AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN  (Read 2987 times)

Captain Jack

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 249
  • Location: Southern Indiana
  • Last Login: April 26, 2022, 09:44:26 AM
INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« on: June 14, 2020, 01:19:27 PM »

So called road-dieting has been going on for a few years. This is typically done on city streets, near parks and other recreational areas, and where numerous other alternative routes exist.

Recently, INDOT took this to a new level. SR-662 is a busy connector to the growing Newburgh area, and I-69. Around 20 years ago, INDOT widened this route from 2 to 4 lanes to accommodate the growing traffic. Traffic counts have done nothing but increase during that time. Regardless of this, INDOT recently "dieted" the 2.5 mile section from I-69 to downtown Newburgh, buy eliminating 2 traffic lanes for bike lanes.

Prior to this, during afternoon rush hour, traffic regularly backed up on the eastbound exit from I-69 to SR 662. This is a right turn exit that was turning into 2 eastbound lanes. Now, there are technically still 2 eastbound lanes on SR 662 at this exit, but the right lane ends about 200 yards from this point, right after a light at Stacer Road.  Anyone who turns right into the far right lane will almost be immediately met with the light, and a line of cars in the inside lane not giving any clearance to get over. I have already witnessed several road rage races from that Stacer Road light.

In addition to the traffic counts on this stretch, there is a gravel yard where the road formerly widened to four lanes at the edge of Newburgh. There are numerous gravel trucks who utilize this stretch, and rarely get above 30 mph. This creates long traffic lines, which not only ties up the drivers who get behind these trucks, but makes entering or exiting the road from any of the cross streets or driveways nearly impossible. This stretch is full of residences and businesses, and creating a two, single lanes of traffic makes crossing extremely difficult.

Logged

silverback1065

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3746
  • Age: 32
  • Last Login: May 20, 2022, 11:29:21 AM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 02:16:50 PM »

So called road-dieting has been going on for a few years. This is typically done on city streets, near parks and other recreational areas, and where numerous other alternative routes exist.

Recently, INDOT took this to a new level. SR-662 is a busy connector to the growing Newburgh area, and I-69. Around 20 years ago, INDOT widened this route from 2 to 4 lanes to accommodate the growing traffic. Traffic counts have done nothing but increase during that time. Regardless of this, INDOT recently "dieted" the 2.5 mile section from I-69 to downtown Newburgh, buy eliminating 2 traffic lanes for bike lanes.

Prior to this, during afternoon rush hour, traffic regularly backed up on the eastbound exit from I-69 to SR 662. This is a right turn exit that was turning into 2 eastbound lanes. Now, there are technically still 2 eastbound lanes on SR 662 at this exit, but the right lane ends about 200 yards from this point, right after a light at Stacer Road.  Anyone who turns right into the far right lane will almost be immediately met with the light, and a line of cars in the inside lane not giving any clearance to get over. I have already witnessed several road rage races from that Stacer Road light.

In addition to the traffic counts on this stretch, there is a gravel yard where the road formerly widened to four lanes at the edge of Newburgh. There are numerous gravel trucks who utilize this stretch, and rarely get above 30 mph. This creates long traffic lines, which not only ties up the drivers who get behind these trucks, but makes entering or exiting the road from any of the cross streets or driveways nearly impossible. This stretch is full of residences and businesses, and creating a two, single lanes of traffic makes crossing extremely difficult.
To be fair 662 only goes from 69 to the warrick county line, so anything after that isn't something indot would be involved in. Not sure why 662 exists at all anymore honestly . Typically road diets are requested by the city they go through and indot usually does it. One will be done to SR 931 next yr through Lakeville and lapaz.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 18600
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 03:39:31 PM
    • Gribblenation
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 02:22:46 PM »

Doesn’t Indiana have a mileage cap on what INDOT can maintain?  From the scenario described it sounds like they are trying to set up a relinquishment to a local authority. 
Logged

silverback1065

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3746
  • Age: 32
  • Last Login: May 20, 2022, 11:29:21 AM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2020, 02:24:44 PM »

They do and maybe that will finally happen. 662 has been this short for years. Used to go clear through Newburgh.
Logged

Life in Paradise

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 517
  • Location: Indiana
  • Last Login: May 21, 2022, 12:22:18 PM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2020, 03:25:21 PM »

Doesn’t Indiana have a mileage cap on what INDOT can maintain?  From the scenario described it sounds like they are trying to set up a relinquishment to a local authority.
I don't expect that to happen.  Warrick County/Newburgh relinquished IN-261 south of IN-66 and IN-662 from the IN-66 intersection east of town to the western Newburgh City limits.  They wanted to ban trucks from the roads, which go through downtown Newburgh, but they couldn't do so while they were state highways.  I do not expect IN-662 to revert since there is heavy truck traffic from Mulzer Stone at the Newburgh town limits to I-69, and it helps that the state maintains the highway so local taxpayers don't.  We are also far below the Indiana mileage cap, so that is not an issue.

The road truly needed to be a 5-lane highway (middle turn lane) when it was widened 20 years ago.  The biggest problem with this road diet is at rush hours (stated previously by Captain Jack).
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 10:36:24 AM by Life in Paradise »
Logged

CardInLex

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:54:42 AM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2020, 04:45:16 PM »

I’m having a hard time seeing why it would need to be 5 lanes. The road diet configuration seems to be the most logical for a town this size and a type of roadway.
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1538
  • Last Login: Today at 03:41:48 PM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2020, 06:32:07 PM »

Didn't a railroad follow alongside IN-662 west of Newburgh on what was then Newburgh Road?

It looks like they are trying to recapture part of it for a trail of some kind.

That railroad I think went as far as Wesselman Woods and met the Southern.

I think it was an electric because I think a branch line went down Covert to where the old Angel Mounds power plant was in Price park.

