New Albany to take road, speed counts on downtown grid

New Albany to take road, speed counts on downtown grid

By: Chris Morris
News and Tribune

NEW ALBANY - Several residents, including a city councilman, asked the New Albany Board of Public Works & Safety last week to do something to slow traffic along sections of Spring Street after a man was hit and killed at Spring and E. Ninth streets on Aug. 6.

Officials heard their pleas and steps will begin soon to get a better grasp of traffic and speed on the downtown grid.

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City engineer Larry Summers told the board Tuesday that traffic volume and speed will start being monitored immediately on all the streets that were converted to two-way last year, which includes Spring, Elm, Market, Bank and Pearl with "intense focus" on Spring.

"We want to get a better understanding of the traffic counts and speed so we can get an appropriate plan in place," Summers said.

Radar enforcement, similar to that on McDonald Lane, is a possibility.

Ron Howard asked the board to also consider a four-way stop at Fourth and Spring streets. He said cars parked along Spring make it difficult to see oncoming traffic.

In other board of works action:

  • The sidewalk in front of the old Reisz Furniture building at 148 E. Main St., as well as the alley which runs between the building and 410 Bakery, will be closed indefinitely beginning Aug. 23. That is when work will begin to transform the building into the new city hall.
  • Fencing will be put up to block access to the sidewalk and alley and signs will direct pedestrians to use the other side of Main Street. Scaffolding will be placed around the building.
  • Knob Hill Road will be closed beginning today through the end of the week, until 6 p.m. each day, as work continues along Grant Line Road. The right turning lane from Grant Line to Beechwood will remain closed for a few more weeks due to ongoing signal work.
  • Paving is still continuing throughout the city. Navajo and Shelby were recently paved and curb work continues along Oxford Drive.
  • Work along State Street is winding down. Signal loops at the intersections in front of Target and Home Depot still need to be put in place and drainage issues near Target will be addressed in the next few weeks.
  • Omar Porter told the board he needs to use a 120-foot lift to reach the sixth floor to continue work on the Elsby Building. However, before granting approval, the board said it would have to come up with a traffic plan because one lane of Spring Street will have to be blocked to accommodate the lift.
  • Friends of Fairview will host Stories Behind The Stones on Sept. 21-22. Tickets for the annual event are now available by calling 812-704-3248. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, kindergarten through eighth grade. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 22. Tours begin every 15 minutes.

Handicap accessible tours available upon request.

Chris Morris is an assistant editor at the News and Tribune. Reach him here