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Opinion: City needs to address Monon crossing at Main Street

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I think it’s time I write about an issue that has been slowing down our community in Carmel.

I’m referring to the Monon Trail crossing at Main Street in the Carmel Arts & Design District.

I’m partially joking about this being a serious issue. In the grand scheme of things, there are much more pressing problems to address but it’s been a pet peeve of mine for some time.

Here’s the problem. There’s a stop sign for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of the Monon Trail, which means that they need to stop before crossing. There is no stop sign for motorists along Main Street. This means that cars don’t have to stop.

Yet the long held belief that pedestrians have the right of way has caused confusion. Young kids speed on bikes across a busy Main Street without looking twice. Motorists insist on stopping and waving me past even when I properly stop when walking my dog. It’s chaos.

I understand that motorists are trying to be nice when they brake for me at the trail, but as a cyclist I prefer they don’t. It’s easier for me to time my speed and stops when I know it’s coming.

I’ve joked with Carmel City Councilor Kevin “Woody” Rider that we need to rotate the statue there of a police officer so it’s telling the pedestrians to stop. I’ve actually seen a cyclist point to that statue as if it was a stop sign when he tried to shame a motorist for not stopping.

The bottom line is this: I just want everyone to follow one system. I don’t care if pedestrians/cyclists always stop or that motorists always stop, but let’s just do it one way and stick to it. It slows everything down when nobody knows what to do and it’s possible that confusion could lead to a child being hit by a car if neither chooses to stop.


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