Indianapolis residents eager for street repaving

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You've complained, and the city has heard you. Now Indianapolis is taking action with an ambitious plan to rebuild and repave miles of roads and sidewalks.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says he has a far-reaching plan to solve one of the biggest areas of complaint in the city: potholes and bumpy roads. The mayor's Rebuild Indy plan includes repairing hundreds of lane miles of city streets. It's ambitious, and it turns out taxpayers are the ones driving the plan.

Daniel Gonzales works hard to maintain his yard. He's been wishing the city would more to maintain his crumbling, cracked and patched-over street.

Gonzales lives on a busy stretch of East 54th near College Ave. that sees everything from heavy trucks to squad cars going by.

"They actually came by and said they would repair it and I said no, no - put in a new road like you did two streets over that no one uses," he said.

Gonzales is finally getting his wish. His street is one of nearly 300 that made the priority list of streets the city intends to resurface over the next two years.

"We've been disgruntled. I thought it'd be taken care of after the Super Bowl, but it's now on the priority list, that's great," he said.

"The next phase of building will not address every project, but it will help us address neighborhood concerns that we've previously lacked the funding to do," said Mayor Ballard.

The mayor's $350 million neighborhood improvement plan announced last week also provides money for sidewalks, bridges and trails. But in some neighborhoods, it's the bumpy road residents are eager to see fixed.

"Having cars break their wheels and my son going 'bu-bump, bu-bump' when we go over it; it's not fun, so it's about time," said Hannah Wilson.

It turns out the squeaky wheel does get the grease, at least eventually. Streets that made the priority list are the ones the city's received the most complaints about.

The list is based on calls to the Mayor's Action Center and input from City-County councilors. Gonzales is one of several neighbors here pushing for new pavement.

"54th is a great street. A lot of people walk down to all the restaurants. We pay a lot of taxes so we should have nice roads," he said.

Another street in need of attention is 21st Street, with potholes old pavement. It is on the list of the top streets in the city that have been complained about most. More than 250 that are now earmarked for repair.

At this point nothing is set in stone. The program still needs support from the council, but Council President Maggie Lewis has signed on as a sponsor.

See the priority list here. If you don't see your street listed, call the Mayor's Action Center at 327-4622.