Fort Wayne Trails say yellow beacons installed because they’re considered safe

15 Finds Out

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – WANE 15 continues to work and get answers about the safety of the pedestrian trails in Allen County.

The conversation sparked after a woman was killed last week while trying to cross Carroll Road on the Pufferbelly Trail. After the incident, viewers expressed concerns about the confusing intersection.

On Tuesday, WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee spoke with Fort Wayne Trails. The executive director, Megan McClellan said that the yellow lights were originally put up for safety.

“As a parent, as a dog walker using the trails, of course things like this are concerning,” McClellan said. “I think the trails that we have in Fort Wayne are such a huge asset and there are so many places where you can walk safely because of them.”

McClellan added that Fort Wayne trails are accepting input from the community. Majority of the concerns are from the community saying the yellow lights aren’t working and things need to change.

“The decision to put in the yellow flashing beacons was made before I started at Fort Wayne Trails. It was made in conjunction of the city and county,” McClellan said. “People were asked, what they thought would be the safest way to get people across those busy roads and that was determined at the time to be the safest way.”

Another suggestion is to install a pedestrian bridge at every crossing. Fort Wayne Trails said it can’t afford that, but is looking at a bridge as a possibility for some locations. Another idea is to include more questions about traffic and pedestrians on driver’s exams.

Fort Wayne Trails will meet with the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County to discuss solutions to make crosswalks safer.

On Friday, Commissioner Nelson Peters sent this statement:

We were saddened to learn that the tragedy that occurred on the Pufferbelly Trail last night involved a long-term county employee, and our hearts and prayers go out to the family during this time.  As we do with any fatality on our Allen County road system, we will be looking into the circumstances regarding this matter.  And in the meantime, we note that there have been numerous serious automobile-related accidents on the roads of greater Fort Wayne and Allen County recently, and we urge people to slow down and be cautious, particularly in areas where pedestrians are expected and likely to be.

COMMISSIONER NELSON PETERS

Leisa Elser-Patrick, 63, of Fort Wayne, was identified as the victim of the fatal crash last week. She was trying to cross Carroll Road on Pufferbelly trail.

An Allen County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said that a Toyota Camry was headed west on Carroll Road when he came up on a blue truck stopped in the roadway at the trail crossing. The driver of the Camry went around the stopped truck and hit a female pedestrian who was northbound crossing Carroll Road.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office said Elser-Patrick died of multiple blunt force injuries and her death was ruled an accident.


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