By Leah Sander
WARSAW — The Warsaw Traffic Commission is looking at concerns over speeding motorists along Parent Drive.
At the Wednesday, Oct. 7, Warsaw Traffic Commission meeting, resident Jim Winchester spoke. He lives in Warsaw Retirement Community, at 2536 Parent Drive.
Winchester shared his concern about motorists speeding along Parent Drive. He said increased traffic in the area has led to people speeding in an area where a lot of seniors live in the retirement community and Tippe River Downs, 2630 Tippe Downs Drive. He noted children also are in the area.
Warsaw City Council and traffic commission member Jack Wilhite gave an overview of the situation.
“When (CR) 300 (North) was closed … to build the roundabout, what it did was it forced a lot of traffic from Tippe to come in through in here, which is Parent Drive, in order to get to Tippe Downs,” said Wilhite. He said speeding seemed to increase then, too.
Winchester contacted another city council member about the situation, which led to Warsaw Police Capt. Joel Beam doing a traffic study there.
“All the people who live out there, the four units that are there, the yellow units (in the retirement community), have complained and complained that they cannot get out safely from their driveways across the street since they completed that street from the yellow apartments into Tippe Downs,” Winchester said.
“That has increased traffic so bad and the speed is just going like crazy,” he continued. “They put up a 25 mph speed limit and that is just a suggestion apparently.”
Beam said based on a study he’s conducted there, he found that traffic is highest in that area at 6 a.m. He found the average speed was 22 mph, while also noting that some people were driving higher than that and speeding.
“I really don’t have any time to just sit there and wait for a car to go by,” said Beam. He said his officers were occupied a lot by patrolling school zones.
He added that when construction crews are done using Petro Drive for travel, that might lead to decreased traffic in the area.
Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner suggested that the city could redesign the street to improve safety there. He said the cost shouldn’t be too high either.
The commission agreed to further discuss the issue and allow city authorities to look into the redesign.
Other business, the commission also:
- Heard from resident Richard Hill.
He lives in Springhill Acres, Warsaw. He requested that a centerline be added to a section of Provident Drive near Grossnickle Eye Center. There have been near-collisions in the area with vehicles crossing into the path of others as they travel through turns, he said.
A traffic commission member witnessed the issue firsthand. The commission approved adding a centerline in that area.
- Approved adding a yield sign near Edgewood Middle School.
Warsaw Community High School Assistant Superintendent and traffic commission member David Robertson made the request. He said it was necessary due to increased traffic in the area with fewer families car-pooling due to COVID-19.
- Approved starting the process for adding a no right turn sign onto Glad Street near Harrison Elementary School.
That will alleviate traffic backup. Traffic has also increased due to fewer carpools, said Robertson.
The commission did discuss making the no right turn during school hours only. They could not formally make the decision as Warsaw City Attorney Scott Reust needed to look over it. The Warsaw City Council also would need to vote on an ordinance for it.
Robertson said increased traffic due to COVID-19 has made that necessary.
- Approved the appointment of 22 people to work as school crossing guards in Warsaw.
- The traffic commission’s next meeting is 1 p.m. Nov. 4 at Warsaw City Hall.