Examining Traffic and Safety on Coldwater Road

By Max Resnik

June 19, 2012 Updated Jun 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - It is no secret that the City of Fort Wayne continues to develop and expand. With the expansion of businesses and housing additions comes added traffic in many areas of the city.

One of those areas is the stretch of Coldwater Road between Till and Dupont Roads. The area is a source of congestion for drivers on the north side of Fort Wayne. Some patrons of businesses and business owners along the stretch of Coldwater are fearful of this area as it has no median or turn lanes to enter the businesses. They say not having a lane to slow down as they approach a driveway cut-in has them worried they might be rear ended, or worse, worried they might t-bone cars coming out of the establishments.

Along this stretch of Coldwater, drivers pass hair and nail salons, a dentist office, work out facility and long-term care facility, as just a few examples. It is 45 miles per hour, has two lanes traveling in each direction and is the source of constant traffic, especially during morning and afternoon rush hour periods, according to businesses along the stretch.

One of those of those business owners, Jason Rubin of Absolute Results Personal Fitness Training, says his driveway cut-in is a major source of concern for his patrons and the two businesses that share his small shopping center.

"We have people that are trying to turn left, and they actually turn right because they can't get out to turn left. There's a blind spot."

The same shopping center is home to hair stylist Jackie Serres. Serres works at Hair Gallery Limited. She says that through her nine years of experience of working on this stretch of Coldwater, she has lost customers due to fears of getting in and out of the shopping center. She says the addition of Lutheran Life Villages across the street is only adding to the concerns of her fellow employees and the patrons who visit the hair salon.

"I really don't know what the answer is, but something definitely needs to be done, especially with the new business across the street."

Rubin agrees. He says changes to the road could make life easier on motorists in the area who find it difficult to get around drivers turning into the various businesses along the stretch.

"I don't know if they need to widen the road-- suicide lane type of thing-- or there's needs to be another light. A light makes sense but they just put one on Till Road, so I don't know if that's going to be the answer."

According to the City of Fort Wayne, this stretch of road has been the host of few accidents. Everyday, according to the city, 24,000 drivers cruise this stretch of Coldwater Road. Over the course of the last seven years, there have been 37 accidents reported on Coldwater between Till and Dupont. Of those 37 crashes, 25 involved at least two cars, nine were the result of distracted driving and were single vehicle accidents and three were the result of hitting animal. Based on the number of crashes involving at least two motorists, there are less than four accidents each year on this stretch of road.

Those numbers however do not detract from the fear felt by Rubin and Serres. Rubin says his patrons are worried about leaving his establishment.

"People are almost fearful to leave the shopping center because of the danger factor, especially after work, before work."

Serres just asks drivers to use common sense, provide early turn signals to alert drivers traveling behind and says that until changes are made, to slow down.

"Slow down. Please slow down, and watch for traffic around."

The City of Fort Wayne says businesses are required to provide potential traffic impacts as they develop. If a business is expected to have a major impact on traffic, they are then required to make any necessary roadway improvements.

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