Westfield City Council member Jake Gilbert led a discussion during the council’s Feb. 22 meeting regarding the city conducting a traffic study to examine speed limits at trail crossings and possibly amending the traffic ordinance to reduce speeds in those areas.
Gilbert called on the Dept. of Public Works and the Westfield Police Dept. and asked what steps the city can take to make crossings safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
“The public has been very adamant about our trails, and we want to make sure our trails and our trail crossings are as safe as possible, so we need to continue to analyze and look at anything we can do as a city in that respect,” Gilbert said. “(Public Works Director Jeremy) Lollar shared that consistency is very important.”
Gilbert said the HAWK signal won’t be installed at the 161st Street and Monon Trail crossing for several months, but that particular solution was “unique” to the area. He said other crossings the council is concerned about are the Monon Trail at 151st and 191st streets.
Lollar said after speaking with WPD, both Public Works and WPD agree that they should look at the speed limits at the crossings.
“In order for our speed limits to be enforceable, they have to be justifiable, so we will, at your request, need to do a traffic study to determine the recommended speed,” Lollar said. “I propose we look at a whole corridor at one time – all Monon crossings at one time, subsequently, depending on what we find there, look at all Midland Trail (crossings).”
Lollar said it will take time to create a contract and find a consultant.
“It does cost money to look at these things,” said Lollar, who didn’t specify how much the study would cost. “Then we can move ahead and see what the study determines, make recommendations and talk to legal (counsel) about how we proceed. If that’s the desire, to create these slower zones, from our perspective, we do see value in that and hopefully our research will support what we’re all saying.”
The council did not vote on the proposal. For more, visit westfield.in.gov.