WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — What was once a driver’s nightmare is now a safer route to travel. At the intersection of U.S. 231 and Cumberland Avenue, the number of drivers injured there has decreased more than 50 percent.
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said he made it a priority to make sure that as a city leader, he needed to protect his citizens.
“We take great pride in trying to make sure that our roads are safe,” said Dennis.
After officials noticed a problem a year ago at a major intersection, West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski knew something had to be done.
“We had some challenges at an intersection that didn’t have a light at Cumberland and [U.S.] 231,” Dombkowski said.
The Chief knew he had to keep the people in the community out of harms way.
“I actually was on scene for several ones that we had prior to the traffic light,” said Dombkowski. “And I knew when we heard a crash go out over the police radio, at that intersection, that it’s probably gonna be a catastrophic crash.”
The stoplight was put up at the intersection at end of August 2015 when officials noticed a huge problem. Because just one year after the intersection opened, there were 22 crashes and one of those was fatal.
After the death, the community came together to get a stoplight set up at that intersection. Fast forward to a year later — after the stoplight was put up, only 5 people have been hurt.
“We were very persistent,” Dennis said. “We made phone calls and even had to go to the extreme level of shutting down that intersection.”
The mayor said that his family did not regularly use this intersection, but he was worried for those who did. Not only is the intersection safer for drivers, but pedestrians as well.
“Right now, there’s a church there that’s very heavily attended on Sunday,” said Dennis. “A lot of the parishioners that attend that particular church feel much safer now that they don’t have to cross a four-lane highway.”
Dennis said that since the stoplight was installed, he has received a lot of positive feed back from the community.