INDIANAPOLIS — Central Indiana drivers have had mostly clear pavement on the majority of main roadways Monday. However, safety officials are urging drivers to be on the lookout for changing conditions on their commutes.
While interstates, highways and main roads that were treated with salt are in good condition Monday, many neighborhood streets from Greenwood to Fishers that haven’t been salted are still covered in a thin layer of snow on top of ice.
In Indianapolis, a longstanding policy used to state that the Department of Public Works only calls in contractors to plow residential streets if the city gets at least 6″ of snow in a single weather event. However, DPW abandoned that rule back in November. The current strategy involves using a Connector network of streets to link more residential areas to the regularly cleared thoroughfares in the city. The new policy gives DPW more flexibility to send more plow trucks into residential areas, depending on the weather conditions.
Jack Paredes, an independent construction contractor, spent Monday navigating slick neighborhood streets in order to get from one job to another.
“It’s slippery everywhere, so whenever you get out or you try to park, you’re just going to hit the ice, and the car just starts wobbling,” Paredes explained. “If it takes half an hour to get somewhere, now it takes from 45 to an hour to get somewhere else.”
In Fishers, Chris Linday says city crews came through his neighborhood to plow, but his neighborhood streets weren’t treated with salt. While the streets in his neighborhood were easily drivable, a thin coating of snow and ice could make for some slick driving for anyone not being careful.
“That tends to be the problem most of the time, isn’t it?” Linday said. “If you can get to the main roads, you’re A-okay.”
Hamilton County Highway Department spokesperson Brandi Tarner said drivers were reporting blowing snow throughout Monday. The persistent wind and temperatures below freezing forced many of their drivers to double-up on their routes.
“So they’re just making sure that they hit their routes again and making sure if there’s anything drifting, they can start dropping their plows,” Tarner said.
Overall, Tarner encourages drivers to keep an eye out for changing conditions on their commute. She says just because the main road you’re on is in good shape, don’t assume the next road will be when you make your next turn.
“Slow down, take the time, leave a little earlier,” she advised. “Always be careful of your surroundings.”