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Indianapolis pedestrians, cyclists say not enough is being done to protect them

Pedestrian crossing sign
No Turn on Red.jpg
Posted at 7:11 PM, Oct 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-13 19:11:31-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Close to 400 crashes have been reported involving drivers and pedestrians this year alone in Marion County.

“Well, I guess it’s been about a month ago now,” Jesse Beck said.

A month since Beck says he was injured in a hit-and-run after riding his bike home.

“They decided to back up suddenly while I’ behind waiting and they knocked me onto the curb and ran over my back,” Beck said.

Beck says he is still seeking accountability.

“I was able to get the license plates and description of the people who did it but still nothing,” Beck said.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute sent WRTV data for Marion County showing so far this year, there have been more than 280 crashes involving a pedestrian. 26 of those have been deadly.

Another 90 crashes involved a pedal cyclist, according to the data. At least five of those have been deadly.

“Since the pandemic started, there has been an increase in impacts between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. In fact, in July we had the highest numbers of those incidents ever in our history,” City-County Councilor John Barth said.

Barth says one way the city is taking action is by installing dozens of no turn on red signs.

“We want to make sure we are sending a clear message to motorists to be safe when you are driving around because you have a multi-thousand-pound tool and it is going to impact a person without any protection in a very dramatic and potentially deadly way,” Barth said. “We all need to make sure we are being aware and crossing at the right places.”

Barth says the no turn on red signs are mostly downtown but can be added to Broad Ripple and other parts of the county.

“Even though it is no turn on red, they don’t stop at lights. Sometimes it’s like playing frogger as a cyclist,” Beck said.

Beck appreciates the effort but says more enforcement is needed.

“The city can invest as much as they want into transit but if you don’t actually hold people accountable, then what?” Beck said.

Indiana State Police numbers show 23 collisions have involved a pedestrian fatality so far this year in Marion County.

During 2022, there were 37 collisions that included a pedestrian death.

According to ISP, Marion County is on track to have 16% fewer crashes that kill a pedestrian this year compared to last.