Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Up And At 'Em

     Might as well -- you know what the late bird gets?  Maybe nothing, if the early birds were hungry enough.  With all the road repair work going on, I'm the "late bird" far too often.  I'm having to duck clear across Meridian Street, and even the one-way streets on that side are often down a lane due to work here and there.

     In theory, Meridian, the main route into downtown from the north,* is paralleled by a number of one-way thoroughfares but they're very much creatures of their day, packed with houses, apartments, schools and churches.  And construction -- apartment construction on Central Avenue (and along 16th Street) has been moderating traffic speeds far more effectively than signage for about a year. 

     That may be a "hidden benefit" to all the construction.  Too many of us drive too quickly in town -- me all too often among them.  And there's another reason to get moving earlier.
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* Indianapolis doesn't have a north-south limited-access highway.  U.S. 31 is an old "blue highway" and officially ducks around the city on I-465.  Since 465 closely approximates the county boundary, that leaves a lot of town to get through on surface streets.  Old 31 is a fine road, two lanes in both directions; around 56th Street, it reverts to lanes that were wide for a Ford Model A and stays that way all the way through the city center.  The parallel one-way routes generally have wider lanes and slower posted speed limits.

7 comments:

George said...

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

It's too bad the I-69 extension from the northeast side to downtown was contemplated but never built. (If you look closely under the bridges at the north split of the inner loop, you'll see the grading for the ramps to tie it in, so there's even physical evidence that it was an original part of the Grand Plan.)

Sadly, that got the kibosh due to residents on the proposed route who had the money and the political pull to stop it -- unlike the people who were unceremoniously relocated when the other interstate extensions bulldozed through downtown.

And that's part of why I-70 going east from downtown is such a fuster-cluck at rush hour.

When I was living out in DC years ago, it always seemed to me that I-95 coming down from Baltimore should have shot right on downtown and connected to the interstate spur coming up from the south (I-395). Later I found out that was indeed the original plan, but once again, moneyed and connected residents in that area (Silver Spring, College Park) were able to shoot it down...and I-495 on the east side of DC was forced to play the same part as I-465 on the east side of Indy.

rickn8or said...

Fuzzy, much the same in Memphis with I-40. For years, the saying was "I-40 runs from Burlington to Burlingame, but stops on either side of Overton Park."

Rick T said...

Have you tried the WAZE smartphone app to help with navigation/traffic avoidance?

It works well in Los Angeles, enough so that some residents report accidents on their side street to try and keep traffic on the more expected routes.

It also gives ETAs that are quite accurate, including the ability to tell you when you need to leave to arrive at a specific time.

Roberta X said...

Rick, these are crowded city streets; I couldn't be looking at a smartphone app even it it wasn't a ticketable offense, which it is. The city policeman, his full-keyboard laptop securely mounted off to his right and below dashboard level, absolutely will write you up for it, with a fine as bad as any speeding ticket.

Rick T said...

Once you have specified your destination (from a list or via search) you don't need the screen at all.

Waze talks to you for navigation. It will even lock out the keyboard if you are moving and only unlock if you state you are the passenger.

I use it a lot for solo travel here, the voice navigation works very well. I will admit sometimes it prompts for a turn too late but it recovers pretty well.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I wouldn't use Waze on rush-hour city streets either. Too much distraction.

I have a separate GPS unit, though; I don't even have Waze on my phone. My wife does, and she navigates when we get into situations like that. If I'm by myself, well, I just trust to memory about which streets go which direction and dead end here and there. Downtown Indy is mostly* a grid, so when 90% of the main streets aren't jacked up like they appear to be right now, it's usually pretty easy to find a way around.

Normally, my "get downtown" route takes me down Michigan Road/MLK Boulevard to either 42nd Street (where I cut over to Capitol Avenue and then south) or to just north of 30th where I get on I-65 South, thence to 11th Street and a right turn at Meridian. The latter is impossible at rush hour, because it's usually backed up almost all the way to 21st Street when I come through, so that's when I use the 42nd Street->Capitol option. But when Capitol was closed at Fall Creek for the bridge repair (and then south of it from 29th to Fall Creek for the tunnel construction), I just went further down MLK to either 21st or 16th, turned left, and cut over to Capitol for the rest of the trip -- which is typically south to North Street (!) and then east just past Illinois.

I tend to avoid Meridian north of 11th Street like the plague. Bobbi is right, it is not built for modern traffic north of 38th and south of roughly Westfield Boulevard. It's an historic neighborhood, don'tcha know.

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* With significant deviations from standard as Bobbi has already pointed out.