FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – Since word broke of a proposed trail in Fishers, neighbors have asked the city if it plans to remove stop signs at crossings since no trains are running.
There’s safety signage at 126th Street with yellow signs indicating a railroad ahead, and a stop sign right before the tracks. It’s signage that should get people to stop before crossing.
“A lot of them will pull up and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I missed the stop,’ and then they’ll stop right on the track,” Fishers resident, James Howland said. “They know they’re supposed to stop, but then they roll right through it.”
Nevermind roll through it, we saw a number of people who never bothered to slow down. “We’re an impatient people,” Fishers resident, Pat VanSelow said. “I’ve been around long enough to know patience is an attribute.”
It is a railroad crossing, but there is no train coming. This summer, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority (HHPA) stopped the Indiana Transportation Museum (ITM) over safety concerns.
Originally, the HHPA told 24-Hour News 8, the rails required $5 million in improvements. This week, Cicero council members tell 24-Hour News 8, HHPA members said it would cost $55,000 to get trains running at 10 miles per hour, and $2.1 million to get trains running at 25 miles per hour.
ITM said the lower speeds would allow excursions from Noblesville, and Fishers. The higher speed is needed to restart the popular Indiana State Fair train, which brought more than 10,000 to the grounds in 2015, and generated more than $700,000.
Two weeks ago, Fishers, Noblesville, and Hamilton County announced plans to remove tracks, and build a $9 million trail. Since then, Fishers said there’s been a lot of interest in the stop signs along the tracks.
“We get that asked a lot,” Fishers engineering director, Jeff Hill said. “Could those comes down? For a traffic flow perspective, it could help our east to west commute, but until we initiate those further steps, they have to remain in place.”
Meaning, the track would have to be removed, so the city would know no train could be coming. Until then, the rules of the road remain.
If there is a stop sign, you’re supposed to come to a complete stop, right here at the line, look both ways, and then proceed forward. If you think rolling through and coming to a stop on the track is okay, it’s not, it’s illegal.
With the future of rail in Hamilton County in limbo, neighbors said it’s good practice to stop, in case the train returns. “The first time you skip the one you know isn’t coming, the next one is going to be there,” Howland said.
Fishers, and Noblesville held listening meetings on the proposed trail this week. Mayor Scott Fadness told 24-Hour News 8, the bodies will discuss the neighbor input, and decide whether to pursue grants to fund the trail proposal.