Chesterton Tribune



Residents warned: Stop blocking sidewalks with parked cars

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Chesterton Town Code (13-54) specifically lists 20 “prohibited areas” where motor vehicles may not be parked or otherwise allowed to remain stationary.

The very first prohibited area: sidewalks.

Which, to folks who do a fair bit of strolling in town, may seem hardly credible, given the sheer number of vehicle owners who--despite spacious driveways and two-car garages--regularly flout the ordinance by leaving the snout or the rump of their rides blocking the sidewalk in front of their driveway, forcing pedestrians into the street or even into drainage ditches.

It’s inconsiderate, unneighborly, and illegal.

Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, who likes to take a constitutional himself now and then, brought the issue to the Town Council’s attention at its meeting Monday night. While Schnadenberg said he prefers, as much as possible, to deal with the sidewalk scofflaws informally, with a helpful word in the ear, the time is rapidly approaching when the Chesterton Police Department will need to begin issuing citations. “It’s pretty bad if you’re walking on a sidewalk and then all of a sudden have to walk in the street.”

Police Chief Dave Cincoski agreed. As did Member Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd. “It’s a big problem in the area I live in,” Kittredge said. “And it’s a pain in the rear. We need to make people a little more conscious of how they park their vehicles.”

For the record: parking a vehicle in such a way as to block off a public sidewalk is punishable by a fine of $50.

Wolverine Update

In other business, Schnadenberg reported that Wolverine Pipeline has indeed clear-cut its right-of-way in the Chestnut Hills subdivision, along Chestnut Blvd. between Greennmeadow Lane and South Fifth Street.

Schnadenberg had warned the council at its previous meeting that Wolverine was fixing to do just that, per a 1963 right-of-way agreement inked several years before Chestnut Hills was even platted.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Schnadenberg managed to prod, guilt, or otherwise chivvy Wolverine into making a $1,350 contribution to the town’s tree replacement fund. Wolverine had originally made it very clear that it was neither obligated to replace the trees nor had any intention of doing so. But Schnadenberg said that his repeated phone calls to the company apparently did the trick.

Wolverine is still saying that it’s not obligated to replace the trees and can’t do it every time under every circumstance in every jurisdiction. But on this one occasion, Schnadenberg said, the company was willing to do the town a solid.

On the Bumpiness of Railroad Grade-Crossings

Meanwhile, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, did have a question for Schnadenberg: why is it that the Norfolk Southern grade-crossings at South Calumet Road and Eighth Street are “so horrendously bumpy?”

Over time, Schnadenberg said, the weight of the trains has a tendency to cause the rails to sink below the surface of the asphalted grade on either side of the crossing, so that motorists are first going down into, then up out of, a sometimes not inconsiderable dip in the road.




Posted 3/29/2016




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