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Ohio University joins City of Athens to hold open forum for Richland Avenue Pedestrian Passageway

Feb. 20 event to provide opportunity for community to share ideas, provide feedback and learn of project updates


The City of Athens, in collaboration with Ohio University, is hosting an open house for the campus and the local community to review and provide feedback on a major pedestrian safety improvement project on Richland Avenue.

The open house will be held Tuesday Feb. 20, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the north end of the Grover Center Atrium the Ohio University Athens Campus. Staff from the City of Athens and OHIO, along with design firm representatives from Burgess & Niple, will be available to answer general questions about the project and discuss any concerns, environmental issues, historic issues or other features about the project area.

“We are thankful to the City of Athens for their efforts in securing funding and prioritizing safety improvements for this key area of our city and campus,” said Deb Shaffer, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Ohio University. “We encourage the University community to attend and provide feedback.”

For many years, both the City and OHIO have received requests to improve safety and congestion issues at the existing crosswalk, and the OHIO Comprehensive Master Plan 2016 identified this location as one of the most hazardous crossings on campus. The Richland Avenue Pedestrian Passageway Project is intended to separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic as well as alleviate traffic congestion issues associated with the existing crosswalk near Grover Center and Porter Hall.

Through the Ohio University’s Comprehensive Master Plan process, the City and OHIO were able to build upon their previous collaborative efforts and establish a common vision for a new pedestrian crossing. 

The vision includes raising Richland Ave., a City of Athens roadway, into an overpass near the existing crosswalk. Elevating the roadway will allow for a new passageway between West Green and South Green and enable pedestrians and vehicles to move independently and safely. Early concepts for the project propose that the new passageway be wide, well-lit and allow for unobstructed views as pedestrians travel from one side of Richland Ave. to the other.  

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to visit the Grover Center Atrium anytime between 3:30 pm and 6 p.m. to speak with a member of the project team, share their thoughts about the project and submit a comment form.

Community members who are unable to attend the open forum, but would like an opportunity to provide comments or ask questions, are encouraged to contact the City of Athens Engineering and Public Works Department via email at epwsupport@ci.athens.oh.us or call (740) 593-7636.


What: Richland Avenue Pedestrian Passageway open forum

When: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Grover Center Atrium at Ohio University

The campus community is encouraged to visit the Grover Center Atrium anytime between 3:30 pm and 6 p.m. to speak with a member of the project team, share their thoughts on the project and complete a comment form.

Those who are unable to attend the open forum, but would like an opportunity to provide comments or ask questions, may contact the City of Athens Engineering and Public Works Department via email at epwsupport@ci.athens.oh.us or call (740) 593-7636.