Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I-70 Closes Thursday for Greenway Project
I’m all for beautification, but this is ridiculous.
Someone somewhere thought it would be a great idea to close Interstate 70 on the Westside of Indianapolis so that Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and 8,500 volunteers from Eli Lilly could beautify the corridor from 6:00 a.m. on Thursday through 6:00 p.m. that evening.
I salute Eli Lilly and KIB for making this commitment to beautification of this corridor which is, after all, a gateway into downtown from the airport, but I must say that the closure of this major artery on a Thursday for the majority of the morning and evening rush hours makes little sense.
Commerce moves along I-70 all day long as well as commuters and other folks just needing to get to town. With the 12-hour closure of the entire interstate in both directions from downtown to 465, people will be forced to detour. This will throw them on to the already congested and construction choked I-465 on the Southside and Westside.
The reason this couldn't wait until a Saturday? Well, Eli Lilly tells the Indianapolis Star that the only way it could get 8,500 people to volunteer was to do it during a work day. Again, a great idea, but it seems like someone at the state level should have said thanks, but no thanks. It is hard to turn down a donation of this size, but, at what point does the amount of manpower it will take to close the interstate as well as the amount of cost to commuters in gas and time weigh out?
Looks like the big pockets of Lilly won this one, and it will be a gorgeous greenway when they are done. I just question as to why it has to be done on a Thursday, and why I'm looking for an alternate route to work.