Accident reignites conversation about Spyglass Falls entry/exit


A recent deadly vehicle accident on 116th Street has prompted a nearby neighborhood to again reach out to the City of Fishers for help establishing a second, safer entrance to their community.

Spyglass Falls on 116th Street just east of Cumberland Road was built in the early 2000s, according to information from the city. It has one entry and exit point onto 116th Street, an extremely busy corridor with fast-moving traffic.

On July 22, a Fishers man died when the motorcycle he was operating on 116th Street collided with a pickup truck turning west out of the nearby Spyglass Hills neighborhood.

Rob Glinke is the Spyglass Falls Homeowners Association president. He said that accident demonstrates how dangerous it can be trying to exit onto 116th Street. While Spyglass Hills residents have an optional exit at Cumberland Road, Spyglass Falls residents have no choice.

“Our neighborhood was constructed with the intention of having two exits, one on Cumberland Road and one on 116th Street, and a little bit of maybe corporate greed kind of got the better of them,” Glinke said. “Instead of using the egress on the Cumberland roadside, they went ahead and put a house there instead. So, we’ve been stuck with that single exit on 116th Street.”

He said there have been a lot of accidents there, mostly fender-benders. The recent fatal accident spurred the neighborhood to try to find a solution again.

This isn’t the first time Spyglass Falls HOA has approached the city for assistance. In 2016, the city’s then-engineer Jeff Hill submitted a detailed report on that topic following a request from residents. The report talks about various potential solutions, including a roundabout or traffic lights to slow oncoming traffic, and closing the median to eliminate left turns into and out of the neighborhood.

Two options Glinke said the HOA wants to see explored are building the originally planned connection from Spyglass Falls to Cumberland Road, or expanding what is now a footpath between Spyglass Falls and Spyglass Hills to allow access to the Hills’ Cumberland Road exit.

Spyglass Hills residents have opposed allowing that additional traffic, citing safety concerns.

In its 2016 report, the city noted that building a direct connection from Spyglass Falls to Cumberland Road would require demolishing a home.

Glinke said although the HOA doesn’t want to force anyone out, if one of the five homes nearest to Cumberland Road come up for sale, the HOA would be willing to buy it to make room for a road. He said the association owns land on the other side of those homes that it currently can’t access. If a road is built there, he said they could add amenities for the neighborhood, so it would be a win-win for everyone.

The city’s estimated cost for that option in 2016 was about $500,000. That price likely is significantly higher today.

Glinke said the other option — expanding the connection to Spyglass Hills — is acceptable, as well. He understands why the Hills residents oppose it.

“It’s a dangerous area in their neighborhood right there,” he said. “People park on both sides of the road. It’s really narrow at the top of a hill so you can’t really see the oncoming traffic and it in itself is a dangerous situation. I have offered to donate (Falls) ground there to them. So it moves the curb back and allows an extra lot for parking. So, it gets those cars off the street and widens the road.”

He said that suggestion was made during a recent Spyglass Falls HOA meeting that a City of Fishers representative attended. Glinke said that representative indicated the city would reach out to the Spyglass Hills HOA with that idea.

However, that was not the understanding of the city official.

“Spyglass Falls held an HOA meeting and a member of our staff attended,” City of Fishers Director of Community and Public Relations Ashley Elrod said in response to a request for comment. “We attended the meeting to hear the proposal from Spyglass Falls but we are not facilitating conversation between the two (HOAs).”

Elrod added that the city does not have a position on how to resolve the Spyglass Falls entry and exit problem.

Glinke said the issue likely will be a topic of discussion at the next HOA meeting. He said the neighborhood has a lot of drivers and some are just learning.

“I mean, my daughter is 15. She just got her learner’s permit,” he said. “I can’t even imagine how pissed I would be or extremely upset or torn or just violently angry if my daughter fell victim to that intersection because we didn’t do anything about it.”