INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis is nearly three weeks into a major redesign of Broad Ripple Avenue, but residents and business owners in the area say they are already seeing an increase in reckless driving.
“Oh, I think people don’t care. I see people all the time literally look at the signs and then just they keep going,” said Don Walls, a resident of the 6100 block of Carrollton Avenue. “It really does basically turn into a game of chicken sometimes.”
Walls and several other residents near Carrollton Avenue and 62nd Street said lost, confused, and impatient drivers are driving down the opposite direction of a one-way.
“I really think it’s just people being confused about how to get around,” said Walls. “There’s already a problem with people ignoring signs and stuff, but since the construction has been going on people are a lot more confused it seems.”
Jim Morical has lived right outside the intersection for more than 27 years.
“It’s always been a little bit of a problem but lately it’s been bad because people have no other way to get to where they’re going,” said Morical. “There’s always been a little bit of it, but it’s gotten way worse because of the construction.”
On March 28, the Indianapolis Department of Public Works broke ground on a major redesign of Broad Ripple Avenue. Just one week later, separate crews broke ground on a separate construction project just north of Broad Ripple Avenue on College Avenue over the canal bridge. Lastly, a third project near 62nd and College Ave is ongoing as separate crews work to build the new Eight Eleven headquarters.
“Eventually there’ll be an accident or possibly a fight,” said Morical.
The Indianapolis Department of Public Works issued a written statement saying:
“DPW has not begun construction for this project yet. The work on Broad Ripple Avenue, as of now, is Citizens Water relocating their utilities in anticipation of our project.
Any existing detours are not DPW’s Broad Ripple Avenue project. There may be DPW detour signage for the bridge project just north of Westfield BLVD, but it would not involve Carrollton. The work around Broad Ripple Avenue is near—but not the same project as—the College Avenue bridge closure over White River (which is our project and currently under construction by our contractor). That closure detours via Kessler Boulevard, Meridian Street and 71st Street (specifically away from the Broad Ripple Avenue construction).
We do support driving defensively and following all posted detours, especially as this is National Work Zone Awareness Week. We want to remind drivers to read the signs, watch their speed, and remember that road work and slow signs are a sign to slow down.
Our contractor will officially start work in a few months, and we will have more information at that time about our detours.”Imani Keith – Public Information Officer, Indianapolis Department of Public Works.