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Confusion To End Next Year At South Street, Columbian Park Intersection

Access to Lafayette’s Columbian Park at South Street will significantly change next year in an effort to make the three-way intersection with Park Avenue and Scott Street safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Assistant city engineer Bob Foley says Scott Street will be closed permanently at South Street, eliminating the awkward angled junction with South just a few feet west of Park Avenue.

“It creates confusion with two roads intercepting at such a diagonal in such proximity to each other,” he says.

“It’s a big area, a wide open area of pavement where people become very confused or very liberal with their driving, and it’s not a safe condition.”

Because of the hazards, he says the Indiana Department of Transportation has agreed to allocate federal safety funds to pay for the vast majority of the project. The Lafayette Board of Works and Public Safety last week extended a contract with INDOT.

In addition to making Scott Street a dead-end, a traffic signal will be installed so people on two feet and on two wheels can move more safely between Columbian Park and a trail adjacent to an assisted living and nursing facility on the north side of South Street.

South Street carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day, according to traffic counts conducted by INDOT last year.

The project will complete another link in the city-wide trail system designed to provide a transportation alternative to vehicles.

Foley says construction is slated to start in the spring and wrap up by fall of next year. 

The dead-end road will likely make travel safer for the Canada geese that occasionally traverse Scott Street en route between the Columbian Park pond and the adjacent neighborhood. 

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