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INDIANAPOLIS — We often hear from viewers about problems with roads in their neighborhoods. The city confirmed the majority of requests into the Mayor’s Action Center involved requests for the department of public works.

But, DPW said those repairs certainly do not happen overnight. Director Dan Parker acknowledges many residential streets in Indy are “in bad shape.” Since 2018, the year potholes became a problem countywide at the same time, the city’s used data to drive its decisions.

“We gather data to say these are the streets we need to do,” Parker said.

The city said its crews care for roughly 8,400 lane miles. By comparison, INDOT, which covers the entire state, takes care of 28,000 lane miles. Parker explained there are processes in place for citizens to request road work.

It often begins with a call to the Mayor’s Action Center.

“Getting it done is not so easy as calling the MAC and saying I want my street done,” Parker explained.

Lisa Laflin, executive director of the West Indianapolis Development Corporation, can tell you that is true. Laflin said her community is finally seeing patience and persistence pay off more than a decade later.

“It was a long process but they did it right,” Laflin said.

Laflin said back in 2008, about 30 residents came together to draft the Morris Streetscape Plan. The planning phase took more than two years, according to Laflin.

They got a no from the city at first, then a second no several years later.

“They said this is a great plan, we really like it,” Laflin explained. “‘We don’t have the funding to build it. If you can help us find the funding to build it, then we will consider it.”

Working alongside their councilor and mayor’s neighborhood advocate, their plan was finally approved and construction begins this Spring.

“Take your city county councilor and your mayor’s neighborhood advocate as your partner,” Laflin advised. “Be patient and persistent.”

Parker said DPW will spend roughly $164 million on all transportation projects this year.

“These are projects that are locked in and are programmed already through 2025,” Parker said.

Thanks to the Circle City Froward: Phase 2 residential street project selection, each councilor received between $600,000 and $1.3 million for a street project. The total appropriation was $25 million and DPW alongside the council agreed to distribute the funding in a more equitable manner by basing it on lane mileage of deteriorated streets as well as median household income.

DPW makes the final decisions on which street projects are selected.

“Councilors submit their lists to us then we apply our data to that and then come back to the councilor and say, ‘I know this is your number one priority but this one’s the worst,'” Parker said.

Each Marion County resident has a neighborhood advocate and a city-county councilor. DPW and Laflin say these are the people you want to connect with after making a request through Request Indy or the Mayor’s Action Center.