Chesterton Tribune



Porter Police urge residents to be patient in beach traffic

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Captain John Lane of the Porter Police Department asked Porter residents to be patient in the wake of high summer traffic volume following a particularly bad day at Porter Beach, the National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park yesterday, July 4.

“As we are only halfway through the summer season, it’s our hope that people will be patient while dealing with traffic backups,” Lane told the Chesterton Tribune after he said a combination of increased traffic from the holiday and high heat prompted traffic backups as many people tried to enter the National Lakeshore to go to the beach. “Everybody had the idea to cool off. It was a perfect storm with the holiday and the heat index. It happens once or twice a year,” he said.

At one point, northbound Ind. 49 was backed up to the interchange with U.S. 20, and Waverly Road was backed up north of and all the way back to U.S. 12. Lane said one reason for the backups could be connected to the Indiana Dunes State Park having only one lane open at the gate when traffic began piling up. By the time more lanes were opened, the backup had gotten too large to curtail.

Lane said the backups were complicated by people trying to bypass long lines by turning around, which resulted in one vehicle needing to be towed after getting stuck in a ditch on Waverly Road, and diverting the flow of traffic from U.S. 20 along State Park Road to Ind. 49, where drivers were not letting in the overflow traffic.

Lane said three officers were dedicated solely to dealing with traffic related issues yesterday, and other officers had to handle a high call volume that included reports of heat exposure, a lost child and lost senior citizen, and a crash on U.S. 20 that required extrication and a helicopter airlift for an injured occupant of the vehicle. The official full police report for that crash was not available yet as of Thursday morning, Lane said.

Lane said though yesterday was unique in the volume of backups and length of delays, summer traffic is an ever present issue in the area. “During the summer months, with the volume of traffic coming to the Dunes, delays are simply unavoidable.”



Posted 7/5/2018





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