WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – State Street is a major travel route for Purdue students and fans of Purdue sports. Whether people are walking, driving or biking, its current condition may not be the safest way for pedestrians to travel.
“I try to avoid it as much as possible because the traffic is terrible,” said Purdue student Helen Clark.
“When there’s snow on the ground the sidewalk becomes quite narrow. And when bikes try to go along it, along with students, then I feel really cramped against the side of the street sometimes,” said Purdue student Clint Bechler.
After months of public input, the city has drafted a master plan to re-vamp a two and a half mile stretch of the road.
“It’s going to have much more interaction between pedestrian and bicyclists. It’s going to narrow the scope of the street and, in most cases, make it two-way,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.
The plan will affect State Street from River Road through Airport Road, just past Purdue University. Dennis said the main goal is to make travel safer for pedestrians, but the re-vamp will have another positive effect particularly in the Village.
“We want to make sure this is accessible by all. If bikes can get there, if our student population can get there and if our permanent residents can get there, then that is going to be a boom for our entire community,” said Dennis.
The plans include two-way traffic through the village, wider walkways and separate bike trails. Also, to help with pedestrian safety, two roundabouts will be added at River Road and Tapawingo Drive.
The plan is in its infancy. Dennis said, although it could change, this current plan would benefit everyone.
“The State Street Master Plan is the vision. It is what we would love to see. It would be the best fit for what we feel this community needs at this time,” said Dennis.
Dennis said it was the best fit, and other opinions said it will be the best way to keep people safe on State Street.
“I definitely think more room for the separation of bikes and students is the safest way to go,” said Bechler.
“If it’s actually safer for crossing, then I kind of like that for pedestrians,” said Clark.
Dennis said the next step is to bring the plans to Purdue University administration and community members to get more input before the engineering process begins.