Carmel sued by City of Indianapolis over roundabouts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- The City of Indianapolis has filed a lawsuit to try and prevent Carmel from building roundabouts on 96th Street.

The lawsuit alleges that the City of Carmel is in violation of state law by moving forward with plans for a roundabout at the intersection of 96th and Priority way, without first entering into an interlocal cooperation agreement with the City of Indianapolis.

Part of the suit reads:

“Carmel’s violation of Indianapolis’s exclusive territorial jurisdiction is irreparably harming Indianapolis. In the words of the Indiana Court of Appeals, it would “impinge on the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality and render corporate boundaries meaningless.”

 

The street at the center of the lawsuit is the border between the two cities.

In the lawsuit, Indy says Carmel is not allowed to do roadwork inside Indianapolis city limits.  The City of Carmel responded, saying they have been doing major improvements on 96th Street for years.

The lawsuit also states no traffic study was completed.

Nancy Heck, Director of Community Relations for the City of Carmel, issued this statement:

"While this lawsuit was filed by the Office of Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis, it seems driven by the City-County Council based on arguments made by one of its council members representing that area. Mayor Brainard and Mayor Hogsett have a good relationship and are working toward a solution.

"We have previously, as a courtesy, entered into interlocal agreements for major improvements on 96th Street. However, when the Councilwoman from this district in Marion County refused to discuss it with us, or bring it to the City-County Council, the City of Carmel had no choice but to proceed. Every city in Indiana has an absolute obligation under Indiana state law to construct, reconstruct, operate, maintain, improve, police, plow, fill chuckholes and otherwise improve all of its roads on its southern boundary. Carmel has been doing this on 96th Street for 30 years.

"Roundabouts have been shown to increase capacity 30 to 50 percent. We have not been able to find any studies that show roundabouts are detrimental to business. While Indianapolis has shown a 30 percent increase in accidents with injury and a 16 percent increase in accidents resulting in a fatality between 2011 and 2016, Carmel has had a 65 percent reduction in accidents with injury throughout the city’s roadways since 1996 due to the addition of more than 100 roundabouts. Carmel has also seen an 80 percent reduction in accidents with injury and a 40 percent reduction in accidents where a roundabout replaced a traditional signaled intersection."