Stopsign changes due for final Council action

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New four-way stopsigns for two of Greencastle’s most dangerous local intersections await the green light Thursday when the City Council convenes for its March meeting.

The 7 p.m. Council session at City Hall is open to the public and will include consideration of Ordinance 2018-1, designating stop intersections, on second and final reading.

At the Council’s February meeting, the ordinance -- which would make four-way-stop intersections of Vine and Franklin streets along with Indiana and Walnut streets -- was passed unanimously on first reading.

Both intersections have long suffered from restricted visibility. And recent developments around both intersections -- with the arrival of Wasser Brewing Co. in the old NAPA store at Vine and Franklin, and Taphouse 24 in the old Horace Link/Video Heaven building at Indiana and Walnut, for example -- have generated more traffic, more parked cars and trucks and the presence of more delivery vehicles, adding up to less unobstructed sightlines.

Wasser Brewing Co. owner Chris Weeks, whose business sits on the southeast corner of Vine and Franklin, brought the issue to the Council’s attention initially more than a year ago as he noticed the traffic and particularly the “near-misses” that were occurring at the intersection which currently calls for east-west traffic on Franklin Street to stop while north-south traffic on Vine Street does not.

On the south side of the downtown, east and west traffic currently stops on Walnut Street while Indiana Street traffic has the right of way.

None of the Greencastle councilmen have reported receiving any negative feedback about the proposed change, it was noted at the February meeting.

The change to four-way stops at those intersections, Mayor Bill Dory has noted, is an effort to “slow down traffic and keep people safe,” noting the increasing visibility issues at both intersections.

The proposed ordinance emerged after members of the community expressed continued concerns, followed by internal discussions among city department heads and the mayor.

Meanwhile, the March City Council meeting is also scheduled to include special requests for street closures from:

-- Big Bounce Fun House Rentals and Greencastle Presbyterian Church for Indiana Street (between Washington and Walnut) for Second Saturday Movie Night from April through October, 5-11 p.m.

-- DePauw University Alumni Office for Indiana Street (between Washington and Walnut) for a June 8 downtown block party, 6-11 p.m. Also includes a noise waiver request.

-- The Farmers Market for Indiana and Franklin streets downtown on Saturday mornings during the period April through September.

At the February meeting, it was noted that the Council would consider tax abatement for the latest Chiyoda USA equipment expansion at the March meeting. However, that will likely be pushed back until April since the shortness of February and the early nature of the March Council meeting did not allow enough time to legally advertise the public meeting date for the Chiyoda request.

The Greencastle City Council, which regularly meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., is composed of President Adam Cohen and members Stacie Langdon, Steve Fields, Tyler Wade, Mark Hammer, Gary Lemon and Dave Murray.

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