Letter to the Editor

Expounding on issues raised by The Pulse

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To the Editor:

First, I would like to thank the Banner Graphic staff for their efforts to initiate community dialogue with "The Pulse." I hope that during its run there will be the opportunity to explore the many issues that are on the minds of residents throughout our county.

I would also encourage people who have specific Greencastle questions or suggestions to not hesitate to contact me through the cityofgreencastle.com website, or here at City Hall at 1 N. Locust St.

It does seem important to expound a bit on some of the issues raised in The Pulse's first running.

* U.S. 231 Bypass: The frustration of semis making two 90-degree turns through the central part of our community is indeed a long standing one. Longer trucks and a seemingly endless parade of the vehicles make travel throughout our downtown difficult for cars and pedestrians alike.

In 2007 I had the opportunity to talk with then Gov. Daniels about the long-discussed Greencastle bypass. He and the Department of Transportation (INDOT) informed, me, at that time, that such a bypass was not on INDOT's 20-year plan. Subsequently, transportation committees have been formed and frustrated when we saw efforts to have environmental studies done on a possible truck route moving vehicles east at U.S. 36 and then down State Road 75 to reconnect with 40, 70 and/or 231 eliminated from possible federal government funding.

What people have to remember is that 231 is part of the state highway system and not something that is under the control of the City of Greencastle. Any route change or bypass would have to be authorized by the state.

The idea of routing truck traffic south on Jackson Street and over Veterans Memorial Highway has also been discussed. It was met with great opposition from the Asbury Tower Community, DePauw University and residents who provided input.

The even larger issue was that since the state needs to maintain control of all pieces of their highway system, such a change would require the city to relinquish control of Veterans Memorial Highway (and our veterans memorial trees) and "exchange" that piece of roadway for 240 to 75. The thought of maintaining such a long section of road outside of the city limits, is most definitely cost prohibitive.

So, we continue to advocate and wait for the state to make our bypass a priority. I encourage everyone who is frustrated and an advocate for a change in the 231 travel route through Greencastle to contact their state legislators, the governor and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

* Downtown Parking: Our two new surface lots are set to be completed by mid-November.

With those additional spaces and the move to make the city's Banner and Columbia Street lots open for free parking, the City Council is being asked to consider a revision to our parking ordinance that would allow two hours of free parking only once during the 9-5 work day, thus eliminating anyone's ability to just move their vehicle throughout the day to another spot in the city's 200+ two-hour regulated parking areas, Monday through Friday.

Sue Murray

Greencastle Mayor