IBJNews

Democratic councilors wrangle road repairs for districts

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis could forego repairing some heavily traveled, winter-damaged roads to instead focus on shoddy streets spread among all City-County Council districts.

The new repaving project list is the result of recent negotiations between Democratic Councilor Vernon Brown, chairman of the council’s public works committee, and Department of Public Works Director Lori Miser. Brown said he expects the committee, which meets Thursday evening, to approve spending $8.3 million on emergency road repairs.

"We suggested they go back and redistribute the funds more fairly and equitably, and they did that," Brown said.

Brown and other Democrats on the committee voted April 3 to table DPW’s original request to spend $8.5 million on emergency repairs to the city's most heavily traveled thoroughfares in the worst condition.

After turning down DPW’s original request, Democrats complained that the proposed project list didn’t include any roads in some Democratic council districts. DPW countered that the project list reflected the worst roads with the highest traffic counts, regardless of council district.

Brown pointed out that DPW had identified a total of $24 million in road-repair needs throughout the city. The streets that now will be repaired are among those identified. (For the original project list, click here; and for the updated list, click here.)

Although DPW has agreed to spread the money around, officials aren’t happy about it.

“Opposing emergency repairs for this reason is senseless and detrimental to all Indy drivers, who use our most traveled thoroughfares regardless of the council districts they live in,” DPW spokeswoman Stephanie Wilson said.

The new list includes 37 street segments with at least one in each of the city's 25 council district. Twenty-two of the proposed repaving projects were not on the original list, which covered 23 thoroughfare segments with average daily traffic counts ranging from 4,000 (Arlington Avenue from County Line Road to Southport Road) to 25,000 (38th Street from Orchard Avenue to Kinnear Avenue). DPW did not provide traffic-count information on the new list.

In order to spread the money around, DPW has decided to forgo the largest of its original proposed projects, a three-mile stretch of East Washington Street from Southeastern Avenue to Emerson Avenue. The road touches two council districts, District 16 represented by Democrat Brian Mahern, and District 21, represented by Republican Ben Hunter.

