Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

October 23, 2013

Avon looks to improve dangerous intersection

Removal of trees 
the top option

Wade Coggeshall wade.coggeshall@flyergroup.com
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — AVON — Town officials here are hoping some homeowners agree to losing some trees in order to make an intersection safer.

The Public Works Department has received numerous complaints about the intersection of County Roads 100 South and 1050 East, near the Ronald Reagan Parkway. Among the concerns are line of sight, which is hindered by trees on two private properties, and speeding motorists.

The county, which had jurisdiction of the area until Avon annexed it this summer, had removed the stop signs there. Some residents at a recent town council meeting called for returning them.

Public Works Director Ryan Cannon said the stop signs were removed because the volume of traffic on C.R. 100 South often backs up into the intersection.

“The stop signs were taken down because of a safety issue, but that actually caused another safety issue,” Cannon said.

However, he noted stop signs wouldn’t help because the traffic volume on C.R. 100 South is much higher than on C.R. 1050 East.

“You’d create another safety problem by making it a four-way stop,” Cannon said.

He’s not in favor of lowering the speed limit there either. Currently it’s 40 miles per hour.

“Just because it’s lower doesn’t mean it’s going to be followed,” Cannon said.

Homeowners there, however, would like to see it changed.

“Any time after 3:30, 4 o’clock, it takes 15 to 20 minutes just to get out of my driveway because people are just flying by,” said Caleb Gross, who is one of two homeowners with trees impeding sight at the intersection. “I think if they dropped (the speed limit) down to 30, it would be a lot safer.”

For now, Cannon has proposed removing three trees off of Katie Roland’s property and three more off of Gross’ land. The town would replace them with trees farther back from the roads. The total cost of the project is just over $6,300. The council approved the recommendation.

“I think we’ve come up with a solution that is cost effective and addresses the sight distance concern,” Cannon said.

Roland stressed to the council that her existing trees add great value to her property. One of the trees that would be removed, a poplar, was once recognized by the Town of Avon as being one of its oldest trees.

“Our trees are very important to the value of our property,” Roland said, adding that they’ve also acted as a safety barrier for her before. She once found a car’s side mirror hanging in one.

“We’re kind of a victim of our own success here,” said Councilman Marcus Turner, observing that the parkway is now dumping too much traffic onto C.R. 1050 E. He also agreed that stop signs would stack traffic at the intersection during peak driving hours. Turner said lowering the speed limit is the best option.

“We’re a town of 40,000 people,” he said. “We shouldn’t have 40-mph speed limits everywhere. I really think that’s something that needs to be looked into.”

The council asked Cannon to conduct a traffic and speed study at the intersection.