INDOT reevaluating Noblesville intersection after danger concerns

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – A safety audit is underway at a Hamilton County intersection after 24-Hour News 8 shared concerns with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

It’s a site Noblesville neighbor Bill Barnes knows well. The sounds of cars driving along the Indiana road aren’t the only thing catching Bill Barne’s attention.

“You hear the sound, and the tire squealing,” Barnes said. “Then we always run out and see how bad it is, and then we usually end up calling 911.”

For 25 years, he’s lived at the corner of State Road 37 and Field Drive. A spot that features yield and stop signs, unlike other State Road 37 intersections in Noblesville that use lights.

“It’s a dangerous place,” Barnes said. “It’s a dangerous place.”

The Indiana Criminal Justice Center says during the past six years, there have been 53 collisions, including a death. But the intersection to its north, which has lights, there have been 63 crashes.

And to the south, at State Road 32, where there are also lights, there have been 227 collisions over the same span. But to INDOT, the number doesn’t necessarily matter.

INDOT is reviewing a Hamilton County intersection after 24-Hour News 8 forwarded concerns to the department following the latest accident. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)
INDOT is reviewing this Hamilton County intersection after 24-Hour News 8 forwarded concerns to the department following the latest accident. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

“Traffic engineers will be looking at the crash history of the location,” INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs said. “Any incidents that have occurred in recent years, looking for any trends.”

Following another wreck this week, neighbors raised concerns, which prompted INDOT to order an audit. “Actually, Nick, you brought it to our attention,” Riggs said.

We showed INDOT the comments. Now, traffic engineers will take a look at the crash history.

“We’ll also be doing a field check, actually going out and looking at the traffic flow,” Riggs said. “Looking at the signs, the speed limit, and the site distance.”

INDOT said it has made improvements to help drivers with the intersection. This summer, it repaved the road, but because of our inquiry, even more improvements could be coming.

“It’s not always a roundabout, sometimes simple signage improvements, sometimes simple striping could be an improvement,” Riggs said. “Specifically at this location, I can’t say for sure. We won’t know that until the engineers complete their analysis.”

After a quarter of a century living nearby, Barnes hopes this review will forever change the sounds he hears. “I don’t know if I’ll be around for the next 25 years, but I think just for the general public’s safety they need something there,” Barnes said.

The safety audit could take upwards of six weeks.

INDOT said if you are concerned about a state road, send a message. You can even use a smart phone by simply sending a tweet at the handle, @INDOT.