CBS4 tests drivers’ speeds for Indianapolis resident frustrated by city’s red tape

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INDIANAPOLIS — Faced with an uphill battle to get speed bumps installed on her street, an Indianapolis resident reached out to CBS4 for help.

Outside Vanessa Bowser’s front door, you’ll find her keeping a close eye on traffic.

“Oh yeah, that’s more than 30 (miles per hour),” Bowser said of one driver. “They don’t think about it.”

Bowser bought her home on the near northwest side two years ago. Since then, she’s put in dozens of requests with the police for extra patrols and with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works for a change that would stop the speeders.

Her efforts did lead to the installation of a speed limit sign, along with additional cross-traffic signage on her corner, but Bowser contended neither slowed drivers down.

“I would like to see (a) monitor put on the street to show people how fast they’re going,” Bowser said. “I definitely would appreciate speed bumps, however, DPW says this is not a thoroughfare.”

According to data compiled by DPW, there have been 18 collisions along the stretch of road since 2018, but spokesperson Hannah Scott-Carter said that number was not enough to warrant a traffic pattern change.

“Any sort of addition of stop signs, speed hump, whatever is going to create new traffic patterns and could result in a new issue potentially,” Scott-Carter said.

CBS4 drove around the area, where Bowser’s street does serve as a faster way to get from Lafayette Road to 16th Street. In addition, CBS4’s Jill Glavan joined Bowser on two different days to use a speed gun to check drivers’ speeds.

While many drivers hovered at around 35 miles an hour, just over the speed limit, some were going well above that speed, including one at nearly 50 miles an hour.

Bowser’s next option would be to complete a street change policy form (below), which includes a petition that is required in order to get DPW to do a more comprehensive traffic study.

“(You) have to get 75 percent of that affected area to sign the petition to show that … this is something the entire neighborhood really wants,” Scott-Carter said.

“Honestly, they don’t expect people to do that,” Bowser said.

Once you complete the petition, DPW will initiate the study. According to the policy, the department must find evidence of cut-through traffic, along with 85% of drivers going 35 miles an hour or more, in order for speed humps to be considered, but ultimately it’s the department’s decision whether to install them.

Bowser said she is considering a petition. In the meantime, she plans to continue putting in requests with IMPD for patrols of the area and trying to flag down drivers who are going too fast.

“I know that if you do something enough, someone will pay attention,” Bowser said.

If you have a speeding problem in your neighborhood, you can submit a traffic complaint to IMPD using the form at the link here.

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