Indiana DOT to develop safer crossing for students and residents

For years, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Indiana University Northwest (IU Northwest) have worked to improve safety for students crossing State Road 53 (Broadway), between 33rd and 35th Avenues, through the use of lane markings, pedestrian signage, fencing, and warning lights.

With IU Northwest’s support for safety measures, now INDOT is taking the next step towards a safer crossing, with the installation of a traffic signal.

In 2010, the crosswalk was restriped by INDOT and equipped with a flashing strobe that is activated by pedestrians. IU Northwest also installed a fence adjacent to Broadway to help direct pedestrians to the crosswalks.

After installation and use of prior pedestrian safety measures, IU Northwest approached INDOT with their concerns about the students and staff members who cross the busy state road every day. Late last year, INDOT listened to the campus community and agreed to a detailed study, tracking peak campus activity at the crossing during IU Northwest’s Spring 2012 semester. The result of the effort is a new signal, which INDOT is putting on the fast track, to make operational by the end of the year.

“This signal is a perfect example of great teamwork. IU Northwest and INDOT worked to make this crossing safer two years ago. But, our latest traffic study indicated additional measures are now warranted, so we will further enhance safety measures,” said Bob Alderman, deputy commissioner for the LaPorte District of INDOT.

IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe welcomed the new signal, but reminded the community to continue to use great care at all street crossings.

“While we are gratified that a full traffic signal will be installed, it is important that students, faculty and staff continue to exercise due care when crossing Broadway or any other campus road,” Chancellor Lowe said. “Especially until the traffic signal is operational, pedestrians and drivers must remain cognizant of their safety at the crosswalk on Broadway.”

INDOT reminds drivers to obey the posted speed limit of 30 MPH and to watch for pedestrians crossing Broadway near the campus. Pedestrians are also reminded to use the marked crosswalks and never assume all traffic will stop at the yellow flashing LED lights. Pedestrians should look both ways, make eye contact with drivers and avoid using handheld devices that may distract them.