The three-mile segment carries an average 24,000 cars per day, according to DPW. As the largest job on the original list, repaving would have cost $1.6 million.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Irvington
    Everything going to the general fund would require everything to go through the Council. That's why money is earmarked.
  • Hmmm.
    Why don't they just use or borrow against the "97 million" they say they're going to get in "false homestead exemptions" http://www.ibj.com/removing-false-homestead-exemptions-to-yield-bonanza/PARAMS/article/47292 That money could cover that and then some. Anything to keep Ballard from crying with his hand out.
  • Wrong Nick
    The money wouldn't be there if it wasn't for the extra food and beverage tax, and increased hotel taxes and rental car taxes. The teams pay nothing. And I said in my post that I know the money is earmarked for that but it is stupid not to be able to use that money when it is needed for more crucial things other than making Simon's heir richer. Kinda like taking a vacation when your have a leaky roof and broken heating/ cooling system, yeah you may have said your going to put that money aside for a vacation but I would think the roof and heating would take precedence.
  • CIB Money
    THE 16 MILLION CAN'T BE USED FOR ANYTHING ELSE. THE MONEY WOULDN'T BE THERE WITHOUT THE SPORTS TEAMS. IT IS NOT AN OPTION.
    • I agree with councilwoman Hickman
      As a registered Republican I agree with councilwoman Hickman. The district council is elected to represent the interest of THEIR district. It is only fair that the worst roads in each district get repaired. There are roads being repaired in Republican and Democrat districts. Maybe they city council won't approve the CIB budget (hint hint) and use that 16 million a year that is to go to the Pacers and fix the major thoroughfares. It is stupid to have money "earmarked" only for certain things. It all needs to go into the general fund just like a household budget works.
    • Stop the gimmicks
      The Democrats objections appear very petty, partisan, and inappropriate. However, everyone should oppose the Mayor's Rebuild Indy 2 proposal which would borrow against decades of future revenues to pay mostly for more street resurfacings which will last only a handful of years. It's never wise to take out a 25 or 30 year loan to pay for an item that won't last that long. Future generations have already had their hands tied enough by the City's leasing and selling away of our public assets.
    • I see your true colors
      I think "extort" would be a better term than "wrangle". It is obvious that the democrats' plan is to oppose every plan proposed by the current administration in a attempt to minimize the mayor. Well good luck with that. Their refusal to approve Rebuild Indy II is partisan politics at its worse. They seem to be ok with cutting off the nose of the city to spite the mayor. I attended the last Rebuild Indy Roadshow in Pike Township and saw DPW's proposals for much needed repairs to streets and new sidewalks. No democrat council members were present(District 7). Are they afraid to hear the will of the people?
    • Councilor Hickman
      If we made all our municipal decisions based on a fair and equitable system of getting what you paid for then certain parts of the city would be much worse off than they are now. For instance, why don't we distribute police and fire protection this way as well?
    • br resident do you really buy those lies
      As someone else mentioned the most severely decayed roads and busy ones should get priority. Who gives a crap what political party district they are in. Again this is why the statehouse had too intervene and kick their majority out in 2015.
    • Democrats
      Thanks God we have a Democrat majority in the City Council sticking up for ALL areas of the city, not just the ones represented by the Republican minority.
      • Pam Hickman
        Councilor Hickman, Your logic doesn't make sense. If a majority of the City travels down certain roads than it makes sense to fix those roads. Don't hide behind a Cricket park when you have an opportunity to fix major problems in the City. The issue here is the council would rather play politics with the Mayor instead of fixing issues. Business as usual for the majority party of the City Council.
      • Racial Code Speak
        why is it whenever the Indy City/County Council wants to exclude middle class whites from infrastructure improvements/repairs they scream that they're in 'republican districts'? how about some equity in street repairs regardless of color!
      • roads
        First Councillor Brown is not an AT Large Councilor. He is a District Councilor. The request was to spread the repairs around in the same proportion as it is being paid for by citizens. If you live in a district and pay for road repair, you should be able to get a return on your money. It is not an easy answer but then the dream list DPW gave was not a guaranteed list. It was their wish list. We have seen money spent elsewhere too many times before to let it be spent again on some special interest like the Cricket Field.
        • Dead link
          The original list link is dead. IBJ, pleae fix.
        • 54th street
          54th street between meridian and college has not been paved in 20 years. it is BY FAR one of the worst roads in the city. Democrats that live in MK should be outraged as I am.
        • Delusional
          Vernon Brown may be so delusional that he actually believes this is a good idea! Where is thougthful leadership on the Council going to come from?
        • Easy fix
          Politics aside, stop the low bid crap and we won't have shoddy roads to begin with.
        • What's wrong with politics
          Welcome to sleazy politics. I'm a democrat and keep getting more and more disillusioned by the political system. It's the system and the people who are engulfed into it. Why can't someone raise them self above the low integrity standards and become a normal human being. If they did, they would raise to the top of the system.
        • Be Careful What You Ask For
          I thought it was the Republicans who eliminated the at-large Council seats (held by Democrats); if you want people to be concerned about the whole City-County, you have to elect a few representatives that cover the whole City-County.
        • Dont worry Indyman 2015 cant come soon enough
          Democrats had the at-large seats taken away from them for a reason and its becoming more and more clear everyday why it makes sense to do that. Stop playing politics with our city or move back up to Chicago Democrats.
          • This is what is wrong with politics. It doesn't matter what is most needed as long as I get my cut. I really hope the Republicans and the press remind the voters of why the most heavily traveled roads are junk, just so a democrat councilor can tell their neighbors that they brought home the pork. When faced with the decision to benefit the most people for the most good or to benefit their own re election prospects, they strong armed the city. Very wrong. Someone please try to justify the democrats move for self preservation over the greater need for me.

            Post a comment to this story

            COMMENTS POLICY
            We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
             
            You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
             
            Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
             
            No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
             
            We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
             

            Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

            Sponsored by
            ADVERTISEMENT

            facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

            Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
            Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
             
            Subscribe to IBJ
            1. Angela IS the best RD

            2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

            3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

            4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

            5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

            ADVERTISEMENT