Indy mulls downtown ban on right turns on red

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 18:56:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development is considering a ban on something you probably do every day: right turns on red lights.

Earlier this year, federal highway officials designated Indianapolis a focus city because it has far too many collisions between vehicles and pedestrians resulting in injury and death.

Throughout Indianapolis last year, 358 pedestrians were run over. Of those, 314 were injured, and 27 were killed.

Nowhere else do pedestrians and vehicles collide more than downtown. During a three-year period, one-in-five vehicle-pedestrian collisions occurred in the Mile Square.

That's why the city is looking at creating a downtown zone that would eliminate right turns on red.

The city wants to implement a Vision Zero plan recognizing that eliminating fatalities and injuries is possible through a realignment of safety priorities, procedures and programs.

"It's trying to capture these: How wide are the sidewalks; is there activity in surrounding land; are there more eyes on the street; is there more lightning; things like that," said City Transportation Planner Meredith Klekotka.

According to the city, promoting and enforcing safe travel is critical to saving lives. The report says that speeding and traffic deaths in Indianapolis have reached epidemic levels. Creating no turn on red intersections, the city believes, will make streets safer for pedestrians and motorists.

The downtown ban on all turns on red is just one of 40 safety recommendations that the Department of Metropolitan Development will vote on Wednesday.