Residents concerned about proposed Douglas Road realignment

A project to address safety concerns on Notre Dame's campus is raising concerns among residents who live nearby.

The university wants to realign Douglas Road, which students and employees often cross to get to campus.

They say the change would make the area safer for pedestrians.

The new road would span four lanes and include two roundabouts.

Some residents say that's going to increase traffic near residential areas; shifting the university's safety issues into nearby neighborhoods.

"It's going to have a lot of twists and turns, two additional roundabouts, a higher speed limit and it's just moving so fast," said Indian Village resident Bill Partridge. "They say the safety issues need to be adjusted and it's making it more dangerous for us."

The university wants to close a portion of Douglas and build a new one.

The proposed road would connect with a roundabout at Juniper Road, cut through White Field and join the intersection at the Indiana Toll Road entrance.

Residents worry those changes will increase traffic in their neighborhoods, putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk.

"I have kids running around outside, biking to campus to see their dad," said University Village resident Sarah Ellis. "That's going to impact their space to do that and their safety."

But, residents say their concerns don't end there.

While Notre Dame will foot the bill for the initial construction, they worry about the upkeep of the longer, new road.

"In the long run, we as taxpayers are going to have to come up with a lot more money to maintain that road over time," said Indian Village resident Jane Anne Yackshaw. "It's 50 percent bigger."

County leaders will decided whether to give the project the green light later this month.

A public hearing and vote is scheduled for Tuesday's County Council meeting.

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