Speeds dangerous on lake shortcut road

News editor

Dave Yates has had it with drivers taking a shortcut along his road, going by at speeds he often considers dangerous.

Yates lives along Dan Drive, a narrow gravel street shared by several homes north of Marion County Lake. It connects with Gilham Road on the north and Lakeshore Drive on the south, making it a shortcut from Upland Road to the north end of the lake.

Except Dan Drive doesn’t directly connect to Lakeshore Drive. It connects with a private drive on Kevin Hoffer’s property at 75 Lakeshore Drive.

Yates would like either the county or Hoffer to shut Dan Drive to through traffic, to reduce the amount and speed of vehicles traveling the road.

Yates met with Marion County Commission on Thursday to discuss his concerns. He said he would like to put boulders or something else across the road where it meets Hoffer’s property, to allow pedestrians, bikes, horses, and motorcycles to continue to use it — if Hoffer is OK with it — but to stop cars and trucks using it as a shortcut.

The commission told Yates they couldn’t force Hoffer to close his drive to people going through.

“I’m not inclined to shut the road,” Hoffer said Monday afternoon while sitting on his porch. “The people that use it, I don’t mind. It’s the people who exceed the speed, so to speak, that irritate me.”

Hoffer does have a sign by his driveway where it turns off Lakeshore Drive noting that it is a private drive and closed to through traffic, but it is old, worn, and difficult to read. And he uses Dan Drive and Gilham Road as a quicker route into Marion, so he would be hurting himself by putting barricades between his driveway and Dan Drive.

Hoffer said he wouldn’t mind adding speed bumps like the ones in the area around the lake office. That would alleviate his concerns about the speed of traffic.

“Ninety percent of the people who use that road are conscientious about their speed,” he said.

He said people have asked why there is a road sign for Dan Drive on Lakeshore Drive if it is a private drive for that stretch. Hoffer said he is happy to have the sign up to help responders find places during 911 calls.

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