons both along Franklin and W. 38th Street as an additional signal to motorists. Other pedestrian safety measures for this location are also being considered during the detailed design, given its importance as a school crossing.

9. How and where are curb extensions being incorporated? Curb extensions enhance pedestrian safety by calming traffic and shortening crossing distance, but can impact existing underground utilities, street drainage patterns, and adjoining mature trees. The design team has evaluated the locations of the curb extensions proposed in the Franklin Traffic Calming TLCI, and is able to incorporate them in the following locations:

Additionally, curb extensions on Franklin on either side of W. 65th Street are currently being installed as part of the W. 65th Street Rehabilitation project due to recommendations in the Franklin Traffic Calming TLCI plan.

10. Can separated biked lanes be considered for West Franklin by removing on street parking? Bike lanes were not recommended in the Franklin Traffic Calming TLCI and are not being considered for this project. The project implements traffic calming measures to slow down traffic and enhance bicyclist safety, and the removal of on-street parking beyond what is required for the mini-roundabouts has not been part of the public discussion.

Mini – Roundabout Details

11. Will signs and posts be installed at the mini-roundabout locations for low light visibility? Raised, reflective pavement markings will be installed around the edge of the center islands and along the approaches of the splitter islands to maximize visibility. Additional vertical elements in the mini-roundabout splitter islands and/or central islands, such as flexible delineators, are being investigated and are dependent on turning movement paths for large vehicles and maintenance considerations.

12. Will there be signage at the mini-roundabout intersections indicating that cars must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks? Pedestrian crossing signs will be installed at all crosswalk locations, including the mini roundabout intersections alerting drivers to slow down.

13. Is there enough truck traffic to warrant the need for roundabouts to be traversable? The need for the central circle to be traversable does not depend on truck traffic volume. It is needed to allow the large vehicles that regularly service the neighborhood, such as school buses, delivery trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, and waste disposal vehicles, to safely make left turns.

14. How will the traffic slow by replacing traffic lights with mini-roundabouts? The mini-roundabouts are traffic calming measures and are designed to slow the traffic making it safe for drivers, bicycles and pedestrians. The mini-roundabouts have been designed with geometric features that slow all vehicles down, regardless of the posted speed limits on the roadway. Entering traffic is slowed down and deflected to the right into an appropriate curved path along the circulating roadway and around the central island.

15. Can the mini-roundabout at West 50th Street be removed and add as needed traffic calming measures? The mini-roundabout at West 50th Street was specifically recommended in the TLCI plan due to the crash history at the Franklin & W. 50th intersection. The mini-roundabout will improve sight lines for traffic crossing Franklin and will prevent crashes when drivers on W. 50th are attempting to cross Franklin. It will also slow traffic on W. 50th as vehicles enter and exit the intersection. The mini-roundabout will result in additional pedestrian connectivity at this intersection, with the addition of two high visibility crosswalks across Franklin.

16. Do these roundabouts make it safer for ambulances and stopping traffic? Do the traversable roundabouts make their travel easy? The ambulances will encounter less conflict points at the mini-roundabouts, making it easier to find a safe, clear path around other vehicles. The traversable nature of the mini-roundabout centers allows ambulances to mount them if needed.

Signal Removal at W. 32nd and W. 44th

17. Would more control be warranted at the busy intersection of West 44th St.? A curb extension will be added on West 44th to slow down turning vehicles, and the new enhanced single crosswalk will be supplemented with RRFBs.

18. Is the intersection of West 32nd Street proposed to be a four way stop? After signal removal, the intersection will operate with stops on the side streets, and RRFBs at the new enhanced single crosswalk on Franklin. Vertical delineators will be added to enhance pedestrian safety next to on-street parking.

Construction Impacts

19. Will on street parking be allowed during construction? On street parking will not be allowed during construction, when contractor crews are in an active work zone. The city will work with the contractor to accommodate on-street parking when the work zone is not being used.


20. How will we know if the project is successful at calming traffic? The City has collected data pre-construction, and will compare it to data collected after construction. This data will help evaluate:

21. Why does the website refer to the street as West Franklin Boulevard? West Franklin Boulevard is the official name of the street, as recorded in city plats and historic documents. The “west” connotation differentiates from the Franklin Boulevard between West 25th Street and Columbus Road.

22. How will this project impact city tax for residents? The cost of this project is covered by funding allocated for this specific purpose and has no impact on the current city tax.

23. Has there been any discussion with the community centers (St. Paul’s Community Church, near West Intergenerational Elementary School) of what they think about the design? We received feedback from both of them and incorporated their comments in the City responses.

Individual Comments and Responses (PDF)

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