Listen Live

I ingest seven and-a-half baking cups of construction dust a day, solidifying my status as a downtown resident. I live next to the North Split construction zone – ground zero of the outbreak that killed off half of our roads – where I’m serenaded daily by the rhythmic stylings of head jackhammer’s rendition of “Recess Rock”. Daily travels include a near miss with a wayward semi convoy who ignored the hundred or two construction signs warning traffic to use I-465 instead OF DRIVING INTO NORTH SPLIT CONSTRUCTION DOWNTOWN.

In addition, negotiating scooter traffic is like swatting mosquitos while doing the milk crate challenge. One’s just hard enough without the other.

Scooter Man

There’s no patience with the road scooter, as it’s been and always will be.

I picked this very moment – the end of scooter season – to register my gripes, and I don’t know why. Maybe driving in this town has snapped a twig and we’re all certifiable.

Maybe it’s just me.

But more on scooters in sec.. First, business at hand, since downtown construction zones continue to proliferate. They’re like popup shops that sell open sewers instead of homemade candles.

Strap in, Wholesale District. Welcome to the circus.

HELP! I’m stuck at Market and Illinois! (and Washington, and Maryland, and Georgia..)

Two right lanes on Illinois St. have closed for construction from Washington St. to Market St., turning the northbound one way into a parking lot during rush hour, and a moving parking lot during the midday. Westbound Market St. is also closed from Monument Circle to Illinois St., which limits some congestion into the heavily traveled Illinois St./Market St. intersection.

Downtown Construction

This is no joke, and we tend to catch a small case of the grids during peak travel times. Washington St. – a westbound one way – can’t smoothly (or safely) turn north and merge into the two, then one functioning left lane of Illinois St. Expect drivers to “block the box” – or get stuck in the middle of an intersection – at Maryland St. and Illinois, further delaying Maryland during rush hour.

Why the construction, you say? It’s all part of an overall project to give Monument Circle and its “spokes” (Market St. and Meridian St. adjacent to the Circle) a face lift, complete with – according to Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) – a pedestrian streetscape and additional parking for both cars and bikes, amongst other things.

Resurfacing ‘Round Lucas Oil Stadium

Four streets mostly encompassing Lucas Oil Stadium on the southwest end of downtown are getting serviced, including West St., South St., Missouri St., and Capitol Ave. The work up includes patch work, then switching to milling and resurfacing in October.

Downtown Resurfacing

Watch for backups as lanes close intermittently in the construction area. Work is expected to be completed in November.

*Colts fans should note that the next home game October 17th against the Texans. Plan accordingly.

Allow Me to Vent

I wouldn’t be offended if the city reevaluated the scooter’s value to the Indianapolis resident and visitor. We have a long, arduous winter ahead to say “yeah, this is dumb”, however unlikely. Scooters aren’t going anywhere, I know, and it’s possible I’m on an island when it comes to distrusting the little motorized, two wheeled super-skateboards. Yet, I do have my reasons, and they’re likely petty.

Scooters have simply exhausted me, so I jotted down my scooter thoughts. They are also published in my memoirs, “How to Use Your Turn Signals and Activate Headlights: A Success Story.”:

  • According to research and polling I didn’t pay for and never conducted, 93-percent of scooter riders ride illegally, as in riding on a sidewalk, the Cultural Trail, against a one-way, etc. See a scooter rider, and you see a habitual law breaker, and off with their head. The law says motorized vehicles cannot be on sidewalks or trails, and a quick inspection will reveal that the scooter is motorized. Thankfully, law enforcement are more committed to addressing our enthusiastic murder rate than incarcerating the oblivious scooter rider. This is my moment of reason, of clarity.
  • Scooters aren’t “parked” like parking a car in a parking space or a bike in a bike rack. Scooters are “left”, either in wolfpacks on an unsuspecting street corner or in the middle of a sidewalk. Sometimes the scooter is just “dropped” on its side in the middle of a walking path, obstructing said path for unsuspecting pedestrians who would like to proceed without trampling a scooter. They cannot walk there without moving the scooter – or in some cases, tossed down the street – or stepping on the scooter. All are viable options, perhaps illegal, but I’m a problem notice professional, not an attorney.

    White River

    The White River, a frequent depository for the electric scooter.

  • When a scooter rider “drops” their scooter at the end of the ride, the downtown landscape is blighted. Our panoramic views of work cranes and dump trucks and panhandling quartets are disrupted by makeshift scooter junk yards that don’t exactly scream “hey, shop locally”. Maybe I’m being an elitist. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved downtown twelve years ago for the gorgeous views and unparalleled energy. Maybe I should flush my head in a toilet, but only if there isn’t a scooter obstructing the hallway to the bathroom.
Sleepy Scooters

Photo Credit: WISH-TV,

  • Please, PLEASE convince me of the practical applications of a scooter. I want to hear more about “the last mile” and how they’re a viable source of transportation. They are not children’s toys for half-popped twenty year olds tearing ass up and down Fountain Square. They are not utilities for broforce and bachelorette parties to bar hop around Mass Ave. Without the scooter, the Indy workforce would stall, because the scooters keep the Indy worker moving. Long live the scooter.
  • Sarcasm aside, my compliments to the one person scootering down Penn. at five in-the-morning, riding scooter appropriately and probably heading to work. You are unique, an individual, one of a kind. You are Chupacabra, never to be seen again.
  • Scooters are multiplying like we fed them after midnight. I knew about Bird and Lime, but there’s a third party or offspring that’s nested north of downtown, possibly Broad Ripple. Maybe that was part of the plan, sure, but this kind of genetic scooter inbreeding will lead to a demon scooter that rivals a Lovecraftian nightmare. Think of a scooter that feeds on Handlebar Indy, and flies, and is carnivorous and has Ebola.
  • What’s the point? We have Pacers Bikeshare, which is awesome, and then scooters, which kind of suck. I’ve ridden Pacers Bikeshare, and YES YOU HAVE TO PEDAL MY GOD. I have not ridden a scooter because of misplaced pride. I will not be part of the problem (now standby while I blow this red light).
  • Do people really say “I want to go to downtown Indianapolis because I want to ride a scooter”? I don’t know. If you do, if you did, please tell me. I’ll eat my hat. Do they have scooters in other communities around Indianapolis, like Carmel? I imagine a Carmel scooter is completely bedazzled and made by Tesla.

I’m not necessarily suggesting scooters be banished from Marion Co. Maybe just isolate a riding space where they can be ridden, like the old GM stamping plant parking lot, or Mars.

Anyways, thank you for your time. Southbound I-65 to eastbound I-70 is scheduled to close in the fall, and it’s going to be brutal.

More to come.

Be well.


Matt Bair is the new voice of Indianapolis traffic and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Fans of Facebook can “like” WIBC Traffic for the latest traffic happenings. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.