Change is Coming to Veterans Parkway, But is the Area and Its Residents Ready?

Driving down Veterans parkway by Northside High School during the morning rush hour is no picnic for commuters...

But major changes are in the works, as the city plans on widening the busy street to four lanes north of Moon and Williams Roads.

"We are still a good ways out, but the project has been designed...we've set aside everything we need to do, now it's just in the federal government's hands to make a determination," said Rick Jones, the Director of Metropolitan Planning.

"The road widening project on Veterans Parkway is still waiting on approval from the Federal Highway Administration, and it will not be completed for at least another three years.

But with plans for new apartments, a new convenience store and possibly a new grocery story, some residents say the area cannot sustain any more traffic, especially during the school year.

"I've talked to many of my neighbors and they are all vehemently against it. They feel there's too much growth going on.  The speed limit is 50 mph, we have children already walking in the grass to and from school, and it's getting darker earlier...we are concerned for their safety," said Daphney Olah, a Columbus Parent who lives off Veterans Parkway.

Aside from the traffic concerns, Olah plans to petition against a proposed liquor store right off Cooper Creek Parkway, very close to the main access point of several area schools.

"I think it's inappropriate that's the first thing our children will see going forth from the school," said Olah.

Olah plans on taking her petition to the City Council at their next meeting, and at the very least, hopes to stop the liquor store from being built.