Carmel might see slower speeds on some of its busiest corridors
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said there might be slower speeds throughout some of the city’s busiest corridors, such as Range Line Road, 116th Street and 96th Street. But it’s not because of lowering the stated speed limits. It’s because of planned roundabouts and medians that naturally encourage motorists to reduce their speeds.
“Those are traffic calming devices, and they’re good for pedestrians,” he said.
Brainard is said trip times will decrease with drivers not waiting at stoplights. He said they’ll drive slower but get where they’re going faster.
Along Range Line Road, the city will spend $13.4 million on a transformation between Main Street and Executive Drive, which includes new roundabouts at Executive Drive, City Center Drive and 4th Street, and bike paths and a median to eliminate the middle lanes in some places. Brainard said there might be raised concrete for pedestrian crossings, similar to Clay Terrace, which will force motorists to slow down.
Brainard compared the work to a similar project in Colorado, where a “road diet” helped slow traffic, reduce accidents and increase sales tax in the business corridor.
Brainard cited City of Carmel statistics that showed in 1996 there were 216 accidents with injury for 170 road miles and 31,808 residents. That was before the first roundabout. More than two decades later, there were 215 accidents for 487 road miles and 91,374 residents in 2016. This represents a significant decrease in accidents per capita, he said, because of the use of roundabouts.