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Carmel wants to put a stop to intersection complaints

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Mayor Jim Brainard says most of the complaints he hears come from constituents who are upset by one intersection.

When it was designed, decades ago, 126th Street and Auman Drive in Carmel didn’t carry traffic like it does now.

Now, the intersection sits between Keystone Parkway on the east and all of the development in booming downtown Carmel. A study last summer found more than 13,000 cars stop at that intersection every day.

In a recent Carmel City Council meeting, one resident of the neighborhood described that traffic as “a gridlock issue.” It’s worse at rush hour. That inspired a discussion of whether to remove the stop signs to let traffic flow freely at 126th Street.

Brainard told 24-Hour News 8 the signs should be removed because they go “against good engineering practice.” Most of the traffic is east and west on 126th. Brainard said traffic at intersecting streets should be more or less equal to warrant the presence of stop signs. That is not the case now. So, he would “absolutely” pull them out.

Karen Carter who lives a few blocks south of 126th says this is “a safety issue for our neighborhood.”

Carter says high school athletes run through the neighborhood, people walk there and kids ride their bikes there. She doesn’t want the signs removed without seeing something else that provides for the safety of everyone in the area. She thinks the stop sign discussion is intended to please the voters who drive through her area on the way to their own neighborhoods.

“What I’m paying attention to are the people that are affected by it every single day of their lives. They want it fixed,” Eric Seidensticker the councilor for the district said.

Seidensticker told 24-Hour News 8 “removal [of the signs] is fine, as long as it’s properly fixed.” He said the current situation is “not the best solution. That’s what we’re waiting on.”

The council voted to review the proposal. As part of that, Brainard said the council wants the city engineer to make a list of other intersections in Carmel that need their stop signs re-evaluated. As a result, no changes are likely for awhile.