INDIANAPOLIS — Neighbors on a now-busy street in Broad Ripple aren’t happy about the congestion now right in front of their driveways.
For the past month, Primrose Avenue and other side streets have been used as a detour for the construction happening along Broad Ripple Avenue.
Crews closed the eastbound lane of Broad Ripple Avenue between Winthrop Avenue and Primrose Avenue for several weeks and have now switched the closure. The EB lanes are back open and the WB lanes are now closed.
The entire time, everything with four wheels has been taking Primrose Avenue to get around the road-closed signs.
”Cars trucks, the speed at which they’re going, you can’t get out of your driveway, you can’t park and feel comfortable,” said Gail Arvin, who owns a home on Primrose.
Across the street, Ann Sylvester has lived on Primrose for 20 years. She said the traffic they get during the day used to be the busiest they would ever see on the street during rush hour. Now, that’s all changed.
”We’ve had two cars trying to go parallel like it was a two-lane street going one way,” she said. “We’ve had semis, dump trucks, Indy Go buses.”
Sylvester said Primrose Avenue wasn’t made for these heavy vehicles and this amount of traffic.
”It’s a lot of heavy-duty traffic and it’s having an effect on the street,” Sylvester said.
The biggest concerns for neighbors around here are for the children and pedestrians who fill these heavily foot-trafficked streets. Primrose Avenue runs right into 61st St. Sylvester said this traffic is an even bigger problem there, 61st doesn’t have sidewalks.
“It’s walkers, strollers, bikers, dog walkers and there’s no sidewalks whatsoever and there’s traffic piled up,” she said.
The project along Broad Ripple Avenue east of Winthrop is a part of the bigger Broad Ripple Avenue project that redesigned sidewalks, made stormwater improvements and more in the main drag of the village. The project is now focused on adding a riverwalk to the north side of Broad Ripple Avenue along the White River.
The entire project was supposed to be completed by the end of this summer, but Indy DPW said utility complications delayed the project. It’s now expected to finish sometime next month.
Neighbors along Primrose Avenue said they didn’t get a heads up they were going to be living on a detour, either, until after the detour started.
”They went around and hung little notices on the doors but that was two weeks into it,” Sylvester said.
DPW confirmed about a hundred notices were hung on neighbors’ doors in late September. The project and detour started in early September.
Neighbors along Primrose Avenue reached out to FOX59/CBS4 this week, including us in emails to city officials sharing safety concerns about the detour.
A representative with the Mayor’s Office said they’re working with IMPD and DPW to make conditions safer.
An electric speed limit sign has been added, and neighbors say it has helped slow drivers down.
”The amount of traffic has not changed,” Arvin said. “What’s changed, though, is the speed of the traffic has gotten a little bit better.”
Sylvester said it also shows off just how fast some of these cars are driving down their street.
”This is a max 30 miles-per-hour street and you see them quite above that,” she said.
A spokesperson for IMPD also confirmed additional patrols have been assigned to the area to watch for traffic infractions.
Still, neighbors are hoping some kind of change can be made to the detour to alleviate the traffic on Primrose Avenue. Neighbors we talked to suggested diverting traffic to multiple streets or not allowing larger vehicles to use the side streets.
It’s safe to say everyone is looking forward to when all of Broad Ripple Avenue is officially reopened.
”They need to get finished up there and get out of here,” said Arvin.
DPW expects to finish the project in November.