Letter: Proposed Summit District PUD-18-23 along South Weimer Road

The following letter was sent to the Bloomingtonian:

From: Ted and Kathy Frick
1812 S. Weimer Rd.
Bloomington, IN 47403
Date: March 14, 2024
To: Bloomington Plan Commission
Re: Proposed Summit District PUD-18-23 along South Weimer Road
We have lived at our residence at 1812 S. Weimer Rd. since 1977. In our Sept. 6, 2023, letter to
the Plan Commission, we mainly focused on storm water run-off and flooding concerns, and less
so on transportation issues. Now we focus on transportation issues. We are very familiar with
current traffic patterns in our area. For us, there are 2 ways we can go by automobile to
destinations beyond Weimer Rd. We can go north to the Bloomfield Rd. or south to Tapp Rd.
The Weimer Rd. corridor currently has no through connections to the east or to the west on
public right of ways, as indicated in Figure 1 below. The Summit District PUD would create a
new eastbound connection of Sudbury Dr. to Adams St. However, any new connections on the
west side of Weimer Rd. are blocked by Interstate 69.
Summit District PUD Transportation Issues
The Summit District PUD is likely to create increased traffic congestion at 3 main choke points
for outbound automobile traffic, especially during rush hours:

  1. Weimer Rd. stop sign at Bloomfield Rd. Bloomfield Rd. traffic does not stop.
  2. Weimer Rd. stop sign at Tapp Rd. Tapp Rd. traffic does not stop.
  3. Adams St. at Allen St. Currently a 4-way stop.
    See red circles 1, 2, and 3 in Fig. 1 below. The proposed Summit District PUD-18-23 would
    heavily impact traffic on Weimer Rd, as explained below, especially if many of the new people in
    the Summit District try to exit to the west via Sudbury Dr. and turn onto Weimer Rd. to get to
    Tapp Rd. or to W. 2nd St. (Bloomfield Rd.). The intersection of S. Adams St. and Tapp Rd. is
    now a roundabout, and unlikely to be a choke point (green circle 4 in Fig. 1).
    The total number of units was specified to be approximately 6,000 in the Summit PUD petition
    in July. At the Sept. 11 meeting of the Bloomington Plan Commission, the proposed number of
    units was less, possibly between 4,000 and 5,000. A further estimate has finally been provided
    publicly on March 13, less than a week before the next PC meeting on March 19, 2024. This
    latest estimate is 4,250 units total in the proposed Summit District PUD. When people are
    leaving for work, imagine the backed-up traffic at these choke points between 7 and 9 a.m. on
    weekdays! Likewise from 4 to 6 p.m. after work.
    To put this in perspective, compare the city of Martinsville with the Summit PUD. Martinsville’s
    population was 11,932 located on 5,862 acres, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. The Summit
    District PUD petition currently proposes 4,250 units, and assuming 2 adults per unit, this would
    be a population of about 8,500 adults in the 138.5-acre Summit District.
    The main difference is their densities. Martinsville has 2 persons per acre, whereas Summit
    District would have 61 persons per acre. The density of Summit District is 61/2 = 30.7 times as
    great as the city of Martinsville. While these are ballpark estimates, they do put things into
    perspective, as Table 1 shows. And this will impact traffic congestion, because currently there
    are only 4 main ways to get in or out of the Summit PUD area to nearby main arterials (Tapp Rd.
    and Bloomfield Rd.). Note that S. Adams intersects with W. 2nd St where there is currently a
    stoplight, which is north of the Adams and Allen St. intersection at circle 3.
    Figure 1. Summit District PUD nearby streets. Red circles are anticipated choke points.
    A 5th possible way was proposed in the Summit PUD by connecting Adams St. through privately
    owned land to Weimer Rd. at Wapehani Rd. While this would help decrease traffic congestion
    Summit District
    within the Summit PUD, it does not alleviate the current choke points at the ends of Weimer Rd.
    See Table 1 below and Fig. 1 above.
    Table 1. Comparing Martinsville to the proposed Summit PUD
    (2020 Census)
    Summit PUD (March 13, 2024)
    Acres of land ~ 5,862 ~ 138.5
    Square miles of land 9.16 0.216
    Population 11,932 ~ 8,500 (4,250 units x 2 adults per unit)
    Density of people per acre 11,932/5,862 = 2 8,500/138.5 = 61
    How to get in or out:
    Main routes to arterials
    ??? but the routes are
    highly flexible to get to
    4 routes from the central point (blue circle):
    intersection at Adams St. and Sudbury
    Persons per main route to
    ??? 8,500/4 = 2,125 people on each of 4 main
    routes (average). During a 2-hour period,
    2,125/120 min. = 18 people per minute at
    each circle in Fig. 1.
    ***Summit District PUD main routes from central point (blue circle) at intersection of Adams St. and Sudbury
    Drive to Tapp Rd. and Bloomfield Rd. arterials (all 2-lane roads or streets). While not everyone will be traveling at
    the same time, nor will they divide themselves equally among the 4 routes, the averages nonetheless provide a
    general idea of the potential congestion at the 4 circled intersections.
    Other factors
    Weimer Rd. is a 2-lane road. There is a one-lane bridge on the south part of Weimer, and a sharp
    S-curve in the middle portion. Adams St. is also a 2-lane road. Thus far, no eastbound
    through connection from Summit District to S. Rogers St. or to Rockport Rd. has been
    specified in the PUD.
    Bottom line
    The current infrastructure of roads and streets surrounding the proposed Summit District PUD
    will be inadequate to handle significantly increased automobile traffic. We anticipate significant
    congestion at the 3 choke points (red circles in Fig. 1).
    Suggestions for decreasing congestion at choke points
  4. Build a roundabout or add a stoplight at each end of Weimer Rd. Widen narrow bridge
    on south end of Weimer Rd. or build new section of S. Weimer Rd. from Wapehani Rd. to
    Tapp Rd., so as to avoid the current S-curve and narrow bridge. The closed portion of
    southern old Weimer could then become an extension of the Clear Creek Trail.
  5. Make Sudbury Dr. a through route from Weimer Rd. to S. Rogers St. with a stoplight or a
    roundabout at Sudbury and Rogers.
  6. Change intersection of S. Adams St. and Allen St. to a two-way stop on Allen, with
    Adams not stopping; or build a roundabout at the intersection.
  7. Decrease overall density of the Summit District PUD by a significant amount, so that
    much less traffic would be going from and coming to the Summit District.

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