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Traveler gets a piece of Indy during stop on 60-city cross-country trip

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 10:13:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Step inside the Indianapolis Department of Public Works facility and you'll see sign after sign. They're pieces of Hoosier history that Daniel Seddiqui came to study.

Seddiqui, who was born in California and lives in Oregon, stopped in Indianapolis on his tour of 60 major U.S. cities, a project he calls "A Piece of Your City."

"Piecing together America and what makes us unique in each destination, and just kind of explore people's pride and passion," Seddiqui said

Here in Indy, it's about meeting the people behind our roadside signs.

"It's just a really unique way to connect with people and learn about America," Seddiqui said.

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Daniel Seddiqui is traveling the nation and stopped at the Indianapolis Department of Public Works facility to learn about the city's road signs.

The signs represent America's history in Indiana, so Seddiqui made his first sign.

"These are always first and I've had had thousands and thousands of firsts, but also a lot of mistakes along the way," Seddiqui said.

Don't worry, though. He won't make a mistake here with the help of DPW employees.

"We're honored to have him here. Obviously we're a growing city," Kevin Hurst, a manager for signs and pavement markings. "I think it's pretty neat what he's doing and what he's bringing to us from other cities."

From start to finish, Hurst showed Seddiqui how the process works to quickly cover a lot of territory.

"We're in charge of over 26,000 intersections in Marion County that we make street signs, stop signs, yield signs," Hurst said.

You heard that right: more than 26,000 intersections with signs.

"It keeps us busy," Hurst said.

Busy, especially with all the events Indianapolis hosts.

From the 4-time Indy 500 winner to the history of Hoosier signs, Seddiqui got a taste of the Crossroads of Indiana. He got a behind-the-scenes look at everything from the screen-printing process to painting and saw archives of old-school vinyl-cut signs.

They're the first things visitors see and welcome them to Indianapolis.

"Just various events that we're lucky enough to be involved with," Hurst said.

They're also how Seddiqui learned about Hoosier history that he will take back home and share with others.

"This is pretty meaningful, right here," Seddiqui said, pointing to a street sign made just for him. "This is what the traveling is all about."

While here, Seddiqui also visited other monuments in the state and much more. He said that his next stop is Minneapolis and you can follow along with his travels on his website, Living the Map.