INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been several weeks since the north split shut down, but the impact is starting to reach downtown restaurants in some unexpected ways.
“Any more visibility for us downtown is a good thing, but it’s kind of having a counter effect,” details Punch Burger Owner Travis Sealls, “It’s prevented what has become a huge part of our business which is the delivery side.”
Punch Burger sits near the corner of Ohio Street and Delaware Street. It is a hot spot for people coming off I-70 at the only downtown exit open, and it is right next to major downtown construction on Delaware. Third party delivery drivers from places like Door Dash have been cancelling pickups on them because they don’t want to navigate the congestion. Punch Burger Owner Travis Sealls says they can “rate” the drivers poorly on the app for cancelling pickups, but he has yet to see the ratings have any impact on the drivers.
“if that happens too many times, then the food has been made, and it’s sitting. We have to remake it to have good quality, so we are not making money on that order,” tells Sealls.
Another issue is semi-truck drivers that are clogging up downtown streets to avoid the split or I-465. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has been in communication with trucking companies during the shutdown to advise them to use I-465 for any non-local deliveries. They are not expecting to put up any additional signage to direct truck drivers further.
“If you just pass through, if you’re not going to work, not going downtown to go home, please take I-465,” says INDOT communications director Mallory Duncan, “That is your quickest detour route at about five more minutes.”