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La Porte City Engineer addresses new road concern

LA PORTE, Ind. -

Some La Porte City neighbors are speaking out against road reconstruction on I Street. ABC 57’s Jess Arnold sat down with the city engineer to review the plan.

“I don’t think anybody thinks it’s a good idea,” said Richard Gersch, who said he frequently uses the road.

La Porte City’s engineer does.

“This is an intervention that we’re looking at to increase the accessibility for the residents, and it does come at the expense of mobility. I’m sure people don’t like to have to slow down, but in doing so, we’re creating additional safety,” said city engineer Nick Minich.

The city added a six foot horizontal shift to about seven blocks of I Street back in the fall as a traffic calming technique.

“It’s designed to help people slow down and pay attention to the road. The road width doesn’t change,” said Minich.

“It is confusing and scary for drivers who aren’t expecting this, but it has and will slow down traffic, which I’m a mom, and living on the corner, it’s good that it slowed down traffic,” said Lisa Lambert, who lives on the corner of one of the new curves.

Some drivers thought there were better options, like a stop sign or a speed bump.

“There is one stop sign, and I know from personal experience, and all the neighbors say, that stop sign is disregarded regularly,” said Minich.

“Speed bumps and a fire truck is not a good thing--it jars the truck all over the place. This is a much better option for the trucks,” said La Porte Fire Chief, Andrew Snyder.

A fellow firefighter and school bus driver says he doesn’t mind the change either.

“I’ve had to yield a couple times for oncoming traffic who really didn’t know about that. It did not cause me any distress. I didn’t have any problems with it. I might have been delayed maybe five seconds or so,” said bus driver John Sullivan.

“I think it’s gonna cause crashes. I really do, especially people who are driving down here and aren’t familiar with it,” said Gersch.

Other drivers say you may not like it now, but give it a chance.

“Let’s try to be upbeat and see if it works out and maybe give the city engineer a little break on it,” said Sullivan.

The city engineer says he hopes to completely finish construction by the end of May.

That means there will be signs alerting drivers to the curves, stripes down the road, and possibly some reflectors along the stretch.

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