Eight companies sue New Albany over new street design
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) - A quaint, residential strip of Main Street is in the center of controversy.
While the road’s new design may be more pleasing to the eye, truck drivers are having a hard time fitting in with the new traffic.
"This has been, for many years the haul route," said Attorney James Gary, who represents a group of service and trucking companies that oppose the design.
Bigger trucks use Main Street to travel through New Albany, but the traffic once had many residents feeling unsafe.
“Vehicles would travel extremely fast down here. A lot of complaints from the neighbors in this area,” said Shane Gibson, Corporate Counsel for City of New Albany
That's why the city redesigned the street. The $2.4 million project includes crosswalks, bike paths and medians. City officials call them safety features, but truck drivers don't think that's accurate.
In fact, eight companies are suing the city over the design.
“It's now so narrow because of the medians that they worry about how little margin for error there is just from traveling up and down this road,” Gary said.
He argued that the design isn't just unsafe for the truck drivers, but for everyone on the road.
“If someone is parked and opens the door or if someone is on a bike, everything is so tight," Gary explained.
But the city isn't buying it.
"The lawsuit is absolutely ridiculous. Large trucks are navigating this road just fine. They’re just not able to drive as fast as they’d like to," said Gibson.
So what's the resolution? The City of New Albany is standing behind the medians.
"We'll be deposing each and every one of the companies and the complaints and what they signed off on," Gibson said.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs are calling for a second redesign project.
“Right now, it's removing the medians,” Gary said. “We see that as the primary focal point.”
The discovery phase of the lawsuit will take place within the next few months.
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