VALPARAISO | The city liked a resident's suggestion for a left-turn arrow on northbound Calumet Avenue at Evans Avenue so much it decided to install arrows on the southbound side, too.
The idea of a turn arrow on the northbound side was first considered by the city's Traffic and Safety Committee in April, and most members thought it was needed on both sides of the intersection. City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said he first wanted to do some traffic and turn movement counts to make sure it was justified.
Burkman said last week he wasn't able to do formal counts because the equipment was tied up elsewhere, but he did stop at the intersection several times to observe traffic and decided the signal improvement would be worth it.
He said the city considered putting in the turn arrows when the intersection was realigned last year and the turning lanes were added, but the decision was made to see how traffic fared without them. After observing it, "It wasn't a big stretch to make it happen based on the need and the cost," Burkman said.
The plan got the endorsement of the traffic and safety committee Tuesday, and the city's Redevelopment Commission approved the funding on Wednesday. Burkman got a proposal from Midwestern Electric to install two signals with turn arrows, detector loops in the road, signs and all the conduit and wiring for $12,480.
One concern was whether the signal mast arms would be long enough for the additional signal or require a new one, delaying the project for several weeks. Burkman said the new signal will just fit, and the whole project should be completed in about a month.