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Notre Dame road plan draws fire

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame’s proposal to move a busy road that crosses part of campus in an effort to improve safety has some residents in a student apartment complex concerned the school is just shifting the danger.

University Village resident Sarah Elliott told the South Bend Tribune ( that the proposal isn’t safer for married students and their families and is asking St. Joseph County Council to postpone the Dec. 4 public hearing and vote until safety issues are addressed.

“We want it delayed,” she said.

The proposal would move Douglas Road north through mostly vacant fields to near the 100-unit apartment complex where about 180 adults and 100 children live. The road would be aligned with the Indiana Toll Road entrance and two traffic roundabouts would be built.

Notre Dame officials say the new road will be safer. Tim Sexton, Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs, said university officials have been listening to public comments and has made some changes to the plan.

Some of the married students have asked Notre Dame to adopt a speed limit below 35 mph – slower near pedestrian crossings; lanes 10 feet wide rather than the standard 12 feet; construction of a berm with a break near apartment complex entrance; and more details about a traffic control device to be installed at two crossways.

The proposal includes a paved bike/walking path running adjacent to the new roadway.

Resident Simone Hamrick said University Village representatives have met with Notre Dame administrators several times to discuss their concerns, most recently on Nov. 16. They came away unconvinced that the road proposal has enough guaranteed safety measures, she said.

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