South side drivers complain of wet paint on Sherman Drive

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Several drivers on the south side of Indianapolis are complaining about wet paint on a busy roadway after a Department of Public Works crew finished striping work Tuesday morning.

Donovan Russell says he arrived at a job site Tuesday morning to find bright yellow paint splattered in his truck’s wheel well and along the lower body of the vehicle.

“I just had the truck repainted last week,” Russell said.  “So to find it messed up like that was pretty devastating.”

Russell believes it happened as he turned onto southbound Sherman Dr. from Southport Rd. at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.  Several tire tracks through the paint could be seen in that location Wednesday.

Further south, between Southport and County Line Roads, several other yellow paint tracks could be seen where other drivers had crossed over the center line and turn lanes of Sherman Dr.

Some of those yellow and white tracks went from the roadway into Joann Whitaker’s driveway along Sherman Dr. Whitaker says she saw the DPW paint crew working on Sherman Dr., and knew they were putting down fresh paint.  But, she says crossing the center line was the only way for her to turn into her driveway.

“It’s just annoying that they can’t do stuff when there’s not so much traffic,” Whitaker said. “But again, they have a job to do, I understand that.”

In an email Wednesday, DPW spokesperson Betsy Whitmore said the paint crew working on Sherman Dr. Tuesday morning consisted of two trucks.  Both trucks were clearly marked with flashing lights and large signs that say “Caution wet paint, stay back 500 feet.”

“The paint on pavement dries to a point where it shouldn’t track on cars or tires in less than a minute,” Whitmore’s email continued.

Russell says he never saw a paint crew or any warning signs about wet paint when he turned onto Sherman Drive, so he had no way of knowing he was driving over wet paint.

Whitmore said it’s possible the problem was the result of unfortunate timing, with Russell pulling on Sherman Drive within a minute of the paint crew finishing the job and leaving the area. DPW is still looking into the matter.

Russell and at least one other person have contacted the Mayor’s Action Center about the wet paint. Russell says he plans to file a tort claim with the city.

“I’d like my truck to be paid for,” Russell said. “I just paid out of pocket last week to pay for my truck to be painted, and I can’t really afford to do it again.”

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