INDIANAPOLIS – Following a year where dozens of pedestrians were killed on Indianapolis streets, IndyGo and the Department of Public Works were denied millions of federal dollars to improve sidewalks and roadways to public transit 

“You are having to play dodgeball in and out of traffic,” said Deante Grimes at 38th St. and Meridian St.

” I have had to turn down jobs just because I can’t make it,” said Michael Marden.

Madren takes the bus almost daily. He says the walk can be difficult.

“There are ones I just walked down grass on West 38th St. just because they’re just so messed up,” said Madren.

In an attempt to fix these issues, IndyGo and Indy Department of Public Works applied for $20 million dollars in federal aid from the Safe Streets and Roads for All program. 

They were denied. 

IndyGo Manager of Special Projects, Ryan Wilhite said in a statement: 

“IndyGo’s project, “Safe Routes to Transit,” seeks to improve the infrastructure that leads to and from our bus routes.  Streets without pathways, stops that are not ADA compliant, and neighborhoods that are not connected result in a more dangerous first and last mile connection for our riders. In a time where deadly vehicle and pedestrian accidents in Indianapolis have increased exponentially, it’s critical that we continue to work toward these projects not only for the safety of our riders and success of our transit agency, but for the progression of the entire city.”

In 2022, 40 pedestrians died on Indianapolis streets. 

“These sidewalks, a lot of these are not built to separate from the street. It almost feels like you are just walking on the street,” said Grimes.

On top of the $20 million denied, seven other projects were denied.

  • Merchants’ Square Mobility Project – $8,211,000
  • City of Fisher’s SS4A Grant for 116th Street Corridor from I-69 to Olio Road – $22,000,000
  • Intersection Modification for the multipronged intersection of Grant Line Road, Daisy Lane, Graybrook Lane, and Beechwood Ave. – $6,422,400
  • Monon Trail Bridge at 161st Street – $8,309,356
  • Boone County Intersection of CR 300 S and Pleasantview Road/ CR 975 E improvements – $14,720,000
  • CR 700W at 350N New Roundabout Construction – $3,848,000
  • Hamilton County, Indiana Intersection Safety Improvement Project for 146th Street and Hazel Dell Parkway – $30,000,000

Imani Keith with the Department of Public Works said in a statement:

“While we did not receive this specific grant funding for the year, 2023 will see a historic amount of funding toward our capital infrastructure.”

Madren says he hopes the city can receive the additonal funding soon to keep the city safe. 

”Broke my first bone at 25. I had been fine until I started trying to ride here,” said Grimes.

IndyGo tells me they will reapply for funding again in April. The funding for the next round will exceed $1 billion.

Imani Keith with Department of Public Works full statement below:

“Indy DPW has historically and will continue to apply for federal and state grant funding opportunities such as the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program that can help accelerate our capital program.  In addition to continuing to pursue new funding opportunities, our staff, along with IndyGo who was a co-applicant, are scheduled to debrief with the Federal Transportation Administration for feedback on our application.

The IndyGo/City of Indianapolis grant application known as “Safe Routes to Transit” consists of eight improvement corridors in Indianapolis (Marion County) that were selected from the IMPO’s Safety Action Plan as priority areas for upgraded and enhanced infrastructure. These corridors also overlap with the Indianapolis Region’s High Injury Network (HIN) making them areas of priority for improvements to both organizations. The total project request was $25 million with a federal funding request of $20 million and combined local match of $5 million.

While we did not receive this specific grant funding for the year, 2023 will see a historic amount of funding toward our capital infrastructure. We continue to develop projects with safety in mind, especially for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Some examples include the Safe Routes To Transit program, which upgraded hundreds of improvements in proximity to the IndyGo Red Line; an enhanced Broad Ripple Avenue with wider sidewalks, paths, and improved crosswalks currently in construction; and traffic calming solutions in high-pedestrian areas like Downtown, with projects like the two-way conversion of Fort Wayne Ave and a new bus-only lane on Delaware St. In addition to these projects, the City of Indianapolis has funded a new Traffic Safety Engineer position in the 2023 budget, and has created a Fatal Crash Review Team to review fatal traffic incidents and make recommendations based on their findings.”

Indy DPW