STATEMENT FROM MAYOR COOK REGARDING TRAIL CROSSINGS IN WESTFIELD

August 30, 2017

Dear Citizens,

 

As the mayor of Westfield my number one priority is public safety. Recently there has been a great deal of attention given to the efforts to make trail crossings safer. 

 

The city is trying different approaches to this challenge and we have welcomed many opinions from drivers and trail users. One thing becomes very clear:  there is not an easy answer!  Westfield is fortunate to have many pathways throughout the city. Between the hard work of our public works department in maintaining the pathways and the proactive policing of our Westfield police officers our trail system is a family-friendly amenity for the community to use. Westfield is home to more miles of pathways per capita than any city in Indiana. 

 

With that in mind, we have the challenge to keep motorists and trail users safe.  The ultimate answer is separate trail crossings and roadways through the use of bridges and tunnels, similar to the pedestrian bridge that will be built from the Monon over SR 32.  The greatest challenge is the cost. Not every crossing will be able to be separated by a bridge or tunnel, so we must find a way to address these grade crossings.

 

The Monon and 161st Street crossing is a perfect example.  It would appear this busy crossing will best be served by a tunnel, a portion of which was installed during the US 31 project closure. The cost is extensive and engineer estimates to complete the tunnel are currently being attained.

 

We are experimenting with several different traffic control devices to reach a realistic and consistent solution.  I know very well that not all will agree, but we will make the best possible choice.  The city appreciates your thoughts and ideas.  Please remember after all the possible signs, signals, pavement markings, bridges and tunnels, common sense is still the best answer.

 


Sincerely,

J. Andrew Cook

Mayor of Westfield


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