The first Zionsville transportation plan meeting updating the town on transportation improvements was Friday, March 19, at Town Hall.

Members of the town council’s roads and transportation subcommittee, Art Harris, Tim Hauk and Judith Essex, were joined by representatives from the business community and various town boards as the working group.

John Myers and Matt Miller of HNTB, the contractors for the project, gave a history of the updates to the transportation plan and what each recommended. It was also revised in 1978, 1988 and 2000.

This revision would account for the consolidated areas in former Eagle and Union townships. It is being funded by a grant from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“This lets citizens know what is expected in the future,” Myers said.

Factors considered in the plan include population, employment, land use development, travel demand, planned projects and existing and future issues. It examines roads from interstate to local. The 2000 update called for the realignment of 106th Street, a project completed this past year.

The population of the consolidated Zionsville was estimated at 26,800. HNTB’s estimates put the population at 49,300 by 2035, an estimate on the high side, Myers said.

“It’s better to be off on the high side when it comes to planning,” he said. “You can reduce needs as they occur.”

The plan will also consider traffic volumes. Miller said 10,000 vehicles drive on Ind. 334 a day. Accidents at busy intersections were examined. Over a four-year period (2003-06), the intersections with the greatest number of crashes were at U.S. 421 and Ind. 334 (63 accidents) and Ind. 334 and Ford Road (62 accidents).

Chad Pittman, a member of the Zionsville Pathways Committee, suggested that a critical issue facing the town is increased commercial development to boost the local tax base. Commercial development, in general, often occurs in areas close to major roadways.

Hauk said the area of County Road 875 East and County Road 500 South would likely experience traffic growth when the new athletic facilities are finished there this year. Zionsville resident Ralph Stacy, a meeting attendee, suggested that something be done about the traffic around Mulberry Street.

“It can be a nightmare of sorts,” Stacy said.

Myers and Miller laid out a general schedule for completion of the plan. The next working group session will be 2 p.m., Friday, May 7, at Town Hall. Sometime in late May, a public meeting will be held to inform the public on the plan’s progression. The date for adoption will be sometime in mid-to-late August.

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