SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
FEBRUARY 16, 2016 4:00 P.M.
SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL
345 N MORTON STREET
SHIPSHEWANA, IN 46565
PRESENT: Council; Roger D. Yoder, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager. ABSENT: Council; J. Mike Wilcher. PRESENT: Staff; Mike Sutter, Tom M. Fitch II, Ruth Ann Downey. Public; Guy Thompson, Dirk Schmidt, Dana Plattner, Brian Lambright, Lora Gates, Michael Christner.
Council President R. Yoder called the meeting to order, noted that Council Member J.M. Wilcher was absent, welcomed everyone and ask that they sign in. R. Yoder noted that there was only one item on the agenda and turned the meeting over to Town Manager, M. Sutter.
- Sutter introduced INDOT Representatives D. Schmidt and D. Plattner and pointed out that the purpose of the meeting was to further discuss traffic management and flow issues along SR 5/Van Buren Street.
- Fitch noted that from previous discussions it was pointed out that the issues along SR 5 would not be solved by traffic signals. The hope is with increased signage it will allow better traffic flow by encouraging the use of alternate routes and eliminate the pressure on SR 5.
- Lambright of the Auction/Trading Place pointed out that they plan on putting up more signage on their property and making the front parking lot a Priority Parking only area, this should push people to the side roads. We plan on putting in signage throughout the Flea Market to encourage people to use the side and back parking lots. M. Christner of the Auction/Trading Place pointed out that their largest parking lot has an entrance off of CR 200/Farver Street.
Discussion followed regarding where signage would be needed to encourage use of the alternate routes, signs will be needed in the Town, the County, Us 20, SR 5, and SR 120.
- Sutter expressed concern about pedestrians and increased traffic on Morton Street. Discussion followed. B. Lambright pointed out that in the future they are considering running a trolley service from the Flea Market to the Downtown area.
- Yoder asked if left hand turn lanes at the Flea Market and even at Yoder’s Shopping Center would be a possibility. D. Plattner of INDOT expressed concern that there is not enough right-of-way to allow for a turn lane. Discussion followed.
- Plattner pointed out that there are a number of signage options, and recommended that the Town consider a comprehensive way finding program. You would put up wayfinding signs directing people to more than one entity. For example the Flea Market, and the Visitors Bureau. The owner bears the maintenance cost and must meet INDOT standards but the sign can be in the INDOT right-of-way. A comprehensive system will get you the results you are looking for. INDOT enters into a signage contract with the Town after approving the sign design and construction integrity of the signs. Discussion followed. It was pointed out that the County would need to be a partner with the Town and private enterprise can help pay for the signs. Discussion followed. D. Plattner recommended using an engineering firm to help establish a plan and what type of signs would be needed in what areas.
- Sutter noted that collaboration could be the key issue here and expressed concern about getting all the different units to work together.
- Plattner pointed out that it will take several months to get through the process. I can provide contacts for other communities that have gone through this process. Discussion followed regarding the possible cost of the signs and it was pointed out that engineering can run between 10 to 20% of the project cost. D. Plattner explained that for the program I am proposing you have to have at least 1 tourist attraction listed on each sign with a maximum of three destinations on a sign.
- Lambright offered to have an in house employee design the signs. Discussion followed. B. Lambright suggested auctioning off the tourist destinations on the signs to help pay for the program.
- Yoder inquired about a state study for a left hand turn lane. D. Plattner thought it would be possible if the Town Engineers did the study. Discussion followed regarding the possibility of left hand turn lanes. M. Sutter reminded everyone that there is a Special Sidewalk committee that wants sidewalks along SR 5 and there isn’t enough room for turn lanes and sidewalks in the right-of-ways.
Discussion turned to traffic issues on Livestock auction days and visibility problems for traffic pulling out onto SR 5 when the livestock trailers pull into the buggy lane. M. Sutter pointed out that it is posted no thru truck traffic on Morton Street and asked B. Lambright to try and get the word out so that livestock trucks stay off of Morton Street. B. Lambright asked if there was the possibility of having someone direct traffic at the 4 way stop to help traffic flow. Discussion followed. T. Fitch pointed out that we don’t have the man power to direct traffic every Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Mast reported that the Town did put up one directional sign a number of years ago. Discussion followed. D. Plattner pointed out that the wayfinding program has no ongoing fees just an agreement that spells out the responsibility of the Town. Discussion followed.
- Sutter directed discussion to the Berkshire Drive/E & S Sales area and asked if INDOT would be doing another traffic study in that area this summer. T. Fitch recommended that if a study is done of that area that Saturday be included. Discussion followed regarding issues with traffic flow in that area. M. Sutter thanked the Auction and INDOT representative for attending and for the suggestions that have been made.
There being no further business to come before the Council R. Yoder asked for a motion to adjourn.
MOTION: C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to adjourn. E. Mast seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Roger D. Yoder, Council President C. Arlene Lazzaro, Council Vice-President
Elmer J. Mast, Council Member Lynn M. Bontrager, Council Member
Ruth Ann Downey, Clerk-Treasurer