South Bend appears to be willing to ‘bend’ when it comes to plans to acquire 30 homes for a road expansion project on the south side.
The Fellows Street improvement project has become somewhat controversial.
As a result, the city may end up doing nothing.
“Looking at a ‘do-nothing’ option and then minimum imprint, working its way up to the maximum,” said South Bend Director of Redevelopment Scott Ford.
The city has actually gone back to the drawing board to come up with several new options.
“In the original plan, they were up to 30 homes that were proposed for relocation, and we thought that we'd like to look at some options looking at where there may be phasing where and try to reduce the number of relocations, actually going all the way down to zero.”
The theory is, a steady trickle of traffic that now flows down Fellows Street north of Ireland, will grow to a gusher once the state builds a bridge that extends Fellows over the U.S. 20 Bypass.
The bridge project is an offshoot of the U.S. 31 realignment between South Bend and Plymouth.
“Well, my philosophy is, is that there’s already an issue with safety on this road, traffic, the speed of the cars that go by, having children on bikes, scooters, it’s just not safe anymore so to me there's already an issue, so it was at least being addressed,” said Lynne Hancock, a Fellows Street resident.
Hancock is willing to move from her home. She’s among those who support—what others resent.
“I’m very happy that they’re reconsidering, I’m very happy that they’re listening to the people,” said Fellows Street resident Annette Pilkington. “I think at the onset of this plan it sounded like we had absolutely no choice in the matter.”
The city’s new alternatives are expected to be shared in detail with residents at a meeting in the next week and a half.
An exact day and time has yet to be determined.