INDIANAPOLIS – Businesses on Michigan street on Indianapolis' west side say construction is negatively impacting their bottom line.
The businesses, located in Haughville, say customers rely on street parking to visit their establishments — street parking that will soon be gone.
Business owners say this will make it even harder for people to find a place to park when trying to visit their establishments.
Yolanda Urquiz and and her husband bought a building on the corner of Michigan street and Holmes avenue. They've been operating their business Super Tortas for 5 years.
"This is a very big dream for us,” Urquiza said. “Now facing these challenges it makes us fear, makes us think about if it has been worth it.”
Now that their customers have fewer places to park and have to cross busy Michigan street, their revenue has decreased.
"We can see it in our numbers every week,” Urquiza said. “I can not give you a number right now because every week is different but in the last six weeks, we have been losing a lot of money."
Urquiza's story isn't unique. That's why on Monday a dozen businesses came together to sound the alarm, saying their concerns which have been brought to city leaders, and are falling on deaf ears.
"The first thing we want them to do is just listen and hear us out,” Aaron Williams, Owner of The Nest Event Center in Haughville said. “We have proposed a half a dozen solutions that we think are not only viable but are reasonable that the city has the power to actually implement.”
Those suggestions include things like adding a crosswalk or traffic light at the intersection of Michigan Street and Holmes avenue, and for more parking to be made available among other things. Business owners say the city has given them no response.
"Haughville is treated as as second class community because of our geographic location and because of the demographics of our residents and the businesses, " William said.
But the city says otherwise. In a detailed statement to WRTV the city says they have met with Haughville community members a dozen times. This document shows the times that DPW and the city met with residents and business owners in Haughville. The following statement from DPW explains:
“Since the project broke ground, Indy DPW has continued to work with local businesses to fulfill requests and make accommodations. Based on community feedback, Indy DPW has worked to identify the necessary funding to reconstruct all requested sidewalks along the project corridor. Indy DPW recognizes that construction is inherently disruptive but remains focused on delivering a transformative project that residents and business owners can reap the benefits of for decades to come.”
Businesses say the concerns they brought to city leaders weren't addressed. When asked about the meetings, Williams sent the following:
“The meetings that DPW referenced, there was no detail whatsoever about what the project was about or would entail. It was for input and suggestions, none of which made it to the final version. Individuals at the meetings did not represent Haughville, or the businesses impacted.”
The city says they hope to have the West Michigan street Road project done by the end of 2023.