June 5, 2023

Council passes no turn on red proposals, Pan Am Plaza hotel project

Council leadership (photo from indy.gov stream)

Council leadership (photo from indy.gov stream)

The Indianapolis City-County Council addressed numerous issues at its monthly meeting Monday that could be impacted by state legislation.

The evening kicked off with the removal of protesters.  They rallied against sitting Indianapolis Public Library board members who voted against their choice for a new leader.

The meeting continued with the introduction of a package of proposals that address gun violence.  Measures would create a sales ban on assault-style weapons, increase the minimum age to purchase a weapon and end permitless carry.  The proposals hinge on changes to state laws.

The council passed measures that prohibit turns on red lights. The proposals moved forward despite new state legislation that aims to stop the ban. An amendment changed the city proposal to focus on pedestrian safety priority areas where the turns could be restricted.

Councilor John Barth said action needs to be taken.

“With the recent increase in reckless driving, my constituents have let me know loud and clear they want the council to take all efforts to make sure pedestrians and cyclists are as safe as they can possibly be,” Barth said.

Republican Councilor Michael-Paul Hart said he’s not convinced the move is necessary.

“I think the way we’re doing it is just fine and I’d like to leave it,” Hart said.

An existing pedestrian plan will guide the location of safety zones. City lawyers said if the turn proposals are passed before July 1, the state law will not impact them.

Councilors also approved a proposal that allocates $625 million in bonds to take over construction of a new hotel at Pan Am Plaza. The hotel is a key part of the city’s convention center expansion. Republican councilors voted against the measure, arguing the city should not be a hotel owner.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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