South Bend investing $2 million in traffic calming, holding public meetings

NOW: South Bend investing $2 million in traffic calming, holding public meetings

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Since 2015, South Bend engineers have taken on different projects to calm traffic. But this year, the budget is much higher for traffic calming, nearly 2 million dollars.

That’s why they’re taking a city-wide, comprehensive approach, getting community feedback as well.

Thursday's meeting was at Rum Village Nature Center, with two more to follow. There will be a meeting Feb. 21 at Howard Park Event Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 23 at the Near Northwest Neighborhood Community Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"Cars are, I mean, it's ridiculous the speeds they go, with no concern. And we always listen for the squealing brakes or possibly a crash," said South Bend resident Gary Mason.  

Speeding is proving to be a huge problem in South Bend. Between 2018 and 2021, city engineers got over 200 requests for traffic calming.

"When we slow vehicles down, now the vehicle, while it's slowed down, the driver gains awareness," said Kara Boyles, South Bend City Engineer.

But with a nearly $2 million budget for traffic calming projects in 2023, they've chosen just over 40 streets to work on.

"This is exciting for us to have that budget," Boyles said. "It gave us the opportunity to look holistically across the city and assess all of the outstanding requests."

But first, they are asking the public to weigh in. Like Sue and Gary Mason.

"We're hoping to get some calming strips on Donald Street," Mason said. "It is literally a drag strip during the summertime."

"It's concerning for the kids that walk up and down that street because there's no sidewalks, and they go to Walker Park," Mason continued. "So, we get concerned about that."

Construction is set to begin in May, and traffic calming efforts will cover 19 miles of city roads, all in residential neighborhoods.

"This program is focused on residential neighborhoods, so streets with lower volumes of traffic, but those streets that really impact where people live," Boyles said.

Streets that didn’t qualify or that weren’t selected this year will be considered for future traffic calming projects.

Email traffic concerns to [email protected].

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