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BARBARA BEATTY HULL: SouthTowne Plaza entrance needs to be addressed

on June 18, 2013 11:00 AM

I found it interesting that the White Township planning commission is recommending “a plan to alleviate traffic congestion and safety concerns at Lenz Road and Oakland Avenue” for future development. (“Commission recommends study of Lenz Road,” June 12). This is part of what “planning” is all about, and these studies are important.

I am sure that if another car dealership and hotel are built along Lenz Road, there will be additional traffic in the area, but where was the planning commission when SouthTowne Plaza was being built? There is a more pressing issue that must be addressed where there are 17 businesses, including the Walmart Supercenter and a 70-room hotel, and only one way in and out for traffic. Perhaps the original plan predicted significantly less traffic, but the complex has grown in size and volume.

I recently read of a potential threat at a large mall, which caused evacuation of the entire area. It was in a city larger than Indiana, and evacuations were done in an orderly manner because there were numerous exits from the complex. If something happened at SouthTowne Plaza, I dread to think of how people will get out of the area. Even worse, how would emergency equipment and workers get in?

There apparently are plans of an apartment complex for the property between Walmart and Warren Road. My first thought of hearing that was, “That would be another way to get out of the SouthTowne Plaza if needed,” but it is not a solution.

Surely I am not the only person who thinks of this problem when driving in or out of the complex. If I were a firefighter or emergency worker I think I would have nightmares about it.

I believe the White Township supervisors need to address the issue of another road leading in and out of the plaza before a catastrophic event happens — and not wait until after, when they will be scratching their heads and asking, “Why didn’t we think of that earlier?”

Barbara Beatty Hull


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