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Downtown pedestrians fed up with closed sidewalk

Posted at 11:38 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 23:38:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Downtown residents and workers say an unfinished construction project has kept a busy sidewalk at Market Street and Capitol Avenue closed for months. And in all that time, they also say no one has been out there doing any work.

Pedestrians who want to cross the street on Market are forced to walk into the path of possible danger.

"This corner has been under construction, well, they started to tear it apart several months ago and they've never come back," Chris Karnavas said.

Karnavas is among the numerous downtown residents fed up with the sidewalk they can't use. He and other pedestrians told RTV6 construction crews started digging up the corner at Market and Capitol back in early summer. Karnavas, who lives and works on the block said he hasn't seen a crew working on the project since at least June. Since then, people have been walking in the street.

"I was out here walking my dog the other morning, and I stepped out and the bus came and you can't hear the buses and he beeped his horn and I had to jump back with my dog because the bus was going to hit us," Karnavas said. "And then that's what really prompted me to get ahold of RTV6. I've called the Mayor's hotline, I left them a message last week, I talked with DPW with the city. No one is taking ownership."

After talking with Karnavas, RTV6 did some digging. We called DPW ourselves, who said the department wrapped up work on a traffic signal weeks ago. A spokeswoman said the current work being done is related to the IndyGo Red Line.

"I've called a couple times about it. It's probably been two or three months now that there hasn't been a corner," Liz Freisen said. "We just got the other corner back. This is where tourists come. Business people come, and it's really dangerous to have them walk over unfinished brick and in the street."

People who walk down Market said it is not just the corner that is the problem. It's the detour they have to take that is filled with places to trip.

After talking with DPW, we did hear from an IndyGo spokesperson who confirmed the project is related to the Red Line as the sidewalk ramps needed to be redesigned. In an email, IndyGo said the project should be completed by the end of October.

"I saw end of October in there and my heart sank because it was a decently accessible sidewalk to begin with, it was wide enough," Freisen said. "Wheelchair users use this path regularly and, as I said, it's so inaccessible the way it is now for people who have to cross the street."

Karnavas was just as disappointed.

"It's been months and months and months, now we are going into the end of October. It's still unacceptable. It should've been done months ago," Karnavas said.

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