Pothole-ridden alley cause headaches for neighbors on east side of Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Pothole problems are nothing new for the Circle City, but one east side neighborhood says their problem started long ago.

Residents that live along Fletcher Avenue and Hoyt Avenue say their alley has been a mess for over 2 decades, and it’s not getting any better.

“Frustration. That’s it. Disappointment,” says Ron Miller as he looks at the surface of the road dividing his home from those on Fletcher Avenue. “It’s a mud bog is what we call it.”

The alley is the only access to the garages on this block—access Miller says he no longer has.

“I can’t get my bass boat in my driveway. I can’t drive my Chevy Malibu down here because I will bottom out.”

He says many smaller or lower cars face the same problem.

“It is a mess. You can’t drive through here. And then when people come through here, they bottom out, and then you hear them honking and you have to pull them out when they get stuck.”

The bottoms of the many ruts and craters are rarely seen, rain or shine.

Miller put in two requests with the Mayor’s Action Center after buying his home in January. He says they opened a case, but nothing has happened.

While he admits it’s likely low on the city’s priority list because it’s only an alley, other residents that have lived there for years say it’s taken too long.

“It’s getting a little out of hand,” says Jennifer Hadley. Her family has lived on Fletcher Avenue for 23 years.

She says she put in her first request nearly a decade ago. She says she filed two more since.

“You get kind of aggravated because we pay property taxes for what reason, and when they have alley access only it’s not right when you can’t even use the alley.”

Like Miller, she says she doesn’t care if it’s paved or just graded. She just wants it to be smooth.

The Department of Public Works says they encourage people to reach out to the Mayor’s Action Center, but they prioritize which calls get attention first.

“The amount of time it takes to respond to a request depends on the location of the issue and the type of request. DPW has crews out addressing street issues all over the county on a daily basis. DPW prioritizes work on major thoroughfares first, as these carry the most traffic; residential streets and side streets are next in line. Transportation funding goes toward named streets, and—as alleys are not named streets—we cannot prioritize work at these locations.”

While many of the requests are about the same problem, the Mayor’s Action Center says they received 12,254 pothole requests and 286 alley requests during the month of February alone.

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