Speedway roundabout to reconfigure key intersection

August 20, 2013
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Motorists traveling near Indianapolis Motor Speedway might feel like 500 race winner Tony Kanaan when trying to maneuver the confusing Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street intersection.

speedway roundabout
                              225pxThe intersection, made even more perilous by Georgetown Road connecting from the north, is about to get a major makeover, however, at a cost of $14 million.

Taking a page from Carmel’s playbook, the town of Speedway announced Tuesday that it will convert the crossroads into a roundabout.

The biggest changes: Georgetown Road will end in a cul-de-sac just north of the current intersection at 16th Street, while Main Street will connect to the roundabout from the south.

“There’s no direct connection today,” says Scott Harris, executive director of Speedway’s redevelopment commission. “Opening Main Street to Crawfordsville Road will enhance economic development.”

Construction of the roundabout should start late this year and be completed by December 2014. The reconfiguring of the roadways represent Speedway’s latest attempt to transform the town into a year-round racing-themed destination.

The 400-plus-acre project includes road improvements, land acquisition and a total makeover of Main Street.

Harris says the roundabout is the “next step” in the town’s master plan that was adopted in 2007. And it also may help to reduce the number of accidents that occur every year at the Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street intersection.

Police in 2012 reported 49 accidents there, more than 60 percent of the total number of crashes in Speedway for the entire year.

