Temporary ‘bump-outs’ installed in DTSB to improve pedestrian safety

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The next drive through some parts of downtown South Bend may be slower - and that’s on purpose.

City officials announced the installation of temporary ‘bump-outs’ - or curb extensions - along Lafayette Boulevard at the Wayne Street, Jefferson Boulevard, and Western Avenue intersections.

Between adding planters, delineators, and adding red paint in between, city engineer Kara Boyles said pedestrians have more space. The bump-outs are also designed to “calm” traffic.

“It makes turning movements for cars more restricted, so you’ve got a much tighter radius there,” explained Boyles.

Bailey Dubois, who was walking downtown on Wednesday, sees the bump-out benefits.

“Yeah, you definitely have to pay attention, not be on your phone - which is nice because you don’t have to worry about if you’re going to get hit,” said Dubois.

The curb extensions could present a learning curve for motorists who are used to hugging the turns.

“This may be a little bit uncomfortable for drivers, but that, that would be anticipated because the design is intended to slow them down and allow for that safer pedestrian movement,” Boyles said.

The city said the temporary bump-outs will remain through the fall and that the delineators will be removed when snow flies. Pedestrians and drivers will be surveyed at some point regarding their opinions of the traffic measures.

Boyles added the bump-outs at Lafayette and Jefferson Boulevards could be permanent in the long term.