INDIANAPOLIS — FOX59 is uncovering more traffic safety issues caused by ongoing construction projects in Broad Ripple.
Just last month, FOX59 spoke with residents and business owners about problems on Carrollton Avenue due to the Broad Ripple Avenue redesign project.
Now, viewers in the Warfleigh neighborhood are reaching out about traffic issues they claim are a result of ongoing construction on College Avenue.
“Since the construction started there’s a lot of very confused drivers, and they don’t know where to detour,” said Gloria Griesinger, a resident living near 62nd Street and Park Avenue.
Construction crews with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works are working to improve the deteriorating decking on College Avenue over the canal. However, neighbors said that is causing lost and confused drivers to speed through their neighborhood.
Steve Brining lives near the intersection of Laverock Road, before it turns into 62nd Street, and Park Avenue. He said many southbound drivers on College Avenue are ignoring DPW’s preferred detour at 71st Street to Meridian Street and instead turning just before the bridge closure.
“With no signage in place to help these drivers safely navigate the surrounding neighborhood, many drivers just take the first left turn after being forced off College Avenue,” said Brining in an email to FOX59.
In this dash camera video, Brining demonstrates how drivers end up using his street as an unofficial detour:
“We’ve been getting tons of overflow traffic on Laverock Road, which is single lane, one-way and has no sidewalks,” wrote Brining. “It’s a very picturesque road\alley with a great view of the canal that normally sees very few cars daily as it’s not a very efficient detour from 63rd and College to Central and Westfield.”
Brining said he positioned a camera on the intersection on the first day of the closure to record the bad driving. Since then, he has recorded dozens of instances where drivers go fast, run stop signs, and even drive the wrong way on Laverock – a road that is frequented by neighbors walking to and from Broad Ripple.
“They’ve nearly hit me, my neighbor, and our dogs on multiple occasions,” said Griesinger. “I’ve had to block my driveway off with trash cans and buy cones to protect my property as people drive into my yard, drive into my driveway, have nearly hit my garage door.”
Both Griesinger and Brining said they have called the Mayor’s Action Center and Indy DPW multiple times in an attempt to get additional detour signage put up at 63rd Street – like a “local traffic only” barrier to prevent drivers from going through Laverock Road.
However, a spokesperson with Indy DPW explained that, because this area is outside of the already approved detours, adding detour signage would restrict an otherwise public street. The department wants to remind drivers to follow the official detours posted nearly one mile north on College Avenue near 71st Street.
The full statement from Indy DPW reads:
“This is an opportunity for viewers to better understand the planning behind construction detours which route traffic around a road closure via thoroughfares instead of neighborhood streets. Motorists near Broad Ripple can see the benefit of using the approved detour (71st Street, Meridian Street, Kessler Boulevard) instead of finding themselves having to navigate unplanned, often circuitous detours on local streets near homes and pedestrians. While Indy DPW doesn’t plan to restrict these local roads as they are indeed public streets outside of the construction zone, we hope that motorists will take the time to educate themselves about the approved detour route and heed all “upcoming closure” and directional detour signage.”Indianapolis Department of Public Works
“It’s become really dangerous for all of the people around here,” said Griesinger. “We appreciate the infrastructure improvements – we don’t want to discourage that! But we also don’t want confused drivers, we don’t want people to have road rage, and we don’t want damage to our personal property or our safety.”