Drivers and Pedestrians Must Be More Alert Amid Greenwood Construction
- The City of Greenwood has officially started work on a 3.7 million revitalization project to upgrade roadways, pedestrian routes and bike paths, parking lots and sewer systems.
- The project will impact travel to schools, residences, and businesses and all drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians should take extra precaution when traveling through these work zones.
- More than 35,000 people are injured in work zones each year and about 700 people are killed.
- In addition, non-motorist fatalities (workers, pedestrians, bicyclists) in work zone crashes increased more than 60 percent in the last 5 years.
City of Greenwood Projects Will Congest Roads and Pedestrian Walkways
A 3.7 million revitalization project in Greenwood, a city located along the border of Indianapolis, has just about everyone being rerouted to accommodate construction zones this spring. Although the expansion project has been planned for years, projects like the Surina Road Connector and a parking lot build just south of Surina Way are now in place. These areas are likely to be congested for motor vehicle and bicycle traffic on city streets but also for pedestrians with the addition of new sidewalk paths, bike trails, and an innovative sewage system.
City of Greenwood officials say along with the construction comes the closure of Meridian Street, making it tricky to access schools, churches and other businesses where both vehicle and pedestrian traffic is high during certain times of the day. Construction on the Surina Road Connector and new parking lot will continue through approximately May 26. Conflicts between pedestrians and motor vehicles, bicyclists, and other traffic are expected to occur in this highly populated suburb located in the southern portion of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area.
A Guide For Traveling Wise Through City Construction Zones
More than 35,000 people are injured in work zones and about 700 people, including 130 workers, are killed every year in road construction zone accidents. Additionally, the Department of Transportation says over the last decade, more than 1200 pedestrians and bicyclists died in work zones and just over 10,000 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured in work zone crashes during that same period. We have pulled together a few tips for motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to travel wisely though these areas.
Motor Vehicles: If you plan to travel by motor vehicle in Greenwood, crash activity such as rear-end collisions are the most common type of work zone hazard to be prepared for. Here are some reminders from the Indiana Department of Transportation and Wagner Reese to keep you safe.
- Take extra care to pay attention and expect the unexpected. Work Zone configurations can change without notice.
- Don’t text or talk on the phone and avoid taking your hands off the wheel. Distracted driving has become a crisis on all roadways. Driver inattention is a leading cause of all crashes.
- Watch for speed limit reductions, narrowing lanes, changing traffic patterns, and – most importantly – road workers.
- Respect the posted speed limits and slow down as soon as safely possible as this will allow traffic to flow smoothly. Speeding and aggressive driving is a major cause of work zone crashes.
- Keep a safe distance on all sides of your vehicles and maintain a safe following distance.
- Be patient when driving through work sites with flagger control. Respect the flaggers and obey their guidance.
- Pay attention to the construction and detour signage. Those signs are carefully selected to give drivers accurate information and important warnings.
- Expect delays and allow extra travel time to navigate work zones.
- If possible, select alternate routes to avoid the work zone completely.
Bicyclists: Although it is the responsibility of the City of Greenwood to ensure the safety of bicyclists in work zones through special warnings and mobility guidance, accidents still happen. If you are a bike rider, follow these suggested precautions.
- Wear a bike helmet and protective gear. Make sure clothing and bikes are visible to others. The use of reflective gear, and a front and rear light is a preventative safety measure.
- It is illegal in Indiana to ride on anything other than the bike seat. It is also illegal to sit more than one person per bike unless there are more seats or special equipment attached. Bike riders cannot carry anything if it prevents them from having both hands on the handlebar.
- Use hand signals and try to make eye contact with cars before making turns.
- Ride with car and truck traffic and not against it.
- Obey work zone signs, detour signals, and road closed markings, just like a car.
- Assume the other person doesn’t see you so look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall like temporary signage placed in the road, trash, rocks, potholes, and grates or construction zone gear.
- No texting, changing the music, or using anything that distracts you by taking your focus off the road.
Pedestrians: If you are typically taking your morning run or evening walk with Fido in an area marked for construction, pedestrians have many new rules to navigate through when making decisions on what roads and pathways are safe to travel. Pedestrians may also have to travel to the closure points to gain access to businesses, residences, schools and parking lots. Here are a few situations to watch out for if you are on your feet, traveling through a work zone.
- Follow all temporary pedestrian walkways for safe, accessible routes.
- Stay under covered walkways where you can be protected from falling objects and a potential injury.
- Watch for any advance warnings about traffic control devices necessary to guide or direct the safest route. Transition signing may be placed in areas you do not normally see it.
- Always follow the detoured pathway if the original is restricted or diverted, or just looks unsafe.
- If at night, walk the lighted path and stay alert, never distracted by your phone or personal device.
Yes, it is the responsibility of the city to provide safe, convenient passage to all vehicles, bicyclist and pedestrians during the operation of work zones, but accidents can still happen. So be patient and stay calm by allowing yourself extra time to travel through any work zone. Remember that the construction crews are working to make the roads, parking lots, sidewalks and bike paths better for you.
Call Us If You Have Been Injured
Each time a person travels through a work zone, they risk the chance of being involved in a tragic accident, especially while sharing small spaces with large trucks and equipment. In the case of an injury or a loved one lost as a result of a city construction zone accident, our expert personal injury and wrongful death attorneys can help you to understand your rights and options and will fight to get your family the compensation you deserve.
If you would like legal advice on an accident, give us a call today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information.