Wyngate Crosswalk A Concern For County Commissioner

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A crosswalk painted on Johnson Road has an Athens County commissioner concerned about the safety of senior citizens who might use it.

Commissioner Charlie Adkins brought up the topic at Tuesday's meeting of the commissioners.

The crosswalk, located in front of Wyngate Condominiums, was added recently to help with access to a newly built spur of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The spur goes from the bikeway to Athens High School, and is on the opposite side of busy Johnson Road from Wyngate.

Adkins asked County Planner Lori Burchett if something could be done to improve the safety of the crossing.

"Definitely some sign would be helpful," Burchett said.

Adkins mentioned the possibility of adding lights, explaining later that he was referring to push-button warning lights that could be activated by someone wanting to cross Johnson Road.

Burchett also mention the possibility of asking the high school to help make students aware of the crossing.

"There are a lot of young drivers at that area," she noted.

Burchett indicated there are local sources of grant money that could be explored as possible funding for improvements to the crossing.

Burchett said she had spoken with a representative of Wyngate, who expressed a preference for having direct access to the bike path, rather than a Johnson Road crossing.

The bike spur goes under Johnson Road at a highway bridge near the high school, but there is no direct access between Wyngate and the area where the bridge is located.

Commissioner Lenny Eliason said there has been some discussion of building a sidewalk along Johnson Road that would provide access from Wyngate to the bike path area at the high school. One issue with that idea is that there is a cemetery between

Wyngate and the high school, and an easement would be needed from the Athens Twp. trustees who oversee the cemetery.

Eliason said it also might be necessary to do an environmental and archeological study before building such a sidewalk.

"It's an expensive project to build that sidewalk," Eliason said.

Adkins said he intends to speak with the township trustees early next year about the possibility of the sidewalk project.