KENDALLVILLE — A new 70-home subdivision on Kendallville’s south side could add more than a hundred cars to roads once fully built out, but that’s not a cause for any major traffic concerns in the area, city and Steuben County engineers said.
The new development was announced at Jan. 22’s East Noble School Board of Trustees meeting. Developer BST Capital LLC is planning to purchase 35.6 acres of land from East Noble Sherman Street and Waits Road and put in a 70-unit housing subdivision, comprised of 56 single-family homes and 14 retirement-style villas.
The subdivision, as currently laid out, would have drives on Sherman Street just south of South Side Elementary as well as on Waits Road.
After the announcement, residents on the KPC News Facebook page raised concerns about added traffic in the area and traffic speed. One commenter even suggested the city or county would need to expand to four lanes.
Kendallville City Engineer Scott Derby and Noble County Highway Department Engineer Zack Smith, however, don’t foresee any major traffic issues connected to the proposed development.
The latest county traffic count for Waits Road between Sherman Street and C.R. 1000E — the area where the south drive for the subdivision would be — is approximately 1,700 vehicles per day, Smith said.
Derby reported traffic counts of about 1,800 vehicles per day on Waits Road east of Sherman Street — close to the county number — with about 1,350 daily traffic on Waits west of Sherman Street. Sherman Street gets about 1,450 vehicles per day in the area north of Waits Road.
There is currently a stop sign on Sherman Street at the Waits Road intersection, but east-west traffic on Waits Road does not stop.
Speed limits are 30 mph on Sherman Street and Waits Road west of Sherman Street, while it’s 40 mph on Waits east of Sherman all the way to Allen Chapel Road.
Smith said the area traffic counts don’t warrant any major concern from a new housing development. All of the county’s road inventory is two-lane roads, including roads with significantly higher traffic than either Sherman or Waits.
“For instance C.R. 1000E near Waits Road is one of the county’s highest volume roads at 8,500-plus vehicles per day and is still only two lanes,” Smith said. “It would be difficult to estimate impacts without a finalized subdivision plan and a traffic impact study, but I don’t believe the proposed development will have a major impact on traffic, especially considering that there will be an entrance on Sherman Street and on Waits Road.
“There would likely be some minor backups during peak hour — morning work/school traffic — but this wouldn’t be any different than current traffic patterns elsewhere in town,” Smith said.
Derby said the developer will certainly place stop signs at each of the proposed exits to stop cars exiting the neighborhood, but neither Smith or Derby suggested stop signs would be needed on the cross roads.