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Business owners concerned about safety along Lafayette Avenue

Business owners, residents and city leaders packed inside Manny's Café to talk about the state of Lafayette Avenue Thursday night.

Posted: Nov. 30, 2018 12:43 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Business owners, residents and city leaders packed inside Manny's Café to talk about the state of Lafayette Avenue Thursday night.

Doctor Meredeth Gray organized the public meeting. Gray owns Smudde Family Dentistry located along Lafayette Avenue.

She says earlier this year her business was hit by a car for the second time.

"An older lady said she hit a bump in the road. The only bumps are right at that edge. There's a big kind of drop off there and there are a lot of potholes. The ground is very uneven right there and I'm assuming that's where she said she hit a bump. It's really the only bump that was there and she skidded off the road and went hightailing it right into the decking."

Gray says a curb may not have stopped the accident from happening but it would have helped. She and others agree the heavily traveled corridor needs some work if the city wants to protect drivers and pedestrians.

One business owner at the meeting said, "These motorized wheelchairs and the people that are in those, they risk their lives. They're going back and forth to the store and whatever and there's nowhere for them to go. They're literally in the street."

Others talked about the need for drainage work and even bike lanes but the focus remained on sidewalks.

One resident said during the discussion, "I don't want to get a bike but I would like to take a walk and frankly to walk from Haythorne south to Plaza North, or whatever they call it now, is a pain."

The city already has a plan for a section of Lafayette from fort Harrison Road to Haythorne Avenue.

City engineer Chuck Ennis says the 2-million dollar plan includes a new road, curb, sidewalks and storm sewers. Bidding will start in the fall of next year.

There are no official plans for work on the southern portion of Lafayette, yet. Ennis says folks may not see changes in this area until 2023.

He says the city will work to make some changes proposed in this meeting.

"We'll take it back and see what we can do with it."

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