That railroad has been gone a long time I think. Like before WW2.
Logged

Captain Jack

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 249
  • Location: Southern Indiana
  • Last Login: April 26, 2022, 09:44:26 AM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2020, 11:41:36 PM »

SR-662 was created in the 50's-early 60's to replace the former route of SR-66 when it was relocated over Division Street and new construction across the north and east of Newburgh. SR-662 originally ran from Kentucky Ave (US 41) along Lincoln Avenue and Newburgh Road through Newburgh to the new SR-66 junction. I think when I-164 at the time was completed, it was removed from Vanderburgh County, and then a few years later, it was truncated back to Ellerbush Road on the west end of Newburgh at the request of the town of Newburgh to remove truck traffic through the historic district.  The current SR-662 runs from the county line (basically the I-69 interchange) east to Ellerbush Road. This is pretty much the 2 mile four-lane section in question.

The population of Newburgh proper is only about 3,500, but the vast majority of population lives in the numerous subdivsions ringing the town limits in unincorporated Ohio Township. I believe this puts the population above 30,000 in the area that is considered Newburgh. SR-662 is one of only two connectors to this population area to I-69, with SR-66 being the other.

With the two bicycle lanes on SR-662, this still doesn't seem like a safe route for bicyclists. I would think utilizing both Pollack and Lincoln Avenues would be more beneficial. Less traffic and these two roads are primarily residential. Pollack would tie in with both the Rivertown Trail in Newburgh and the Evansville Greenway.

In regards to the old railroad, yes, there was one that basically followed SR-662 from Wesselman Park in Evansville. From approximately Green River Road, it ran just south of it. I grew up in the neighborhood between Washington Avenue and what is now Covert near where Price Park is now. I don't recall there ever being any type of branch railroad through that area. That was open fields in the 60's and 70's. The old primary railroad bed was pretty prevalent from Burkhart west to near Cullen Avenue.  I still have several stakes I pulled along it, and there were numerous ties still in the ground through there. Most of that area has been developed into neighborhoods in the last 20 years.
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1538
  • Last Login: Today at 03:41:48 PM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 09:19:43 AM »

SR-662 was created in the 50's-early 60's to replace the former route of SR-66 when it was relocated over Division Street and new construction across the north and east of Newburgh. SR-662 originally ran from Kentucky Ave (US 41) along Lincoln Avenue and Newburgh Road through Newburgh to the new SR-66 junction. I think when I-164 at the time was completed, it was removed from Vanderburgh County, and then a few years later, it was truncated back to Ellerbush Road on the west end of Newburgh at the request of the town of Newburgh to remove truck traffic through the historic district.  The current SR-662 runs from the county line (basically the I-69 interchange) east to Ellerbush Road. This is pretty much the 2 mile four-lane section in question.

The population of Newburgh proper is only about 3,500, but the vast majority of population lives in the numerous subdivsions ringing the town limits in unincorporated Ohio Township. I believe this puts the population above 30,000 in the area that is considered Newburgh. SR-662 is one of only two connectors to this population area to I-69, with SR-66 being the other.

With the two bicycle lanes on SR-662, this still doesn't seem like a safe route for bicyclists. I would think utilizing both Pollack and Lincoln Avenues would be more beneficial. Less traffic and these two roads are primarily residential. Pollack would tie in with both the Rivertown Trail in Newburgh and the Evansville Greenway.

In regards to the old railroad, yes, there was one that basically followed SR-662 from Wesselman Park in Evansville. From approximately Green River Road, it ran just south of it. I grew up in the neighborhood between Washington Avenue and what is now Covert near where Price Park is now. I don't recall there ever being any type of branch railroad through that area. That was open fields in the 60's and 70's. The old primary railroad bed was pretty prevalent from Burkhart west to near Cullen Avenue.  I still have several stakes I pulled along it, and there were numerous ties still in the ground through there. Most of that area has been developed into neighborhoods in the last 20 years.

Thanks, I found it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evansville_and_Eastern_Electric_Railway

And you are right, nothing went down Covert. This line went all the way to Rockport, Indiana. The power plant was in Hatfield.  That is why there are so many high tension power lines around Newburgh.

The plant burned the coal mined around Yankeetown. Even had a branch line to Richland City.

Looks like IN-662 sits right on top of the ROW west of Ellerbusch Road. The railroad went defunct in 1938.

Logged

cabiness42

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 5245
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Munster, IN
  • Last Login: Today at 03:40:12 PM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 09:52:58 AM »

Doesn’t Indiana have a mileage cap on what INDOT can maintain?  From the scenario described it sounds like they are trying to set up a relinquishment to a local authority. 

INDOT has been consistently trying to get local jurisdictions to take over urban highways, but it has nothing to do with a mileage cap. INDOT just wants to focus on more on the rural highways. I'm not familiar with this particular area.
Logged

theline

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1084
  • Age: 71
  • Location: South Bend, IN
  • Last Login: May 12, 2022, 11:05:22 PM
Re: INDOT Road Dieting Insanity - Newburgh, IN
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 04:08:12 AM »

Typically road diets are requested by the city they go through and indot usually does it. One will be done to SR 931 next yr through Lakeville and lapaz.
I recently drove what used to be US 31 in Marshall and southern St. Joseph counties. SR 931 doesn't exist in Marshall County, so I assume that old 31 has been turned over to Marshall County and the town of LaPaz. The road in LaPaz has been dieted down to three lanes with a center turn lane and ample parking, some of it angle parking. This works just fine for the light traffic that's now on the road.

SR 931 exists in this area from the Marshall-St. Joseph county line up to the South Bend city limit. No diet has been applied along that stretch, including the town of Lakeville. I don't know if or when that will be done, though I suspect it will be turned over to the town at that time.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.