Chesterton Tribune



No sidewalks on 100E makes walking perilous for Tamarack residents

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Folks who live in the Tamarack subdivision--tucked into a tiny, nearly landlocked pocket of incorporated Chesterton immediately west of unincorporated C.R. 100E and south of unincorporated C.R. 1100N--have no good, which is to say safe, way of walking from their homes to the South Calumet Business District and the Downtown beyond.

Or to Chesterton High School.

Or, really, anywhere.

That’s because C.R. 100E--which falls soundly within the jurisdiction of unincorporated Porter County--has no sidewalks. Even if it did, neither C.R. 1100N nor C.R. 1050N west of C.R. 100E has sidewalks either. So Tamarack folks either have to walk or run within their subdivision or brave the traffic on C.R. 100E if they want to get anywhere at all by foot.

That was the point Katie Whalen, a resident of Tamarack, made forcefully at the Town Council’s meeting Monday night. “We’ve got all these great places to go but no way to get to them,” she said. “Our connectivity really needs improvement.”

Whalen’s point was well taken by the council. It is, after all, indisputable.

But as several members noted, the issue of sidewalks is a thorny one. And an expensive one.

Eventually, said Member Jim Ton, R-1st, the Westchester-Liberty Trail will run the length of 1100N from Dogwood Park to a point several hundred feet west of C.R. 100E, where it will cross the roadway and connect to Tamarack via a thin corridor of municipal property which is owned by the Parks Department but surrounded by county property. The Westchester-Liberty Trail will then proceed through Tamarack, debouch onto C.R. 100E, and continue east along Rail Road into Coffee Creek Center.

But it could be years before that final stretch of the trail--Phase III--is completed.

How many years? Whalen wondered.

Phase II, which will take the trail as far east as Fifth Street, won’t be done anytime before 2017, and the town can’t apply for grant moneys to do Phase III until Phase II is finished. Brass tacks: there are no projected dates for the completion of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, Ton said. And were it not for nearly $1 million in grants from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, it’s virtually certain that the town wouldn’t be building the Westchester-Liberty Trail at all. Estimated price tag for Phase II: $1.2 million.

There’s another problem, though, as Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th observed. C.R. 100E south of C.R. 1100N is a county road, along which the town has no jurisdiction to go building a sidewalk, as excellent an idea as that is.

It’s possible, however, that the county might be amenable to pursuing a joint sidewalk project with the town, if in fact there is enough right-of-way to build one, suggested Member Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann promised the council that he would make inquiries at the county level to see whether there’s interest in the idea.

Sidewalk Replacement

In other business, the Street Department released its three-year sidewalk replacement list, now in its second year:

* Wilson Street, east side, from Bowser Ave. to East Porter Ave.

* In front of 1606 S. Fifth St.

* Four Street, east and west sides, from West Morgan Ave. north to the alley.

* Seventh Street, west side, from Broadway to West Indiana Ave.

* Wabash Ave., north side, from Fourth Street to Third Street.

* Fourth Street, east side, from Broadway south to the alley; and west side, from West Indiana Ave. north to the alley.

* West Indiana Ave., south side, from Fifth Street east 200 feet; and north side, from Fourth Street to Fifth Street.

* West Morgan Ave., north side, from Fourth Street to Fifth Street.

* Lincoln Ave., north side, from Second Street to Third Street.

* Fifth Street, east side, from West Indiana Ave. north to alley.

* Fourth Street, west side, from West Morgan Ave. to Lincoln Ave.

* Third Street, east side, from Lincoln Ave. to West Porter Ave.

* Wabash Ave. from Third Street to North Calumet Road.

* East Indiana Ave., south side, from Landman Street to Jeffrey Street.

* Lincoln Ave., north side, from Fourth Street east 100 feet.

* West Indiana Ave., north side, from Sixth Street to 15th Street.

* Third Street, west side, from Lincoln Ave. to West Porter Ave.

Hogan Ave.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Gregoline, a resident of Hogan Ave., put this question to the council: why has Hogan Ave., after getting a base coat of asphalt some 25 years ago, never received a top coat? The road, she told members, is in pretty rough shape.

DeLaney noted that Hogan Ave. is due for a re-surfacing, it’s on Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s three-year paving list, but based on its age and condition it has a fairly low priority: that is, it’s currently No. 50 on a 52-item to-do list. “A lot of other streets are in worse shape,” DeLaney said.

Schnadenberg was not himself in attendance on Monday but his foreman promised Gregoline that he would bring her concerns to Schnadenberg’s attention.





Posted 4/12/2016






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