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New Albany lowers speed limits, plans to add stop signs

Speed limits will be dropping on New Albany’s three major arterial roadways, and the city’s...
Speed limits will be dropping on New Albany’s three major arterial roadways, and the city’s police force will ramp up traffic enforcement at downtown crosswalks in the coming weeks. (Photo: News & Tribune)(News & Tribune)
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 8:52 AM EDT
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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (News & Tribune) - Speed limits will be dropping on New Albany’s three major arterial roadways, and the city’s police force will ramp up traffic enforcement at downtown crosswalks in the coming weeks.

The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety approved Tuesday requests by City Engineer Larry Summers to decrease the limit on certain sections of State Street, Grant Line Road and Charlestown Road by 5 miles per hour.

On State Street, the current speed limit is 30 mph beginning at the Interstate 265 ramps, and increases to 35 mph to Green Valley Road before dropping to 30 mph and eventually 25 mph after Cherry Street.

Under the changes, the entire street would have a 30 mph limit until Cherry Street, where it would remain 25.

Grant Line Road also has various limits depending on the stretch of roadway. The limit will be set at 25 mph from the North Y to Daisy Lane, and 30 mph from that intersection to Klerner Lane. From Klerner to the end of city limits, the speed limit will be 35 mph, which is a decrease from the current 40 mph limit.

Charlestown Road’s speed limit from the fringe area to Klerner Lane will be reduced from 40 mph to 35, and to 30 mph from Klerner to Vincennes Street, where it will remain at 20 mph.

The board’s vote follows several months of examination by Summers and other city officials, and he said other changes are in the works for additional streets.

“In the next week or so, I’ll be working with [City Attorney Shane Gibson] to bring forth a resolution with modifications to the ordinance that we believe should be made in coordination” with any changes, Summers said.

One modification the city is working on involves Clarksville. Summers said Clarksville officials have expressed an interest in cooperating with New Albany to lower the speed limit on Browns Station Way from its current 45 mph.

Summers said the reduction would help with slowing down motorists as they enter New Albany on Spring Street.

New signs will have to be installed before the speed limits take effect, so the exact date for when the changes will begin hasn’t been confirmed.

Additionally, the board approved the placement of temporary stop signs at three intersections — Jay Street and East Elm Street, East 13th Street and East Market Street, and East Fourth Street and East Elm Street.

“Requests have come to the board over time and we’ve been looking at them and have determined the best course of action is to implement a new stop sign at these locations,” Summers said.

The Jay/Elm addition will be a four-way stop sign. Summers said there are sight-distance issues at the intersection, as well as problems with motorists speeding in the neighborhood.

The 13th and Market stop sign will help slow down traffic for pedestrians and could aid the fire department in terms of entering and exiting the station located on the block, Summers said.

There have been enough traffic accidents at the intersection of East Fourth and East Elm over the years to warrant the addition of a stop sign, Summers continued.

The city will evaluate the temporary stop signs over the next three months before asking the Board of Works to make the installations permanent. Warren Nash, president of the board, requested that the city add signs alerting motorists of the new stops.

Pedestrian crosswalks will also be examined with the possibility of improving lighting to make the warning signals more visible to motorists.

In coordination with that effort, New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey said the department will be paying extra attention to crosswalks to ensure motorists are following the law. Motorists are required to stop for pedestrians as they enter the designated crosswalks.

“It’s been brought to our attention on more than one occasion that there are some individuals who are not yielding to the pedestrians while in the crosswalk,” Bailey said.

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