UPDATE (06/05/2023): At its meeting Monday night, the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to adopt three proposals that ban turning on red at the intersections of Palmer and Meridian Streets, Shadeland Avenue and 71st Street, and 22nd and Delaware Streets.

Additionally, the council approved a fourth proposal that authorizes no turn on red restrictions in the area bounded by 11th Street, Oscar Robertson Boulevard, 10th Street, White River Parkway West Drive, Interstate I-70 and Interstate I-65, except for on state highways.

Original story below.


INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday night, Indianapolis City-County councilors are scheduled to discuss a new proposal that bans right turns on red in the downtown core, with one change.

“It gives DPW the option to study more thoroughly these high-impact areas that have already exhibited a likelihood to be candidates to be no-turn-on-red,” said Zach Adamson (D), vice president of the Indianapolis City-County Council.

On the map, the red box is the original proposal. The blue zones are where Indy’s Department of public works can conduct studies, under the new amendment to the proposal.

“These blue zones, it doesn’t mean that all the intersections are going to receive these no turn on reds, but they will qualify for them according to the ordinance,” said Adamson.

The city nixed the original proposal after State Sen. Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis) created an amendment blocking the no-turn-on-red plan.

He was not available for comment, but referred to his previous comments on the matter.

“I proudly will say it, I’ll put it on a coffee mug, I’m all for local government until it’s stupid and that is stupid,” Freeman previously said.

The city is pushing for no-turn-on-red signs in order to reduce pedestrian deaths, which hit a record high of 40 last year. The Indianapolis Business Journal cited a Department of Public Works study which states that nearly 57% of vehicle-pedestrian collisions in downtown Indy were at stoplights where drivers failed to yield.

Freeman argued, however, that no-turn-on-red would slow down traffic. The city said a study shows it would only add 40 seconds to someone’s commute.

Still, the bill that included Freeman’s amendment passed in the Statehouse.

With the City of Indianapolis moving forward even after the Statehoue’s attempted block, one large question or issue remains. The governor signed the new law on May 4. Indy councilors say it doesn’t go into effect until July 1, which is why they’re moving forward. But Freeman says his amendment is already law.

An IU Bloomington law professor said it’s not clear who is right.

“I think there is a good argument that it is going to turn into law on July 1 and I think there are good arguments that actually there are things that cannot be done now,” said IU Bloomington, Professor of Law Jody Madeira. “I think the best thing to do is go to court and allow them to resolve it.”

With the July 1 deadline just weeks away, councilors said they plan to hear the proposal at this Monday’s full City-County Council meeting.