IBJ Podcast: Indianapolis, suburbs banding together to seek more state funding for local roads

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Indianapolis leaders have pleaded with state lawmakers for decades to change the state’s formula for funding local roads, which they say shows favoritism to rural counties with sparse traffic. When the state determines how much funding to pass along, it counts streets, roads and thoroughfares by their length. So, for example, a one-mile stretch of a two-lane road in rural Parke County would carry the same weight as a one-mile stretch of the six-lane Keystone Avenue on the north side of Indianapolis. City officials would prefer the funding formula place greater importance on traffic volume and an area’s population.

But there’s new hope leaders in the Indianapolis area can persuade Indiana lawmakers to make some changes. Suburban mayors in cities like Carmel, Fishers and Greenwood are becoming acutely aware that that the state’s funding mechanisms put their municipalities at a disadvantage.

The cities are banding together in hopes their collective voice will be heard during next year’s General Assembly. In a conversation with IBJ Podcast host Mason King, IBJ reporter Peter Blanchard discusses the state formula and the potential that legislators would be receptive to funding charges.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In, Spotify and anyplace you find podcasts.

You can also listen to these recent episodes:

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Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.

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5 thoughts on “IBJ Podcast: Indianapolis, suburbs banding together to seek more state funding for local roads

  1. All the dumba$$ metro area mayors want to not spend money on street repair then cry to the state for why their lack of spending is the State’s fault not theirs

    1. That’s not how government funding works. Dedicated funds for roads and streets are controlled and apportioned by the State.

  2. Metro areas provide the greatest source of tax revenue that is [unfairly] redistributed to rural areas according to a formula based on center-lane miles rather than lane miles. That is the problem. No one is dumb.

    1. Derek, it’s designed that way so we can spread instead of building more mixed use/taller/efficient buildings. Who needs farmland.

  3. When drivers complain about crumbling roads in the State, the problem is really local streets, primarily cities. This funding formula is the driver – insufficient gas tax funds from the State. Indiana interstates and highways generally score above-average versus other States and are in good shape due to sufficient funding. Some will argue about a particular interstate in poor shape, but it’s likely scheduled for hundreds of million dollar fix/upgrade soon.