EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Indiana Department of Transportation says changes are coming to the traffic patterns at U.S. 41 and Washington Avenue in Evansville.
They are in preparations for the upcoming pedestrian crossing project.
The new patterns begin on Tuesday, April 13, at 9 a.m. at the intersection near Bosse High School.
The planned changes are as follows:
- U.S. 41 Southbound and Northbound: The right turn movement from U.S. 41 to Washington Avenue will no longer be allowed on a red light. New signal heads have been added to warn drivers of the new right turn movement.
- Washington Avenue Eastbound: A signal has been added for left turn movements onto U.S. 41 The left turn will yield while the signal is green, and a signal has been added for right turn movements as well.
- Washington Avenue Westbound: The lane configuration has been changed to left only in the left lane, through movements only in the middle lane and right turns only in the right lane. This is different from the previous configuration where right turns and through movements were allowed in the right lane. Left turns will yield while the signal is green. A signal has been added for left and right turns onto U.S. 41.
Signal timings have also been updated to reflect the changes and to allow a safe travel time for pedestrians to cross U.S. 41.
”Whenever you feel like you’re sitting a little longer on US 41, don’t get frustrated. Keep in mind, keep in mind that we’re trying to get kids across the road safely to school,” Jason Tiller, from INDOT said. “I think that’s a safety message that we can all get on board with because I don’t think anybody wants to see a tragedy happen because a kid didn’t have enough time to get across the road.”
In November of 2019, following concerns voiced by Evansville City, Bosse High School and local community leaders about hazards to pedestrian traffic, INDOT and the City of Evansville announced a partnership to begin studying the viability of a pedestrian crossing at U.S. 41 and Washington Avenue.
The two agencies agreed to bring on a consultant and begin the process of planning an enhanced pedestrian safety project.
In November of 2020, following a road safety audit, data gathering, and solicitation of public input, INDOT announced that the preferred treatment at this location was a pedestrian bridge.
Project development began in 2021, with an anticipated construction date in 2025.
Many community members have been outspoken on the safety issues throughout the years, including Reverend William Payne, who says the traffic pattern changes are just a band-aid on the issue.
”We need to make sure we’re putting more effort in making sure that overpass is done as we have with the Aquatic center being built in and I think we need to get our priorities together. I think that’s higher on the priority list. So I think it’s up there with the rest of those priorities, and I think it’s really something we need to get on top of,” Payne shared.