Residents frustrated over drivers cutting through neighborhood to avoid construction zone

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Construction work on the city’s near south side is leading to closures along Shelby Street. The work is part of the Dig Indy and Red Line projects.

People who live in the surrounding neighborhood say the construction zones are causing drivers to cut through their quiet blocks. Residents tell CBS4 they have seen many drivers speeding and even disregarding stop signs.

Large signs are up around the neighborhood notifying drivers that side streets are only open to local traffic. There is a clear detour route posted nearby. Still, our camera spotted one car after another cutting through Manker Street.

“There’s just no respect for the people that live here,” said Jinny Davis, who has lived there for more than four decades.

Davis is one of the many in this area who are frustrated with the situation.

“It’s terrible,” Davis said. “They speed through here. They don’t stop for the stop signs.”

Others along the street say the block is too narrow to handle extra traffic.

“It’s dangerous,” Davis said. “We have joggers. We have bicyclists.”

Several residents contacted CBS4 about the traffic problems after Shelby Street was shut down last week. They said a neighbor’s pet has already been hit and killed by a car cutting through their street.

“It just makes me sick to think about what could happen,” said Rachel Valastek, who is a mother in the neighborhood.

Over on Shelby Street, the owner of Peterman’s Tire is having the opposite problem.

“It’s just a complete ghost town,” said Randy Peterman. “No traffic coming through. The phone’s not even ringing. People can’t get through.”

His shop is right next to the heart of the construction project, where the street is shut down.

“I’ve had to lay two employees off,” Peterman said. “We just don’t have the income. They’re going to run me into the ground and I have kids. I take care of my family.”

The work on Shelby Street is expected to last through the end of October. For a look at the detour route, click here. 

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