INDIANAPOLIS — The vote on the Indianapolis city budget for 2023 was nearly unanimous. Only one city-county councilor voted no and it was Councilor Ethan Evans.
The budget included investments in public safety and infrastructure, as well as some property tax relief for Indy residents. Evans told the council before the vote he would be voting no because he said the budget lacked a few other things that he feels need to be addressed.
“While I am supportive of a majority of things we are doing and are planning with the city and county I will be a ‘no’ vote tonight as well on the remainder of the budget,” he said.
The Democratic councilor said more needs to be done to address homelessness in the city, but furthermore, he said he wanted to see more done in regards to cutting down on pedestrians being hit, and sometimes killed, by cars on city streets.
“With regards to the pedestrian safety issue after speaking with pedestrian and cycling activists in the city this year and looking at the numbers on hit-and-run fatalities and numbers in general we need to be making policy decisions for public works to make safety a priority,” Evans said in a follow-up statement.
The city is investing $1.1 billion in infrastructure over the next five years. Part of that investment is hiring the city’s first traffic engineer to address making city streets safer. Advocates for road safety in Indy say that’s good, but that the city needs to pick up the pace on getting it done.
“I am glad we passed the Complete Streets Ordinance but we need to do things faster,” Evans added.
Advocates say Indianapolis is eligible for a federal program that has $6 billion available that would help the city make streets safer for those crossing streets and using them for cycling.