A delay in receiving all the materials needed to construct a HAWK signal at the Monon Trail crossing at 161st Street has pushed the construction of the signal back to late August.
A HAWK signal uses a traffic signal to stop cars when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
Public Works Director Jeremy Lollar gave an update on the signal at the July 12 Westfield City Council meeting.
“All materials will be in stock, (except for) the activation buttons, by the end of (the week of July 11), and the contractor is on standby waiting to install,” Lollar said. “The unfortunate part being right now (is), the activation buttons are due in by the end of August.”
Lollar said the equipment provider and contractor are working on a temporary solution.
“But as you can imagine, you can’t use (the signal) if you don’t have the button to activate it,” Lollar said. “If we can get something figured out, it can go up as early as in the next couple weeks.”
Following Lollar’s presentation, City Engineer John Nail gave an update on a speed study the council requested in May for all trail crossings within the city. Nail said a slower speed limit at trail crossings doesn’t guarantee a safer crossing, and he said the main reason drivers slow down at crossings is because their sight distance is limited.
“Sight distance plays a huge factor in determining driver behavior,” Nail said. “If they’re unsure if a pedestrian is there, they naturally slow down.”
However, if sight distance is good and a driver drives faster through the crossing, it doesn’t mean the crossing is unsafe, despite the faster speed.
Council president Mike Johns requested Nail return to a future council meeting with a list of intersections that needed sight distance improvement.
“If we are able (to improve sight distance), we already would have,” Nail said. “Some intersections there are right-of-way issues.”
A specific intersection the city cannot proceed with clearing brush is at 191st Street and the Monon because the city doesn’t own the land where the brush grows.
“If there is an existing sight distance issue it is because we don’t have rights to the property or trees in the way, so in a month from now, that is not going to change,” Lollar said. “Land acquisition takes many months, and sometimes a year.”
Johns asked Lollar to begin the process of purchasing the land at the northeast corner of 191st Street and the Monon Trail.
For more, visit westfield.in.gov.