The Winamac Park Board continues to explore the issue of traffic control in the Town Park. Specifically, a stop sign in the park has drawn concern from some residents.
It’s designed to protect children from car traffic when events are taking place at the sports fields. At other times, the sign is simply covered with a bag, which some residents say doesn’t make for the best appearance.
During last week’s meeting, Park Manager Dave DeLorenzo and others wondered if it wouldn’t be better to keep the sign posted year-round. Board member Chris Schramm said that was certainly a possibility. “People are used to ‘Yeah okay, is it up there now? Should we stop? Shouldn’t we stop?’ I agree with you,” he said. “I think you should stop there all the time because there’s kids that cross there. Even though there’s not games going on, there’s still kids down there that are on those fields practicing or whatever. I think it’s a good idea, whoever put those down there, it’s an excellent idea to have that there because you always have that crosswalk there anyway.”
Additionally, the speed limit in the town park was revisited during last week’s meeting. The issue was first brought up in July, after a police officer attempted to write a speeding ticket in the park. It was determined that the limit was not enforceable, since state law requires an independent study before a speed limit below 15 miles per hour may be established.
As a temporary measure, Schramm suggested some other statutes officers may use to protect pedestrians. “Unreasonable speed statutes and other things, speed too fast to avoid collisions – there’s other tickets they can write that don’t involve those signs,” he said. “So we were trying to save some money by not doing that, by not paying for that study.”
But Park Board President Courtney Poor felt that it’s time to start considering a permanent solution. At the same time, though, town officials don’t know how much a traffic study would cost, or even where to get started. The Indiana Department of Transportation was suggested as a possible starting point. It was also noted that when the study is done will have a big impact on its results.
Poor added that some changes need to be made. “If the posted speed limit is not enforceable because it is lower than what the State of Indiana says that you can do, frankly my opinion is, I don’t like the idea of raising it but I think it ought to be posted at a legal limit,” he said. “And then we need to educate some of the officers of other ways that they can deal with this.”
The park board decided to take more time to research the issues before taking any action.