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Experimental road layout on Indy's east side drastically reduced crashes, speeding

'Tactical urbanism' temporarily transformed East 10th Street.
10th Street Tactical Urbanism
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 23:32:24-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The results of a temporary road transformation could pave the way for a permanent solution to unsafe neighborhood streets.

The Community Heights Neighborhood Organization installed traffic-calming barriers on East 10th Street last summer, which it described as "tactical urbanism." They remained in place from the beginning of Aug. until the end of Oct.

Past neighborhood president Leslie Schulte said the road layout reduced the number of crashes on the affected section of East 10th Street from 34 to eight, comparing the same period of time in 2022 and 2023.

"We know that the majority of drivers aren't trying to have a drag race every time they get in their car, and our design helped drivers," Schulte said. "The cue was this is a neighborhood, this is a place to pay attention and be deliberate with my driving actions."

Schulte also said drivers slowed down considerably with the tactical urbanism in place.

The barriers between Emerson and Arlington Avenues obstructed the center turning lane with trees and created a wall for a protected bike lane.

While the tactical urbanism project is considered a success, Schulte said a permanent reconstruction of East 10th Street could be years away due to Indianapolis' road priorities.

Schulte said she is pursuing a neighborhood coalition to try and secure federal funding for a more wide-reaching renovation of 10th Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Cumberland.