After a number of car crashes have occurred on a road that curves along the west side of Lake Mitchell next to the canal bridge, a local resident is petitioning for a guard rail to be installed.
Jennifer Gades, of Mitchell, recently started a petition that’s requesting city officials to install a guard rail along the right side of North Harmon Drive near the walking bridge on the far west side of Lake Mitchell where the road curves and connects to West Harmon Drive. The guard rail is being requested between 407th Avenue and Canal Circle, stretching around the entire curve.
According to Gades, in the past three months, there have been at least five crashes at the curved part of the road. When vehicles are traveling westbound on North Harmon Drive, which connects to West Harmon Drive at the West End Bridge, the curve on the right side of the road has been the area where several car crashes have occurred. Since its creation, the petition has collected 327 signatures as of Monday.
Mitchell Public Works Director Kyle Croce has the curved road on his radar. Croce said the most recent crash that he was made aware of took place in the evening hours on Feb. 6.
While the curved portion of the road has been an area prone for crashes as of recent, Croce said following the 25 mph speed limit is crucial.
“That’s why driving the speed limit on every road, especially for this road, is so important,” Croce said.
In the petition, Gades wrote some of the vehicle crashes that have occurred in the area were more severe than others.
Gades wrote, “On one occasion, the car flipped on its side shortly before approaching the water.” In addition, she detailed another crash that occurred in the area, writing “one car actually ended up sliding across the frozen canal and up onto the hill on the Island (housing) development side.”
By installing a guard rail along the curved portion of the road, the petition claims it would help prevent additional vehicle crashes and rollovers ending up in the creek that connects to Lake Mitchell.
Gades also noted the volume of foot traffic, bicyclists and fishing enthusiasts that the area along the west side of the lake experiences as another reason to implement a guard rail.
Mitchell City Council President Kevin McCardle is also aware of the petition for the guard rail but he said there needs to be further examination of the traffic data before any decisions are made. Data on crashes in the area in recent years was not available prior to the deadline for this story and will be updated when it is available at mitchellrepublic.com
The Mitchell City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and the request for a guard rail to be installed at the North Harmon Drive curve is not the meeting agenda.