July 28, 2023

Traffic calming project aims to improve road safety on Indianapolis's east side

Barriers along 10th are part of tactical urbanism project. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

Barriers along 10th are part of tactical urbanism project. (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

A new community-led project aimed at calming traffic on Indianapolis’s east side is underway.

Community Heights Neighborhood Organization president Leslie Schulte said a stretch of 10th Street between Emerson Avenue and Arlington Avenue is now home to a tactical urbanism project.

“Temporary installations, to test whether or not a different road design can make the public spaces safer for everyone,” Schulte said.

CHNO has been working on the move for more than a year, after people in the area reported speeding and reckless driving. 

An initial survey by CHNO indicated pedestrians, cyclists and drivers felt unsafe on 10th Street. Indianapolis has experienced a rise in pedestrian fatalities.

The community group partnered with the city’s Department of Public Works to install center turn lane diamonds made with barriers decorated by local artists, with trees inside the installation. 

Schulte said the barriers are already helping.

”Neighbors have reported that they have been very effective at preventing not only passing in the center turn lane, but also folks who were using the center turn lane to race down the street,” she said.

There are also barriers along the 10th Street bike lane. Those walls also protect homeowner properties and narrow the lane of traffic so that drivers slow down.

The group will collect data through another community survey and speed study. Other community groups have reached out to see how they can start their own tactical urbanism installation. Interested groups can utilize the city's tactical urbanism poicy. 

The barriers along 10th Street will be up through the fall.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org

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