Win­field of­fi­cials look for an­swers to 109th Av­enue traf­fic woes

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Rob Earn­shaw Post-Tri­bune Rob Earn­shaw is a free­lance re­porter for the Post-Tri­bune.

Win­field of­fi­cials are aware that in­creased traf­fic on 109th Av­enue is a con­cern and plan to be­gin ad­dress­ing it in the sum­mer.

Res­i­dent Stan­ley Fryzel ap­peared be­fore the Town Coun­cil on Tues­day ask­ing for relief on 109th with a sug­ges­tion of putting a four­way stop sign at the in­ter­sec­tion of Mi­ami Street and 109th, which is a few blocks west of Ran­dolph Street and the down­town area.

Fryzel said he first wrote town of­fi­cials in 2014 ask­ing for a way to calm traf­fic and in that time it has only got­ten worse, be­cause of the ad­di­tion of new sub­di­vi­sions in the area.

“First and fore­most, it is for the safety of the res­i­dents try­ing to en­ter 109th from the sub­di­vi­sions,” he said. “They have to hurry up and try to get into traf­fic across lanes.”

Fryzel said the speed limit re­duces from 40 mph to 30 mph on 109th at Mi­ami, there­fore it is a good spot for a stop sign. He said it is also the only four-way in­ter­sec­tion along 109th from In­ter­state 65 to Ran­dolph and the down­town.

“What can this board do to get us some relief,” Fryzel asked.

It may not be a stop sign, but relief is com­ing, eventu- ally, of­fi­cials said.

“We are look­ing right now at 109th Av­enue be­cause it is a prob­lem ev­ery­where, bor­der to bor­der,” Town Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ger­ald Stiener said.

Stiener said im­prove­ments are com­ing to town roads thanks to an In­di­ana Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion Com­mu­nity Cross­ings Grant of about $980,000, but those are de­signed for spe­cific roads like County Line and 117th Av­enue.

Stiener said they are look­ing at op­tions to im­prove con­di­tions along 109th in the sum­mer with money from another grant.

“We are try­ing to fig­ure out what the best way is to cre­ate breaks in the traf­fic so it is not just that steady line of cars,” he said. “But I’m not sure stop signs are the an­swer be­cause all that does is back up traf­fic, and in that area, there is a lot of traf­fic.”

Of­fi­cials re­cently used the town’s road­work money to add a pass­ing blis­ter on 109th near the Dol­lar Gen­eral store.

“Re­ally, 109th should be three lanes and a wider road and all that,” Stiener said “We don’t have the money to do that. Nor will we for a long time. We have to start with small bites, and those are the in­ter­sec­tions and how to make traf­fic flow bet­ter on 109th.

Coun­cil­man Dave Anderson said 15,000 cars use 109th each day, and a stop sign at the Mi­ami in­ter­sec­tion could cause back­ups and cre­ate more prob­lems be­cause of hills along that stretch where vis­i­bil­ity would be an is­sue.

Of­fi­cials said some relief op­tions could in­clude round­abouts, traf­fic lights, ded­i­cated turn lanes and more pass­ing blis­ters.

Stiener said there is no easy an­swer and the is­sue is not just with Win­field res­i­dents us­ing the road. A lot of traf­fic comes from a neigh­bor­ing pri­vate com­mu­nity, Lakes of the Four Sea­sons, which is not part of Win­field.

“We get no tax rev­enue from them what­so­ever,” Stiener said.

Other motorists clog­ging the road are from Porter County.

“A lot of them cut through be­cause it is eas­ier to get to I-65 from 109th Av­enue than it is to go through mall traf­fic on U.S. 30,” Stiener said.

Stiener said they are not ex­actly sure what relief for 109th will be yet, but it is ob­vi­ously an area of con­cern.

“It is go­ing to be BandAids for a while,” he said.

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