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Deadly hit-and-run prompts calls for changes to road on southeast side of Indianapolis

Traffic along Emerson Avenue
Posted at 12:37 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 12:51:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Sunday night, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said a man was hit and killed while riding his bicycle on South Emerson Avenue.

David Muck, who lives on Emerson, says his security cameras recorded the accident. Muck tells WRTV, he's not surprised this happened.

"It's an ongoing, reoccurring problem. That's all the time," Muck said.

He believes the reason behind the deadly crash has to do with how the road is setup.

If you're heading north on Emerson Avenue, crossing Raymond Street, it shifts from two lanes to one lane, causing a bottleneck effect. Muck said cars drive too fast at this merge, making it unsafe for bicyclists and those walking along the road.

"I believe they, the driver, was looking to see that they could cut over by beating the cars in the west lane and did not see the biker and hit him," Muck said.

IMPD says this deadly crash, and others that happened over the last several days, are a reminder for everyone to pay attention.

"It's extremely important that we be responsible drivers, take the time to slow down, watch what you're doing," Officer William Young said. "Pedestrians have a responsibility, too, making sure you're walking in the crosswalks and walking toward oncoming traffic."

Muck hopes someone from the city sees the issues happening along Emerson Avenue and decide to make changes to what he and his neighbors know to be a dangerous road.

"Either take out that lane to where it's not there to give people the opportunity to go through there or just make it two lanes all the way down," he said.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works says its fatal crash review team will review the case to determine if any changes to the roadway would help prevent future crashes.

The full statement from DPW's spokesperson Ben Easley is below.

I believe the most substantive change to come out of this tragic situation will be via our Fatal Crash Review Team. This is the group that was recently formalized via updates to the city’s Complete Streets ordinance, and it is comprised of representatives from the engineering, law enforcement and planning teams inside the City agencies as well as several members of the community. After any criminal investigation is complete as to the specifics of the crash (unruly driving, disregard for current traffic infrastructure, etc.), this Fatal Crash Review Team will further examine the circumstances of the crash for any recommendations that might be made to change the engineered environment.

What we don’t want is to rush into the additions of infrastructure that don’t adequately address the issue; or worse create a clutter of signage to the point that--as research suggests—drivers may become numb to its intended impact.