Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

Concerned about speeding vehicles and pedestrian safety, Indian Mound residents undertook the lengthy process of applying for the city’s Public Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) funding to create safer intersections along St. John Avenue.

Photo by Dorri Partain

St. John is the major thoroughfare through both Indian Mound and Scarritt Renaissance neighborhoods but this round of funding will only apply to the section that runs from Elmwood Avenue to Belmont Boulevard, within the Indian Mound neighborhood boundaries, specifically targeting intersections that previously were regulated by traffic signals. Representatives with the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood are currently working with the Public Works department on improvements along St. John between Jackson Ave. and Benton Boulevard. 

In 2012, despite the concern of residents, the city’s Public Works Department, citing lower traffic counts, removed signals where St. John crosses Van Brunt Boulevard, Hardesty Avenue, and Belmont Boulevard, replacing them with  4-way Stop signage. Additional trouble spots included school crossings at Elmwood,  Topping, and Quincy Avenues, especially during times when crossing guards are not present.

With growing concerns, the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association created a Safe and Healthy Committee to gather input from businesses and residents impacted by those changes. In 2019, resident Amanda Wilson submitted the request for PIAC funding based on that input, stating, ”We are most familiar with using raised crosswalks, speed tables, and raised intersections to decrease the speed of car traffic but we realize there are a number of traffic calming options; we would like to work with Public Works to identify the best structure depending on the location.”

Earlier this year, initial plans for improvements at the suggested intersections were revealed for public engagement. During the regular monthly association meeting on Monday, April 15, Indian Mound neighbors gathered around a table laid out with a map of St. John and proposed improvements. Using post-it notes and flags, feedback was invited but overall, residents that participated seemed pleased with the presented plans.

In addition to raised crosswalks and pedestrian islands, painted features that denote parking areas and bus stops were also discussed.  Bobby Evans, Lead Transportation Planner for the Public Works department, also explained using painted demarcations to create No Parking zones near intersections for better visibility. Resurfacing of St. John Avenue from Elmwood to Belmont is slated to begin in July, then other improvements as determined by public input will be installed.

Additional public input sessions are planned for May 16th and 18th; The Northeast News will post the times and locations as that information becomes available.