Lack of sidewalks on SR 32 has been one man's concern for years: Who's responsibile?

Posted: 10:25 AM, Jun 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-19 02:59:46Z
Lack of sidewalks is Westfield safety concern
Lack of sidewalks is Westfield safety concern

WESTFIELD, Ind. -- One man has made it his plea for years to get sidewalks installed near his Westfield home to make his neighborhood safer.

More than a decade later, there are still no sidewalks in sight.

Jose Beyer reached out to RTV6 back in 2009 about his concerns regarding the lack of sidewalks on State Road 32 between East Street and Carey Road. He said his subdivision of Willow Creek is part of a gap in pedestrian connectivity, one of the only neighborhoods in Westfield with that gap.

When RTV6 first reported the story about the lack of sidewalks, the speed limit was 50 mph. The speed limit has since lowered to 40 mph. But Beyer said people still speed down the street, especially when they go down the hill after passing East Street.

Beyer said that when he has gone to INDOT and the City of Westfield about his concerns, each says it’s the other’s responsibility.

“INDOT tells me it’s really up to the City of Westfield and then the City of Westfield tells me it's really INDOT’S problem because it's a state road," Beyer said. "Eventually someone's going to get run over because there's really no way to avoid the cars when they're going through the passing lane, I see that all the time. ... It seems as if the mindset is somebody has to get killed to change things here in Indiana."

RTV6 reached out to both the City of Westfield and INDOT, to see about Beyer’s concerns.

"State Road 32 is an INDOT-controlled corridor for sure, but the sidewalk connectivity project is something we support, certainly," said Phil Sundling, the director of public works for the City of Westfield. "It's not an easy project; it will have  to be a collaborative effort between INDOT and Westfield, ultimately."

On the flip side, INDOT maintained it’s a job for the City of Westfield.

"Anything that's dealing with the edge of pavement to the edge of pavement, is INDOT's responsibility," said Lamar Holliday, the spokesperson for INDOT’s Greenfield/East Central District. " Anything outside of that, in this case, sidewalks, is the responsibility of the city or municipality

By the sound of it, the collaboration might happen sooner, rather than later.

"We'd love to work with INDOT to get the sidewalks put in," Sundling said.

"The dialogue is open, and we'll be more than happy to sit down with the City of Westfield about that,” Holliday said.

When it comes down to it, Beyer said all of his advocating is to help ensure the safety of his neighbors and others in the community.

"I just want to make it safer for residents here and my neighbors,” Beyer said.  

The City of Westfield and INDOT plan to meet with Beyer soon to discuss a plan for installing sidewalks along that corridor.

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