The Public Works Committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council will hear proposal 257 September 12, 2017. This proposal would authorize an interlocal agreement between Carmel and Indianapolis for improvements to the 96th street corridor from Priority Way to Hazel Dell Parkway. It would also allow for the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the City of Indianapolis after the City of Carmel proceeded forward without due process. While a judge found in our favor, the judge also stated that Carmel could proceed with their project—sans approval from Indianapolis—by moving the project North a mere 6 feet.
Regardless of one’s views on roundabouts, this project will happen. With the signing of this agreement, Indianapolis will receive 3 major benefits in addition to the planned street improvements. First, Carmel will install a traffic signal for the roundabout at River Ridge Drive if service levels fall below a D-level. Secondly, Carmel will install sidewalks and crosswalks along the entirety of the project on the south side of 96th Street, connecting them to the sidewalks already planned for the 96th Street and Keystone Avenue intersection project. Lastly, Carmel will resurface all four Marion County detour routes after construction. These improvements would cost millions of dollars for Marion County taxpayers, and can greatly improve traffic flow in one of the busiest areas of Indianapolis.
Many Hamilton County residents work in Indianapolis. They use our roads, streets and public safety resources without paying tax dollars to Marion County. This is a rare win for Marion County; allowing us to benefit from our neighbors to the north. It is clear that Mayor Brainard is leaving a legacy of roundabouts. It is equally clear that 6 feet will not stop this project, and it could proceed without Indianapolis getting any of the aforementioned benefits. What remains unclear is why any Councillor would vote against giving our citizens the benefits of new sidewalks, crosswalks, additional necessary signaling, and detour route resurfacing at no cost to our constituents.
As a co-sponsor of Proposal 257, I will be happy to attend the Public Works Committee meeting tonight and encourage my colleagues to support this measure. If you would like to reach out to the Coucillors on this committee, here is the link each Committee member and their contact information.