August 14, 2013

KITCHELL: Heartland completion will define lines

A sign that says “Main Street” in many communities reflects the primary artery.

That’s not been the case in Logansport, which has the peculiarity of a Main Street across the river from its downtown. But East Main Street has been taking on more of the role of being a main street since the completion of the Ivy Tech State College campus at the south edge of the city.

When the four-lane link of the Hoosier Heartland Corridor is completed later this year, the impact of the completion on traffic patterns will define more than the name of the street. Traffic patterns have a way of shaping retail development. Highways also have a way of making some residential areas more appealing and others less.

One of the unusual things about driving the Hoosier Heartland around Logansport is that there is no gas station, fast food restaurant or lodging visible from the highway. With the completion of the highway from Lafayette to Fort Wayne nearing, that’s likely about to change.

What we really don’t know yet is how traffic flow in and out of the city will change, or if the Heartland will succeed in bypassing Logansport so well that people driving by won’t bother exiting here. One of the contributing factors to avoiding Logansport is that most of the five possible choices for drivers unfamiliar with the city are not well-lit at night. Each of the five have both strong points and drawbacks:

1. West Market Street. This could be much busier because it already has been widened and has accommodating turning radii for large trucks. It also has the aforementioned fast food and gasoline criterion, but lacks lodging. It’s a bit off the beaten path for traffic on Ind. 25 but the flat land surrounding it is a plus for developers.

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