Traffic signal planned for busy Fortville intersection

FORTVILLE — Fortville won’t be a one-stoplight town for long.

Citing a need for better traffic flow at a busy downtown intersection, state officials are planning to put up a traffic signal, which local officials say will prevent backups and make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

The Indiana Department of Transportation recently informed town officials that a new traffic light at the intersection of Broadway and Madison streets — an area plagued by backups for years — will be built sometime in 2017.

Fortville currently has one traffic signal, which sits at Maple and Broadway streets.

Town officials are working with engineers from INDOT to ensure the new signal complements the town’s long-term plan to add sidewalks and crosswalks along the Broadway corridor, which bisects the town.

Local traffic data shows more than 20,000 cars pass through Fortville daily along Broadway Street — the town’s most-traveled thoroughfare — which turns into State Road 67 outside of town limits.

Town council member Tim Hexamer said the town is still in the process of collaborating with INDOT to determine how the intersection will be designed.

While travelers along Broadway have no problem clearing the intersection, southbound drivers on Madison Street trying to turn left onto Broadway often face a steady line of traffic that prevents them from making the turn, Hexamer said.

Rebecca Crowe, a librarian at the Fortville-Vernon Township Library, which sits just northeast of the intersection, said she avoids the intersection for that reason.

A traffic light should offer a simple solution to the problem, Hexamer said.

Crowe said she hopes the intersection will have a pedestrian crosswalk incorporated into the design, which would allow more foot traffic to cross Broadway safely.

The light could be added as early as summer 2017, Hexamer said, adding it’s unclear how long construction might last.

INDOT, which oversees an inventory of state roads and highways, will fund the project, town officials said.

Burns Gutzwiller, president of the Fortville Redevelopment Commission, which is heading efforts to make the entire downtown area more pedestrian friendly, said the group is working with state officials to ensure the new intersection is incorporated into the group’s plans.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.