Lack of lighting concerns downtown residents

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Residents in multiple downtown neighborhoods say their streets are dark and that little is being done about it.

The issue is with I-65 underpasses that separate downtown from residential areas.

Residents say its a safety issue.

“We love to take long walks, we love to go down to Mass Ave.,” said Matthew Bennett, who lives in the Old Northside. “It comes down to just the idea of being safe and being safe in the city. I mean we’re trying to promote this as a really safe city, but how can you do that when its dark?”

“It does make for an unsafe, a potentially unsafe situation,” said Josh Vasko, another Old Northside resident.

The underpasses in question are along College Avenue and Alabama Street. The Central Avenue lights were out until this past weekend. Other underpasses are also dark.

“Actually I had to contact INDOT twice, most recently was last week and they finally fixed the lights, but they tend to go out a few times a year and when they do go out they’re out for about three or four months,” said Don Gilroy who lives downtown.

No one from INDOT was available to speak on camera, but they said by phone they’re aware of the problem, but they don’t know what’s causing it. They say they’re working with IPL to fix it.

“They need to get all the lights on, and they need to make this feel like a safe city where you can walk at night without any issue,” said Bennett.

The problem isn’t only the underpasses, but also the street lights on the I-65 north split. INDOT says the lights are on the same grid.

“It could be a little more complicated than we think, but you know if we’re paying taxes for infrastructure let’s get on it as soon as we can, right?” said Thomas Wysocki, another downtown resident.

INDOT said the problem could be with the grid or underground wires, leaving the surface dark.

“Crime is a little high these days so you never know what’s going to happen or what kind of misfortune might come your way, and just being able to see would kind of give you a little bit more peace of mind I think,” said Vasko.

INDOT said they have future plans to improve the north split and the underpasses. Because of those future upgrades, they said they have no timeline to fix the lights.

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