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Saturday, September 5, 2015

When Simple Government Fails

Basic services deserve basic replies.  Issues with our streets, roads, and highway are areas where due to the public safety impact you would expect quick, swift responses to problems/issues.  Such is not the case in the State of Indiana.

In the past year I noticed a couple of simple issues with signs, absence of pedestrian crossing signals, and poorly placed street markings on streets/raods near my home.  Building of new homes has increased the number of single family homes in the area.  At the intersection of Olio Road/CR 600W and 96th street is a signal light for traffic control.  Left turn and right turn signals have been installed.  Pedestrian bike/walking/jogging trails have been built.  Several of these trails cross the busy intersection at 96th and Olio Road.  But, despite the increased population and the building of the trails, a pedestrian signal has not been installed at this intersection.  A pedestrian signal does exist at 104th street and Olio Road to assist joggers, walkers, and bikers to cross that busy intersection in a safer mode.

In the Spring of this year I sent a note to the Hamilton County Highway Department pointing out the need to install a pedestrian crossing signal at 96th and Olio Road.  The response was that pending any unforeseen problems a pedestrian signal would be installed in the Fall of 2015 or the Spring of 2016.

Earlier this year I had also sent a note to the Hamilton County Highway Department that the road markings on Olio Road headed south toward 96th Street, needed to be changed.  Road markings that the right lane is for right turns only are too close to the intersection.  Drivers unfamiliar with the area are having to merge over into the left lane at the last second creating hazardous merging conditions.

The common theme in both examples above is that the lack of action could lead to injury or death of pedestrians or motorists.  In both instances the governing agencies have been unable to take action to implement basic responses to improve the safety of the public using the streets and roads.  Of course if there were numerous accidents and several instances of deaths in these areas due to the lack of corrective actions, the responses would be quicker and the problems fixed.  

It is unfortunate that death and injury is a prerequisite to implementing changes needed.  But such is the nature of man.  We don't take an action until something bad happens to people.  Otherwise we think, "well nothing bad has happened so there is nothing to fix".

Citizens should expect basic services and protections from our governing bodies.  My thoughts are that if a governing body can't respond quickly to simple road fixes, we are in trouble if we expect them to respond to the intricate detailed problems that exist.