McCORDSVILLE — Anyone who has driven in the vicinity of Ind. 234 and Ind. 67 knows the oddly configured intersection can be difficult to navigate, especially when there is a lot of traffic.
Plans have been put on hold to address the problem, but that hasn’t removed the issue from the minds of McCordsville officials.
Ind. 67 – Broadway Street in McCordsville and Pendleton Pike farther west – meets Ind. 234 on the east side of town near Stanley Chevrolet and the former town hall building.
Drivers headed west on Ind. 234 bypass a small island before turning left or right onto Broadway. Drivers headed east on Ind. 67 can turn right on the other side of the island onto Ind. 234.
But there was an issue with the location of Railroad Street, which is just north of Broadway and runs parallel to it, before connecting to it near the intersection.
The state and McCordsville began talking in December about fixing the intersection. Indiana Department of Transportation officials have said they would like to see Railroad Street closed to Ind. 67, or at least made into a one-way road that leads away from the intersection, and not toward it, to benefit traffic flow. There also has been thought of possibly realigning 234. Last year, INDOT authorized a signal project for the intersection.
INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity emphasized there is no existing INDOT project that would remedy or alter the intersection in any way. Maginity noted that INDOT is considering future options for the area.
Nathan Riggs of INDOT said the state’s plan to eventually place a traffic light at the intersection remains in place.
“We’re looking at signalizing that intersection still,” Riggs said. “And we’ve been working with the town of McCordsville for that.”
The state had initial suggestions, but the town came back with its own plan, and that is where the project stands. Installing the traffic light has been put on hold.
The town’s plan included a realignment of the east end of Railroad Street. It could satisfy INDOT’s safety concerns by shifting the intersection about 380 feet farther west. That potential new alignment would help future traffic conditions by aligning Railroad Street with the future entrance to the old town hall property when it develops. It would also split the long triangular parcel at the east end of Railroad Street. Most of the east end of that property cannot develop because of its structure and shape; with realignment, the town could vacate the east end of Railroad Street’s right of way. The added ground from the vacated right of way and the elimination of setbacks would increase the ability of that property to be developed, which would provide additional tax revenue for the town.
McCordsville Police Chief Harold Rodgers said at the time the intersection was developed, it worked. But the current amount of traffic and vehicle flow has turned the intersection into a problem.
Rodgers said a traffic light would help, and Railroad Street might not have to be closed. The town has come out against shuttering Railroad Street because of impact to local businesses that use it, such as McCordsville Family Dentistry. INDOT previously had denied the business an access to Broadway from the office.
The small island at the intersection is not maintained by either McCordsville or the state. Residents have taken it upon themselves to manage the island.
“I think we should strongly discourage our residents from maintaining islands in the middle of the road until we adopt some kind of policy that permits them to do that,” McCordsville public works committee member Neal Tucker said, citing public safety concerns at a recent meeting.
The spot does not belong to McCordsville, and instead falls under the jurisdiction of the state highway department even though it is within the town’s corporation limits.