State flipping public-input process for upgrading I-65, I-70 through Indianapolis
The process for designing and upgrading interstates in Indiana hasn’t exactly been a two-way street. Typically, the Indiana Department of Transportation draws up plans for its projects and then the public has an opportunity to provide feedback. You’ll recall the uproar in 2017 when INDOT presented its plans for reconstructing the North Split, where I-70 and I-65 meet in the northeast corner of downtown. Nearby residents were vehemently against some elements of the project and proposed a fundamentally different alternative. INDOT was able to accommodate the Rethink 65/70 Coalition’s concerns on some aspects of the project, but it proceeded largely as originally proposed.
As the state now begins to plan for future upgrades to other portions of I-65 and I-70 that run through Indianapolis, it’s conducting a long-term study to get public input on the front end of the process. Piloted in part with the infrastructure firm HNTB, the ProPEL Indy study is collecting public input in a wide variety of venues to identify ideas for improvements that would impact quality of life, economic growth, mobility, and safety.
In this week’s episode of the IBJ Podcast, we’re joined by Tim Miller, senior project manager for HNTB and the project manager for the ProPEL Indy study, as well as Natalie Garrett, communications director for INDOT. In addition to discussing the process so far, they share some of the ideas they’ve already received, related to signage, the location of interchanges, pedestrian right of way and the way these corridors represent—or fail to represent—the city as a whole.
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