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Road Sage for July 14

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Laura J. Gardner | The Journal Gazette
Citilink riders will see fewer bus stops and new sidewalks after completion of a traffic-lane conversion on Lake Avenue.

Citilink going on ‘diet’ in light of Lake remake

The lanes won’t be the only thing reduced as part of Lake Avenue’s road diet.

Q. Citilink still contains multiple stops along Lake Avenue between Coliseum and Anthony boulevards. I worry that each time the bus stops, cars will illegally use the center turn lane to pass the bus. – Brian M

A. The good news, Brian, is Citilink has plans to deal with the changes on Lake Avenue.

Buses frequently travel on Lake Avenue. Because the road is being converted to three lanes, including a center turn lane, drivers will no longer have an open travel lane to pass stopped buses. Of course, from my experience, it was difficult to pass buses on Lake even when there were four lanes because they were so narrow. It couldn’t be done safely unless there was no oncoming traffic.

It is unsafe, and illegal, to use center turn lanes to pass other vehicles. To help alleviate congestion problems on the newly designed Lake Avenue, Citilink is planning to implement its own “bus stop diet,” according to Betsy Kachmar, Citilink assistant general manager.

She said the bus company will remove several of the stops along Lake Avenue. In addition, Citilink will use a federal grant to add sidewalks to improve access to the remaining stops. I have seen plenty of people strolling through the grass to get to the stops before.

Bus stop signs will be removed as part of the route changes the system will make to access its new central station at Baker and Calhoun streets. The station is supposed to be finished by mid-September.

The Lake Avenue project is expected to be finished by the second week of August.

Projects financed

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced this week that $11.7 million in federal money will be distributed to 18 projects in the region.

The money will help many important transportation projects get started.

For example, Allen County can continue a project to improve Coverdale Road from Airport Expressway to Indianapolis Road after receiving $890,000 to help cover reimbursements to utilities.

Other area projects include nearly $1 million to reconstruct Dowling Street in Kendallville; $712,288 to redo Tracy Street in Markle; and $639,000 to repair the bridge that carries Huntington County Road 475 West over the Wabash River.

The full listing of projects can be found online at http://www.in.gov/indot/files/LPA_2012Awards_2012.pdf.

It should be noted that although the state approved the projects, the money is contingent upon Congress appropriating it.

Radio Sage

The bonus audio sage question this week comes from Les Knoll, who asked about progress on the sound barriers along Interstate 69. The segment originally aired Friday afternoon on WOWO and can be heard online at www.journalgazette.net/roadsage.

Road Sage provides transportation knowledge, solves driving dilemmas and answers construction conundrums. It appears every Saturday. Email your questions to roadsage@jg.net.

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