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Sheriff wants dangerous crosswalk to be addressed

Posted: 11:01 PM, May 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-01 23:01:32-04

COLUMBUS — The sheriff of Bartholomew County is calling for change, saying there need to be safety improvements to what he calls a dangerous crosswalk just outside the county jail.

Sheriff Matt Myers said the crosswalk on Second Street, connecting a parking lot to the jail, is not safe. Many county employees and visitors to the jail use the crosswalk every day.

According to Myers, cars fly by the area and, in many cases, don't notice people want to cross the street.

Myers said an employee was hit by a car while crossing the street and that there have been 31 traffic accidents in nine years there.

"When you have this many people coming into a building and you have this many employees coming in on a daily basis, it's a matter of time the way this is set up, the way the speeds are," Myers said.

Myers suggested ways to make the crosswalk safer. He mentioned installing a traffic light or flashing lights, but he said they need more than just a sign and markings on the street.

He said it comes down to Bartholomew County, the city of Columbus and the Indiana Department of Transportation to work together to fix the issue, but it hasn't been a priority for some people in the years he's been sheriff.

We reached out to INDOT to see if they're doing anything to make the crosswalk safer. They said:

"INDOT is aware of the concerns raised by the sheriff. Our team has been in regular communication with the sheriff and Bartholomew County about the crossing. It's worth noting that INDOT added the existing crosswalk at this location at the request of the sheriff's department.

"INDOT's engineering team has been evaluating this location to determine whether additional safety measures are needed. We are discussing with the county potential enhancements that may provide safety benefits for pedestrians.

"The county is involved in those discussions because, while the State Road 46 roadway is owned and maintained by the state, the sidewalks on either side that connect to the crosswalk and Justice Center are owned and maintained locally."