University Parkway Plan hits speed bump


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The University Parkway Corridor Plan hit a speed bump on Tuesday. A fault in filing left Vanderburgh County Commissioners without an item to vote on.

The scheduled action item was stopped after the resolution, a kind of legal document, was left behind.

The plan includes more than 9 square miles, from the University of Southern Indiana to Diamond Avenue. The goal is to give guidelines for future growth.

County leaders and planning officials have worked for more than 2 years to map out the road’s future.

Area Plan Commission says it wants to avoid another Burkhardt Road-, where traffic backups happen often, and retail is sometimes overflowing.

Research shows there is no need for big box retail stores, but it favors small stores like cafes and dry cleaners. The plan calls for major residential growth.

The plan has many ideas, like a technology park.

Dirck Stahl, attorney for the APC, says the board also wants to protect existing neighborhoods.

“In some ways it allows for more flexibility, in some ways it protects the integrity of the limited access road that is University Parkway,” Stahl said, “It’s intended overall to protect the quality of property values out there.”

The entire University Parkway Corridor Plan is 201 pages.

Officials believe J-turns may be part of the future, especially if new homes and stores are built. Studies show J-turns are safer and can improve traffic.

Doug Shatto with infrastructure planning firm Lochmueller Group, says the new-age intersection limits the chance of 90-degree angle accidents, which are usually the most dangerous.

A diagram of a J-turn from the plan.

Shatto said J-turns aren’t needed with the current traffic flow, but when planning, it would help growth and reduce the likelihood of traffic jams.

“There will be an increased flow of traffic, and then those people that are exiting from the side streets or waiting to turn on the side streets are going to incur more and more delay and there’s going to be a higher probability of conflicts and crashes, so it’s that increased growth is what really dictates an option like this.”

County Commissioners tabled a vote on the plan’s resolution. Commission President, Ben Shoulders didn’t know when it will be back on an agenda.

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This story was originally published on July 30, 2019

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