Traffic on Calumet Avenue in Munster, especially near the 45th Avenue choke point, with the railroad tracks there, has been sluggish for years. An overpass is necessary.
But the whole stretch of Calumet Avenue through Munster, and into Hammond, needs to be studied to improve the traffic flow.
The Munster Town Council has authorized a study of vehicular traffic on Calumet and feeder streets to determine how best to synchronize the traffic lights.
Joe Nordman, of Robinson Engineering, told the Town Council last week that traffic counts should be conducted at each light from Main Street, the town's southern border, to the Borman Expressway ramp. The stoplight at River Drive, south of the Borman, belongs to Hammond but also needs to be included.
Munster's "smart lights" are capable of reacting to real-time traffic conditions, which should help unclog the traffic artery.
The traffic flow is expected to led to more green lights for traffic on Calumet but longer waits on side streets.
The traffic study is one aspect of the major overpass project which will remove the Canadian National Railroad tracks at 45th Street as an impediment to travel.
The project involves eliminating the grade crossing and connecting 45th the disjointed sections north and south of the railroad tracks so traffic on that road won't have to use a short stretch of Calumet.
Even before that happens, though, Munster should improve the traffic lights so vehicles won't have to wait so long. That will soothe nerves and ease air pollution from idling vehicles.