At its April 7 meeting, the Westfield City Council approved a resolution to allow curb cuts to be made on Ind. 32 for the Gristmill Crossing development, 7-0. Despite the unanimous vote, several councilors expressed concerns.
Curb cuts would be on the north side of Ind. 32 west of Ditch Road. One would serve as a full-access intersection and the second would serve as a right-in, right-out intersection. The resolution falls within the State Road 32 Overlay district, which raised concerns among the councilors.
“My concern is the full-access, not the right-in, right-out. I think that’s very efficient and does eliminate a lot of traffic,” council member Steve Hoover said. “If traffic is heavy enough there, ultimately that would require a light, and that’s what we were trying to avoid with the 32 overlay, having instances of traffic lights every few blocks on what should be more of a major thoroughfare.”
Council member Cindy Spoljaric questioned the proximity of the new intersections to Ditch Road. She asked what would happen if drivers traveling westbound on Ind. 32 encountered a yellow light at the Ditch Road intersection and then sped up to beat the yellow.
“What happens a lot of times when the light starts going yellow and they speed up right before the light?” She said. “I’m kind of concerned. We already have significant safety issues at that intersection (Ind. 32 and Ditch Road).”
Director of Public Works Jeremy Lollar said the speed limit from Oak Ridge Road to the west side of Eagletown was lowered from 55 to 45 mph last year. He said the new intersection won’t be different than the others along Ind. 32.
“We can certainly talk to INDOT about evaluating the speed limit in that area,” Lollar said.
Spoljaric then asked if it was possible to avoid the curb cuts and push all traffic to Ditch Road to access the subdivision. Lollar said the proposal would increase cost and maintenance for the City of Westfield because Ditch Road is a city road and Ind. 32 is INDOT’s responsibility.
Hoover said if resolution passed, he was concerned developers would approach the council again to ask for more curb cuts further west on Ind. 32.
Developers are limited to one full-access intersection west of Ditch Road within the Springmill Trails planned unit development, which encompasses the Gristmill Crossing subdivision. Future requests for full-access intersections would have to appear before the council.
Jesse Pohlman, a consultant and planner with OnPointe Land Matters, said it’s possible developers would return to council in the future to request another full-access intersection further west on Ind. 32.
“My preference would be (the full-access intersection) be further west. I really would prefer not to see too many full-access intersections in that mile,” Hoover said.
All council members voted in favor of the resolution, which also must appear before INDOT because Ind. 32 is a state road.
“This is tough because I would like to say no, but INDOT’s not going to like that, either,” Spoljaric said. “I do agree with everything everyone had to say, so, reluctantly, yes.”
Council president Mark Keen asked for a specific addition to the meeting minutes at the end of the vote, stating council would prefer one full-access intersection along the entire Gristmill Crossing development west of Ditch Road.
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.