Council votes to cut off 'shortcut' through Oakley neighborhood

OAKLEY, OH (FOX19) - Drivers won't be able to take a convenient shortcut through an Oakley neighborhood any longer.

Cincinnati City Council voted to close three streets across from the Rookwood Commons development. The streets closing are Arbor, Atlantic and Hyde Park Avenue. These streets will be permanently closed to through traffic from Edwards Road. They'll still be accessible from Millsbrae Avenue.

Community members were upset with drivers cutting through their neighborhoods to avoid the traffic on Edwards Road.

"People would be annoyed, they'd whip down, and they'd gun it," said Jim Jackson.

For Jim and Jill Jackson, shortcuts near their home on Atlantic Avenue are a concern, particularly for their daughter Isabelle.

"I felt like I couldn't let Isabelle out here on the sidewalk when people were coming off there," said Jill.

"If she bolted out in the road, no one's going to see her fast enough," said Jim.

The Jacksons were relieved to find out the city would put a temporary barrier up while residents filled out a survey from the Department of Transportation.

"Rookwood became so active, they began asking the city to respond," said David Mann.

New restaurants, a hotel and other businesses are popping up all throughout the Rookwood Commons. This causes a bit of congestion along Edwards. Surveys asked residents whether they support the idea to close the roads to through traffic. However, Jackson says at first it was a bit frustrating because not everyone responded.

"A lot of ups and downs where we felt like is it going to pass are they going to open it back up, what's going to happen and we thought they were going to take them down after the surveys," said Jill Jackson.

Vice Mayor David Mann says council unanimously voted to make this a permanent change.

"You're trying to raise a family with small children and it's perfectly appropriate to say city you need to take a look at this," said Mann.

After well over a year, the Jacksons say they're thrilled to have a safer neighborhood for Isabelle.

"We can go out on the street and learn to ride her bike and a little bit more area and that kind of thing," said Jim Jackson.

Eventually, there's going to be some sort of attractive barricade. It will also be convenient enough for vehicles to turn around.

Vice Mayor David Mann says he expects the permanent changes to take effect in the next 60 to 90 days.

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