CHS to begin building new crosswalk near trail this spring

Rhea Acharya

During this spring and summer there will be construction at the trail end intersection as well as along 136th Street in order to allow for safer pedestrian traffic here.

Apurva Manas
A crossing guard halts a car at the intersection at the end of the trail. Sergeant D.J. Schoeff said pedestrian visibility is the school’s focus.

Ron Farrand, director of facilities and transportation for the Carmel Clay Schools District, said, “(The construction will) provide a defined crosswalk that will have flashing lights that will be push-button-
activated—similar to what you see on Rangeline (Road). Part of what (construction crews) have to do though, to meet safety standards for roads, is to have a wider median in the middle. Right now there is a small concrete strip that will get made wider so that a person crossing has a place to stop in the middle if traffic is such that they need a refuge place. They are actually going to make the crosswalk so that you will come across and then you will jog at the island so it will give students a wider spot to stop if they need to and be more visible to the car traffic.”

Additionally, Farrand said the widening of the median will result in narrower lanes at the intersection on that stretch of 136th Street.
According to Sergeant D.J. Schoeff, the narrower streets there will complement the enhanced safety measures provided by the new push-button-activated crosswalk lights.
“I’ve been told by the engineers that when you decrease the lane width that they a
re going to do by increasing the center median, a natural response to that decrease in lane width is cars moving slower. When they change that lane width down, it is going to slow the speeds of the cars,” Schoeff said.

Veronica Teeter
Cars drive past the intersection where students are crossing. Sergeant D.J. Schoeff said the school plans to make car lanes narrower.

Farrand said there will be construction on 136th Street in the spring, but the construction closer to the school is scheduled to be completed during the summer when students will not use the trail as much as they usually do.
Sophomore Emma Domke, who said she has only recently started driving herself to school, said she did not feel intimidated or unsafe when crossing the street for her first few times using the trail. She said the new construction is not necessary, but is an added measure to make that intersection as safe as possible.
Domke said, “I feel pretty safe (crossing the street) because the crossing guards do a pretty good job keeping the cars away. I’ve never seen a car hit a student, so I think we’re okay.” This project, according to Farrand, was inspired by other ongoing crosswalk projects around Carmel. He said the city was initiating projects to make the crosswalks more defined and the pedestrians more visible, so likewise the administration here started to improve the trail’s crosswalk.

Similarly, Schoeff said, “I think that the big piece of it will be visibility for any incoming cars to recognize that there is some sort of a pedestrian walk area. I know some people would say that it is obvious there are people crossing the street, but you’ll notice that in all the different pedestrian areas around the city there is an engineering focus, on the idea of making it obvious by signage, by paint, whatever it is, making it very obvious that this is a pedestrian area that will be crossed.”
According to Farrand, the administration might decide to implement speed bumps at this intersection, but as of right now, administration is not sure on its effectiveness in such close proximity to the crosswalk and trail.

Veronica Teeter
Students walk over the crosswalk. Ron Farrand, director of facilities and transportation for the Carmel Clay Schools district, said they plan to construct a median island.

Ultimately, Farrand said the purpose of the crosswalk construction is to allow students to cross 136th Street safely as they walk to and from the trail.
He said, “That’s what they’re focused on­—doing as much as they can to make it very visible and safe for the kids.”