Crown Point looking for grant money to improve pedestrian safety
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 12, 2012 4:26PM
Updated: January 14, 2013 7:24AM
CROWN POINT — Officials are trying to secure up to $1 million in Highway Safety Improvement Program funds to upgrade dangerous pedestrian crossings and intersections in the city.
Wednesday, the Board of Works and Public Safety approved a contract with Indianapolis engineering firm Butler, Fairman and Seufert not to exceed $7,500 to study which crossings and intersections should be tackled if the funding comes through.
Monday, the Redevelopment Commission set aside $100,000 to be used as the local match for the work if the application for the federal HSIP grant funds is successful. HSIP is a federal grant program that offers a 90/10 split to communities who qualify.
“If we are going to be putting in for grants it is always better scoring if you have your match available,” Mayor David Uran told RDC members when requesting the funding.
Uran said not many communities try to tap the HSIP grant money pool. He said the city could receive anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million depending on how many communities are successful in applying for the money.
“We know there is a lot of money set aside for this and not a lot of communities apply for it,” he said.
Tris Miles, city engineer, said the money could be used for pedestrian safety improvements such as the addition of pedestrian “bump outs” around the square.
“Safety is key to this program,” Miles said. The city has received funding the past for intersection improvements but those dealt solely with traffic flow issues.
Bump outs allow pedestrians a shorter walk time in an intersection, creating islands where they can wait for their signal to cross the street.
Uran said the RDC money would not be used unless the grant application is successful. Butler, Fairman and Seufert will look at possible intersections that would benefit from work.
“We are promoting shop local. We want people to get out of their cars and walk around so we want to make sure they’re safe,” Uran said.