Chesterton Tribune



Village of Burns Harbor traffic solutions sought

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Vehicles parked on Burns Boulevard in the Village in Burns Harbor have become a concern for residents and Town officials.

“Our department heads have come to us because the extra traffic through there, it’s kind of like bumper cars,” said Town Council President Ray Poparad at Wednesday’s Council meeting.

Other Council members corroborated the problems. Eric Hull said that people are parking so close to the new stop signs that there is nowhere to get over.

“One suggestion would be to make no parking the entire length of the block. I don’t know if that is a good solution but there definitely needs to be some kind of spacing so a car can get over on either side,” Hull said.

Last month, the Council gave Town Marshal Mike Heckman discretion to put stop signs in the Village after residents sought help to control speeding motorists.

Heckman said police have been stopping drivers who disregard the stop sign and given warnings that they will be ticketed when school starts on Aug. 14.

Council member Marcus Rogala said he would recommend that police start ticketing now “to deter people from driving like maniacs.”

“It’s not just the Village. It’s in my subdivision. It’s everywhere. People are driving crazy this summer. I don’t know what the heck is going on, but it needs to be addressed all over,” Rogala said.

Village resident Brad Enslen said perhaps traffic from work on U.S 20 has exacerbated traffic issues. He said pinstriping the road or adding crosswalks on Burns Blvd. could help as it would be a visual cue for drivers to stop.

Hull said trees need to be trimmed to make the street signs more visible and the Town can ask the Village Homeowners Association to get that done.

A representative of the HOA said she would talk to the residents to do trimming. Poparad said that Burns Blvd. being a Town right-of-way, if the residents don’t take care of the trees within a month, the Town will.

Poparad also asked Street Superintendent Pat Melton to paint lines on the road to mark out that cars need to stop. Fire Chief Bill Arney said that would be better than “having a bunch of signage all over the place.”

Hull said that if the painting and the tree trimming by the HOA doesn’t help in 30 days, the Council does have the option to ban parking on Burns Blvd. from the troubl spots between Bolinger Lane and Village Square.

Trail Creek

In more traffic concerns, the Council plans to pursue creating an ordinance allowing police to conduct enforcement in Trail Creek.

Hull said that at the last Plan Commission, a few residents from Trail Creek came to address speeding and stop sign issues. Since its not Town property, police aren’t able to patrol traffic but some jurisdictions have an agreement between the property developer giving police the right to conduct enforcement in those areas, Hull said.

Town Attorney Clay Patton said that it would require more than an agreement. The developer would have to request in writing for the Town to enforce an ordinance. Once the ordinance is approved, the Town would be able to make an enforcement agreement, he said.

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan said ordinances require two public readings, which means it would take two months at least to get the enforcement.

Trail Creek resident Joe Ozug said he appreciates the Council’s effort to get this ordinance but also lodged complaints about the potholes and washouts on the road.

Poparad said he would ask Town department heads to meet with the developer, Pat Kleihege, to address the issues.

Alley dedication

The Council, in other business, voted in favor of dedicating an alley in the Village Subdivision Phase 4B as a town right of way, as requested by developer Sarah Oudman.

Jeff Ban of DVG Inc. said the alley was originally constructed as part of the Phase 3 section, connecting the existing Villages In Burns Harbor on the far east side but was not included in the Village In Burns Harbor apartment project. Oudman took over the development after it was owned by the bank, he said, and there was never any legal document created for the occupation of the alley and utilities, he said.

The alley is not part of the apartments project but a residential phase that Oudman hopes to develop in the future, Ban said. Both sides of the alley have water, electric and gas.

Town Engineer Shem Khalil said usually a dedication comes in with a subdivision plat but no plat has been approved. He said that the legal description of the parcel would need to be amended in order to dedicate the alley as a public right-of-way.

As long as the drawings and documentation are submitted, the Council can accept the change in the legal description to match the 40-foot easement, Poparad said.

The Council voted 4-0 approving the request. Absent from the meeting was Council member Kevin Tracy.

Attic fire

In police and fire reports, Arney said that the resident whose home at 382 U.S. 20 that was extensively damaged by a fire in the attic on June 14 asked him to express her gratitude to members of the public for their help.

“The community did reach out a lot to her and in giving us a lending hand,” Arney said. “She wanted me to express her thanks.”


Posted 7/13/2017





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