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Moving the entrance

 

Beechwood residents request access near Granger Park

LaGRANGE – Some say that an entryway helps define a community, and that certainly seemed to be the opinion of residents of the Beechwood Circle communityas they asked the city council for a change to the entrance to their neighborhood on Tuesday.

At one time, Beechwood Circle was open from both ends, but when through traffic resulting from the neighborhood’s proximity to the high school became a hazard, the residents requested that the city close one end of the circle. At first the North Greenwood entrance was closed, but later it was reopened in favor of closing the entrance near Granger Park. Now, as the neighborhood grows and the park begins to see the results of revitalization efforts by both the city and the county, the neighborhood requested to change the entrance once more.

“We as a neighborhood would like to change the entrance from the North Greenwood side to the Granger Park side,” said Michelle Ashmore, who served as the spokesman for the residents. “Currently, where at one point there were two entrances where you could drive through and several years ago they closed one end, and in speaking with the neighborhood, we’ve gone around door to door – have petitions, requests to explain it – and we think that in order to help beautify and revitalize our neighborhood, that opening the Granger Park side and closing the North Greenwood side would help with that.”

Ashmore noted neighbors’ concerns about traffic near the light at LaGrange High School as one of the reasons that the neighborhood wanted the change. When the North Greenwood entrance was opened previously, the light had not been installed and there were reported traffic issues if residents came from the direction of the park. Now that the light has resolved that traffic concern, the residents of the neighborhood would like the entrance to return to the park side, but more than traffic is on the minds of the residents of the area that is known to be one of the first plotted subdivisions in town.

“We want to enhance our neighborhood,” said Ashmore. “That is our goal. With all the additions that have happened in the Granger Park area with the parking lot, the renovations to the tennis courts and the increase in activities to our community and especially in that area, we truly in Beechwood want to associate ourselves with that park and those amenities. We have a lot of younger families moving into our community of over 60 homes, and our families are using those park facilities – the tennis courts, the playground, etc. – and we know with all the renovations happening at Granger Park, we want to dress up our neighborhood as well. We think this is the perfect time to come together as a community with the Thread coming to the Granger Park area in the near future. We think that (with the Thread) bringing more people into that area, we want our neighborhood to match that as well, and we want that true feeling of a neighborhood.”

Public safety officials reported that the change would result in a slightly longer response time for fire and police response, but responses would be expected to remain within the acceptable range.

Councilman Tom Gore questioned if any modifications would be required to the cut off section of road to make it safe for residents, and the council decided to have the city staff review the road changes and make a recommendation before anything went up for vote.

The city council is scheduled to meet again on March 28 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Ave.

 

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.