Pedestrians looking for a safe place to cross a busy highway in Greenwood will soon have three new options.
The state is planning to add crosswalk markings, new curb ramps, countdown signs and new push-buttons that pedestrians would press when they want to cross at three intersections along State Road 135.
Officials made the decision to improve the crosswalks at Menard Drive, County Line Road and Meridian Park Drive after getting a lot of questions and comments from the public, asking for them, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity said.
Work could be done as soon as next year, Maginity said. The state’s design team has already been studying the intersections to see what needs to be done to each, he said.
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Any thing that will make crossing the busy highway safer is a good addition, Greenwood Police Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.
“Crosswalks are a good idea, especially on a busy highway like that. You better have your head on a swivel if you’re crossing (State Road) 135,” Fillenwarth said.
Center Grove area resident Bob Siefker has been asking about crosswalks along State Road 135 for years, he said.
As a bicyclist, he would like to cross the highway about a mile from his home so he can go on longer rides, he said. But he doesn’t feel safe since the road is always busy, he said.
He also drives on State Road 135 often, and at least once a week, he sees people trying to cross the road and worries about their safety, he said. That is especially common near the larger stores, such as Walmart and Meijer, since several apartment complexes line the east side of the road, and the shops are on the west side of the road, he said.
“One of these days, someone is going to be hit, there is going to be a fatality and then people are going to say, ‘Oh, we should have done something,'” he said.
While he is glad the state is adding the crosswalks at three intersections, he would like to see more added, especially further south, he said. For example, he would cross the highway at Smokey Row Road on his bike route.
“Why are they going to stop there and not come down to Olive Branch (Road) and just push it a little further south, it just doesn’t make sense,” Siefker said.
He hopes the state will consider adding more crosswalks in the future, especially as development continues to move south, he said.
“I am encouraged, but my question is why just do three, why not do more,” he said.