FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne city leaders invited the public to give input on possible improvements to the Broadway and Taylor corridors south of downtown Wednesday night.
The proposal includes a new single-lane roundabout at the intersection of Broadway and Taylor Street near Electric Works, as well as improvements to sidewalks, lighting, pavement and landscaping in the general area.
Those working with the project said the goal is to make the intersection safer for both drivers and pedestrians. They said there’s been more than 300 accidents in a five-year period along the corridor.
Patrick Zaharako, city engineer for the City of Fort Wayne, said roundabouts have been proven to decrease accidents and injuries by more than 80 percent.
“We put in roundabouts around the city and around the county because they are just a much improved way of handling traffic and reducing conflicts between both vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to pedestrians,” Zaharako said.
At Wednesday’s meeting, residents brought up a few concerns about how pedestrians will cross the roundabout. At a roundabout, the pedestrian crosses behind the stopped vehicle. Zharako said it’s been proven to be a safe method.
“So it allows the pedestrian to cross and the vehicle to go, so it keeps and makes things more efficient and safer at the same time,” Zharako said. “It may be kind of counterintuitive, but it’s been shown to be the case.”
Another concern voiced was if there will be enough space for semitrucks to safely drive through, but Zharako said the roundabout will include a truck apron that will allow safe passage for semis.
“While the semi drives in the same location as a regular car or truck, the back end of that semi is going to drag in further in the center of that roundabout, and that truck apron allows that to happen without damaging anything,” Zharako said.
Those involved said this will be a multi-million dollar project and that they are planning to apply for the Safe Streets For All grant through the bipartisan infrastructure law that was passed about two years ago.
If approved, they will begin designing in 2024.
“It’s still a long process to get through design, which could take another three years,” Zharako said.
If you would like to learn more on this project or give your input, you can find additional information here.