I-471 study needs NKU input

Last week The Northerner reported that the Interstate 471 corridor is being studied for improvements by Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

It’s about time.

The study should have been commissioned in 2002, when crashes jumped nearly 50 percent in the area, according to the OKI council.

But better late than never. The numbers show that I-471 needs the study. The study’s Web site says between 75,000 and 110,000 vehicles travel I-471 each day, with up to 70,000 vehicles passing Northern Kentucky University.

The region studied extends beyond I-471, and it should. The study points out that more than 2,000 crashes occurred along U.S. 27 between 2001 and 2005. Two hundred eighty-six of those crashes resulted in injuries, and 1,751 involved property damage, the OKI council reports.

I-471 definitely needs examination – and repair. Canyon-sized potholes make me fear for my car’s suspension. Cracks snake all over the road.

Still, most NKU students, even the non-commuters, already know I-471 needs to be fixed. They drive it every day. They don’t need to be told that the highway’s out of shape.

But the study’s coordinators do.

They’re asking for input, and who better than NKU students to provide it. While residents may drive I-471 often, NKU students drive at all hours of the day and night. They know how busy it is at 11 on a Thursday morning as well as 11 on a Friday night. And with traffic only getting heavier, NKU students should provide their observations.

The study mentions 26,000 people working in the study area and describes their input as “vital.” Give them the advice they are asking for – your comments and complaints.

If you want to improve I-471, you need to let the OKI council know how to do it. The study’s Web site, www.471study.org, provides a forum for input. Comments can also be sent via e-mail to info@471study.org or by phone at (513)621-6300.

Otherwise, drivers will get what they didn’t ask for.