Two one-way streets considered for reversal


HUNTINGBURG — Many drivers are driving the wrong way on two, one-way residential streets in Huntingburg, and that has almost caused accidents.

Resident Jimmie Sorrels told the Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety Thursday that drivers tend to enter Columbia Street from State Road 64, go north to Seventh Street and turn left to head west on Seventh.

That’s the exact opposite of how the streets run. And it has caused some close calls.

“I have met the big brown truck a few times, and had to get off the road,” he said, “and a few other trucks that you have to dodge, because they come off the highway and they come straight up that road.”

Seventh Street east of Shelby Street is designated as a one-way street going east, Street Superintendent Jason Stamm told the board. Seventh ends at Columbia Street, which is one-way street going south from Seventh to State Road 64.

So drivers should be exiting Columbia Street onto the state road. Instead, most are entering Columbia from the road, which is named Sixth Street in the city.

“Everybody comes up the wrong way,” Sorrels said. “When you meet the big brown truck and all them others coming around the corner down there, it’s tough.“

There are more drivers who drive the wrong way than drive the right way, he said. “When you’re coming around the curve,” Sorrels said, “you don’t know who you’re going to meet.”

Sorrels suggests making Columbia one way going north and Seventh between Columbia and Shelby one way going west. “We want it to go the other way,” he said.

Board members said they will review the situation and consider Sorrel’s suggestion. The streets as they are now are not wide enough to make them two-way streets, Stamm said. There is enough right-of-way for Seventh to be widened, but not for Columbia, he explained.

Sorrels also told the public works board that that it is difficult for drivers to see when they are trying to turn onto Sixth from Columbia.

“When you try to get out down there, you can’t hardly see,” he said. “You have to pull two or three feet out on the road before you can see the directions. A couple of people have been almost hit there. It is a real hazard.”

There are shrubs and bushes in the state right of way that can hinder drivers seeing down the road, Stamm said. “We’ll try to trim those down at least for now,” he said, “until a decision is made on what want to do with the one way. We’ll try to make it as safe as possible to get out there.”

The board also:

• Voted to deny the compensation request from the Eagles, for the city to help with the cost of a sewer line repair. Board member Kerry Blessinger recused himself from the vote, since he is a member of the Eagles. Mayor Steve Schwinghamer was out of town, so he was unable to be at the meeting.

• Heard from Planning Director Paul Lake that a building permit was issued Wednesday for the Arby’s restaurant that is planned at U.S. 231 and 14th Street.

• Approved a request to use streets for the JazzedUp 5K/10K, which will be held Saturday morning, July 17, the same day as the Garden Gate Festival.

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