  • terrible
    Cutting off Georgetown Road like that is a terrible idea.
  • Close Georgetown RD?
    I Can't see the Speedway allowing Georgetown to be closed like that. I can't see Homeland Security allowing that. I know there are proposals to move Georgetown rd, but to close it?
    • I agree
      Closing G'town Rd will put all the traffic going down Auburn Street as it is the next thru road till Lynhurst St. There are many small children and elderly living on Auburn and people drving down now do not come to a full stop at the cross streets now. Also folks with multi cars park on the street now and that will probable come to a halt very soon. If they still propose to put a park in across from the 500 track, how will police and fire be able to get thru, Auburn Rd again, plus the delivery trucks, etc. will be suing this street. As for connecting to Main St, we are not Carmel, Zionsville and never will be with the little space for new business to invest in. This has been a bad idea from the very beginning..........
    • Bad Idea
      This whole Speedway Redevelopment Roundabout keeps getting worse and worse. It appears that 16th and Main will still have an intersection immediately south of the roundabout. With multi-story buildings on the south side of 16th street at Main, the visibility is poor. From the picture it appears that travelling eastbound on 16th street onto the roundabout is going to be dangerous at the intersection of Main Street. I hope they don't leave a traffic light there as it would be entirely too close to the roundabout. And having Georgetown, a major through street, end in a cul de sac is laughable. I'm sure Coca-Cola and all the drivers from the plant aren't going to be laughing though. Hey Redevelopment Commission, how about taking care of your current businesses and citizens before trying to attract new ones with some half-thought out and ever-changing gimmicks. My disappointment couldn't be greater.
      • Ludicrous
        While I agree that Georgetown Road should be closed for races, it’s ludicrous to close it off from the roundabout for the rest of the year. Simply add curvature barriers during races to keep it closed.
      • Counting down the days
        I have been looking forward to this day for so long. This is in my back yard, and I have seen the numerous accidents as a result of this intersection. I also witnessed the evacuation of the IMS stands during a race because a tornado was coming and people had no where to go because the fences are so close to the stands. This is a great thing and change is hard for many people. IMS and Homeland security have both been instrumental in this plan, and fully support. This will bring traffic directly to our new Main Street as it continues to grow. Traffic studies have been done for years and this is a well thought out plan that is going to be great!! I appreciate all of the members of the SRC that have worked with a big vision to improve our town!!
        • What?
          To "speedwaygirl": which roundabout plan was studied for years and well thought out? The first plan, the second plan, or this third plan? They have changed the plan regularly and without explanation. I can't imagine that each and every plan was fully studied. I don't disagree that the intersection needs work, and that a roundabout is a viable alternative, it's just the goofball changes and presentations that the SRC keeps throwing out that has me concerned.
        • georgetown road
          whoever thought of this idea is not the brightest star in the sky...close the road for events then open it back up...problem solved for the track and traffic continues. as for the intersection, if you pay attention it isn't confusing!...
        • redevelopment
          the redevelopment team is lead by someone that isn't really from speedway and is going to make millions from this redevelopment! they are looking out for themselves.
          • 5 spoke roundabout
            "Crawfordsville & Main" doesn't have the same ring to it as "16th & Georgetown". Having 16th street still intersect with main just south of the roundabout is a terrible idea, as a previous poster pointed out. So for East-West thru traffic on 16th you have to go around, take the Main exit then turn right? They could just make a 5-spoke roundabout by moving the thing a little southeast of the proposed spot & curving the incoming streets appropriately. Then you'd get a much smoother flow of cars coming down Georgetown and/or Crawfordsville onto their beloved Main St. In fact doing it this way they could change the name of Main to Georgetown & really tie into the track. Make 16th into an underpass so you can have a pedestrian walkway in front of the speedway main entrance leading right onto Main. C'mon people this isn't that hard!
          • Mistake
            As a Auburn Street resident I am very concerned with SRC's decision to not include Georgetown Rd into the roundabout. No where in the article does it state they are going to close Georgetown, they are simply going to end it with a cul-de-sac in front of IndyScreen Print, why? So now this traffic that usually travels North South on Georgetown between 16th and 25th will have to find a new route. This new route will include Auburn & Lynhurst, which has 2 of our own Speedway schools on it between Crawfordsville and 25th. Why would SRC want to ad the extra traffic through our neighborhoods and risk the injury or death of our children?
            • How about an oval?
              Just looking at the pic, it appears that an oval roundabout might fit within the proposed space (roundabout and greenspace). This design could mimic the famed IMS oval and place an "exit/entry" at each turn: Turn 1: west on 16th and south on Main St. Turn 2: east on 16th Turn 3: north on Georgetown Turn 4: northwest on Crawfordsville Road
            • See you at the meeting
              I'm an Auburn St. resident also. Closing Georgetown Road will redirect to Auburn unless stop signs are enforced, even added to EVERY intersection to deter it. I wish they'd consider just curving Georgetown into the roundabout. Plenty of land there. I notice the trailer park remains.
            • Where Is The Rest of the Plan?
              It is obvious IMS and Speedway want Georgetown closed or relocated, and that is probably a great idea given security concerns and such. There is a right way and a wrong way, however. Just making it a cul-de-sac is silly. If they are serious the plan to close should also include a kind of 'local bypass' that begins around 30th & G-town, traverses the Coke plant field, then ends up on streets that could accommodate the added traffic; e.g., Lynhurst or Crawfordsville Road. I really like the idea of a new park outside the main stretch of IMS, but not if the neighborhoods inside 25th, Lynhurst and Crawfordsville are going to get chocked with traffic that used to use Georgetown. They need a plan to deal with it.
            • Couldn't Agree More!
              Leo, you are spot-on my friend! I couldn't agree more! This whole thing has turned into a fiasco! Small, long-time Speedway business is paying the price, and someone is going to get rich?
            • ? Track Evacuation
              Which year was this evacuation you so knowlegably speak of? I've been sitting in Paddock seats (whick back onto Georgetown) every year for the last 35 years and I've never been 'evacuated'.
            • No
              It's already a dangerous intersection and with the amount of traffic that flows through that area Monday thru Friday it is bound to become more so. Plus, sending semi-trailers through the school zones on Lynhurst isn't really smart either. How else will they get to the Coca-cola plant? With the cost of diesel these days, the drivers are going to want the shortest route.
            • Patrick Swayze
              Is it just me or does this whole SRC remind you of Brad Wesley from the 1989 movie Road House? "JC Penney is coming here because of me"
            • Another horrible idea!
              If a public safety issue due to the fence on the west side, this doesn't solve the issue. It just creates more traffic for the neighborhood to the west of the track. Just connect Georgetown w/ the roundabout.
            • The roundabout is the least of Indy's worries
              They say in business one problem doesn't make a trend, but several do. The Speedway today suffers from many many problems, the least of which is the roundabout. These problems include: 1/ the recent loss of the Formula 1 race (a HUGE HUGE blow given how many people it brought in from out of town), 2/ the likely loss in the next year or two of the Moto GP race (another big intl draw), 3/ Waning interest in Nascar (as exhibited by the recent brickyard), 4 competing events that are much better (i.e the Mid-Ohio Indy road race - not a boring oval!) and 5/ most importantly, the fact that the Speedway is just a horrible venue /customer experience (note: I have bigger TV screens in my house than they have at the track). That said, the H/G families would be wise to take a page from the Indianapolis Indians playbook and figure out how to make it a better overall fan experience. My guess, though, is that the whole venue will be scrapped in the next year or two. Investing all that money into lights is about as dumb an idea as I have ever heard. Right up there with spending $14m on a roundabout.
            • BAD
              This is a very bad decision! Don’t let them tell you it is about “Home Land Security” or they would shut down the roads around L.O. Stadium. So the only North South Streets from 16th Street to 38th Street will be High School Road and MLK, nothing in between. Great Move! I wonder if this deceision was made after a late night at Dawsons? If you want to complain to them they always hang out a Dawnsons. I say interrupt their liquid diner and complain to them in public! This is worse than the stupid bike lanes we now have, oh and how many bikers have you seen using them? Another great move, how long are we going to stand by and let these people do this to our town! Let’s ask for a new vote do to “NO CONFIDENCE” in our officials.
            • What are they thinking?
              I haven't seen a traffic circle that sees a lot of semi traffic, as this one will. As others have said, where is all that traffic from Georgetown Road going to go now? Crawfordsville Road is already crowded enough most times of the daylight hours. And it looks like the western part of 16th street branches off WAY too close to the circle. Finally, the point about accidents is kind of useless; OF COURSE this intersection has the highest percentage of accidents in Speedway - it is the BUSIEST INTERSECTION. Wait until you have 3 semis at once going thru the circle and the ensuing confusion for drivers of cars trying to get thru it, especially to/from Main Street and those trying to turn onto that western part of 16th. Traffic circles have their uses, I just don't see this as one of them. It's nice that they are simplifying the intersection but there is no reason AT ALL to close Georgetown Road and make it a cul de sac. If the track is worried about pedestrian safety THEN CLOSE IT THE DAY OF MAJOR EVENTS, not YEAR ROUND. Sorry for the caps but this is the kind of thing that frustrates me to death. This isn't a "give it a chance" proposition; it's just foolish.
            • Wasteful Spending
              I think cutting off georgetown is a bad idea. The intersection isnt confusing if you pay attention like previously stated. Roundabouts come with their own problems too, like people not understanding that in a 2 lane roundabout the right lane does not get to turn left. I've had to peg my brakes a few times on these idiots.
            • I'm for the Speedway ReDo
              For everyone with a should've/could've/would've take a close look at SRC WEBSITE: http://www.speedwayindiana.com/news-resources/ under resources you will find details of some of the monthly meetings as well as detailed studies. Clearly everyone will not be happy but Speedway needs some help. I like the roundabout that came across from 16th & Holt roundabout. Where 16th was moved over behind the old shopping center building. And I like (Phase II) the idea of not having to drive to Rockville Rd, West 86th St to see a 3D or Imax movie in a really nice theatre.

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