Hobart resident hopes to curb traffic problems at new gateway

2013-11-10T21:15:00Z 2013-12-22T19:37:07Z Hobart resident hopes to curb traffic problems at new gatewayDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | A nearly completed concrete median that's part of Hobart's new Festival Park gateway concerns resident Larry Brown.

Brown, who lives on Old Ridge Road near the gateway, expressed his worries at the City Council meeting last week.

"I see the median as a potential hazard with the squared curbing on the east and west end," Brown said. "It should be changed. If a car hits the curb, the driver could be pulled into traffic or flipped over."

Officials, including Mayor Brian Snedecor, told Brown they would look into the configuration of the median curbing to determine if there are problems.

"Let's refer it to our engineer. Let's look into it," Snedecor said.

Brown said he lives close by the gateway and worries because cars speed up and down Old Ridge Road.

"I could see a fatality happening there. If you guys look you might want to make changes," Brown said.

Snedecor said the median was placed near the entrance to Festival Park because the city wanted to soften the flow of traffic and to allow pedestrians to cross.

"We'll look to see if we need to make modifications," Snedecor said.

The new gateway marking the city's new Lakefront District is the first of four planned.

The gateway near Festival Park is the only one with a median, Snedecor said.

Most of the concrete and underground work was completed last week at the Festival Park gateway and that portion of Old Ridge Road was reopened for traffic, officials said.

The Festival Park gateway will include signage, a 10-foot wide pedestrian crossing, landscaped median and other improvements.

Other gateways will be located at Lincoln Street at the Doughboy statue, Third Street at the bridge and Third Street at Duck Creek.

City officials last spring approved plans to make it easier for outsiders to access Hobart's downtown.

Three boards joined together to approve a newly designed logo seal and sign system for the downtown Lakefront District.

Director of Development Denarie Kane said a study last year revealed a need for a new branding plan for Hobart's downtown.

The new logo, which will be a part of the gateways, incorporates the clock tower, which is identified with Lake George, and the color blue to tie in to the lake.

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