GOSHEN -- The rebuilt section of College Avenue already is causing friction among the city, Goshen College, the Indiana Department of Transportation and area residents -- and it's not even open to traffic.
The city and college sat down and designed the improvements before construction started. It would include wide medians for bicyclists and pedestrians to use as a half-way point when crossing the busy roadway.
But since federal highway dollars are paying for the project, the Indiana Department of Transportation -- which administers those funds -- stepped in and made some changes.
The new median is narrow and requires people to zig-zag across the roadway.
"It was someone's idea of a fix," said Everett Thomas, city council president and council representative for that area.
The other issue that bothers residents is a jog to the bicycle path. They've been complaining to the city.
Area residents Evan Bontrager and Doug and Jill Kaufman wrote a lengthy "call to action" which states, "to be clear, the current crossing design will not accommodate tandems, trailers, tag-a-longs, wheelchairs, nor the Goshen Re-cycles carts. Adults will not be able to cross safely while holding a child's hand," they wrote.
"We're caught with a major situation here because of the convergence of pedestrian and bicycle needs and traffic needs all at the same place," Thomas said. "INDOT forced some changes that have made the configuration a lot less attractive, particularly for pedestrians and bicyclists," he said.
INDOT spokeswoman Stacie McCormick didn't have specific details about the changes to the project, saying the engineer who worked on it wasn't in the Fort Wayne office Tuesday.
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said, "The end result isn't what either the city or the college envisioned.
"We are trying to work on alternatives for down there," Kauffman said.
He wants to get INDOT representatives here to explain the changes, and Thomas likes that idea.
"Clearly we have to get INDOT together with the city and the college and maybe the neighborhood association," he said.
If that doesn't solve anything, the city may come back in the future and make changes, Kauffman said.
Contact Justin Leighty at firstname.lastname@example.org.