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South Street near I-65 raising concerns with residents

Lafayette residents and pedestrians are concerned about their safety when crossing South Street near I-65.

Posted: Mar 25, 2019 6:58 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2019 7:05 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) — Lafayette residents and pedestrians are concerned about their safety when crossing South Street near I-65.

"I feel very unsafe a lot of times crossing in the mid-afternoon," said area resident Tony Hurd.

Tony Hurd lives in the area and has to cross the street for work. He says at times, it is dangerous.

"This lady ran a red light when she was turning left," said Hurd. "She was in the straight lane to go straight, but she turned left on a red light. Where I kind of shook my head no. I can't believe she just did that."

Similar to Sagamore Parkway, this corridor is now under the City of Lafayette's control. It extends all the way out to the I-65 interchange.

City Engineer Jeromy Grenard says these concerns have not gone unnoticed.

"When this roadway was built, it was built around automobiles," said Grenard. "What we need to do now is retrofit it."

The City's Trail Master Plan and Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plans both show a multi-use trail along South Street out to I-65 North.

"There's a lot of demand for a trail system or a sidewalk system," said Grenard. "People can walk to a restaurant from their house which is nearby."

This project would include pedestrian crossings at traffic signal locations. Grenard says there is a reason why these enhancements were not there sooner.

"The progression of traffic through the area will be impacted by north/south pedestrian crossings," said Grenard. "That's why they weren't installed to begin with."

Phillip Vessels says he normally drives. Although Monday, he walked and experienced first-hand how difficult it can be crossing a busy street.

"The pedestrian thing over there doesn't have a crossway to come over towards to Circle K," said Vessels. "So I went over there to where the caution cone was and then crossed."

Grenard says the city is also considering a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Park East Boulevard to help enhance connectivity for area residents.

There is no word on when the planning process will start. Grenard said there are some many projects underway for the city. He says the city is still working to create a safer alternative for pedestrians.

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