WARSAW — Greg Cobb, managing member of Freedom Oil LLC, and Frank McCutcheon, senior project manager at A&Z Engineering LLC, Fort Wayne, presented proposed plans for a new Freedom Oil gas station and convenience store during the Warsaw Traffic Safety Commission meeting held Wednesday, May 2.
The location of the new gas station would be on lot 1 of the McElroy Hill Business Park, located at US 30 and CR 150W in Warsaw.
Results of a traffic impact study were shared with those in attendance. Information gathered in the study suggested that the existing roadway system is able to accommodate the proposed development.
Cobb said the layout of the business would be similar to the one on Argonne Road. He explained that they would prefer to have two access points for the business – a main entrance on Executive Boulevard as well as a right-in, right-out access on CR 150W.
McCutcheon said the gas station will generate minimal new traffic and instead will divert existing pass-by traffic to the site. The study concluded that the development would have minimal effect on the operation of the intersection at Executive Boulevard and CR 150W.
Commission members voted to approve the site plan as presented.
Next on the agenda was a request by a resident in the 500 block of Market Street regarding handicap parking.
“I had a request from a resident on Market Street, so I wanted the Traffic Commission to review this,” said Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner. “The downside is that even if we paint a handicap space there tomorrow, the street will be torn up later this year and there will not be any parking on the north side once that project is completed. His complaint is that with it not being labeled handicapped, anyone can park there and he does not have parking access in front of his residence.”
“Even if we designated a handicap parking space in that area, it wouldn’t be his spot. It would be available to anyone with a handicap,” said Commission President Steve Foster.
After further discussion, it was decided that this matter would be tabled while Skinner addresses the upcoming construction work in that area with the resident.
The topic of downtown residential parking was addressed next. Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said there have been requests from residents who live on the second floor of some of the downtown buildings to create residential parking spaces adjacent to their buildings.
“The issue these people are complaining about isn’t that they aren’t provided a parking space. They are provided a parking space, but it’s not anywhere near their unit – so they may be walking two blocks to get to their residence,” said Skinner.
“We studied this and talked to some downtown merchants,” said Thallemer. “We talked about potentially doing a pilot program where we could create a few hang tags and see if residents are willing to pay for those tags, which would allow them to park in any spot downtown, basically unlimited.”
“I would be a little gun shy of promoting this in the downtown retail area,” said Foster.
Foster stressed that if hang tags are approved this will be for downtown residents only, not for employees of downtown businesses.
Commission members agreed to have Skinner address the issue with the Warsaw City Council to inquire whether or not the city council would like an ordinance to be implemented.
- Steve Foster and Warsaw Street Superintendent Jeff Beeler were sworn in by Mayor Thallemer.
- Assistant City Planner Justin Taylor said that due to concerns related to the initial scope of proposed bike lanes and sharrows, the Ride-Walk Committee decided to scale back and focus on the area adjacent to Lincoln Elementary School.
- Mayor Thallemer suggested that Warsaw City Police make contact with local residents regarding off-street parking while construction work is being done on the railroad tracks.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 6.