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Source: (Photo Credit: WIBC Traffic)

INDIANAPOLIS — The mayor of Indianapolis is asking state lawmakers to rework how the state divvies out road funding to cities and counties in Indiana.

Right now the state gives money to cities and counties based on the number of “center lane miles” of road each one has. In Indianapolis, that means the city gets funds based on the length of the center lane of each city street.

For single-lane streets that means just the road itself is measured, which is the case for county roads in surrounding counties that don’t have as many multi-lane roads. For example, a 5-mile stretch of any two-lane county road in Hendricks County would be worth the same amount of money as a 5-mile stretch of Illinois Street downtown which at some points reaches four lanes wide.

Indy Mayor Joe Hogsett says that doesn’t exactly add up.

“We pay more in state taxes than we receive back,” Hogsett said. “Multi-lane thoroughfares present a tick time bomb that will go off if significant action is not taken.”

He is proposing that state lawmakers look at a system of handing out road funding based on the amount of traffic that uses any given road instead of the length of said road. If that were to happen, Hogsett said Indianapolis would be poised to get a lot more road funding to help improve overall infrastructure.

He added that it’s necessary since most people in the donut counties use Indianapolis’ infrastructure.

“The era of Indianapolis and our neighbor cities and counties viewing each other as competitors, that era must end,” Hogsett said as he added this plan actually will benefit all central Indiana counties directly.

If lawmakers change the road funding formula as he proposes, Hogsett said it could bring up to an additional $96 million to the Indianapolis region. Hogsett’s office estimated Marion County would receive an additional $49 million in road funding. In comparison, each of the bordering counties would add anywhere from $200,000 in Shelby County to $16 million in Hamilton County.

“It’s unfortunate it has taken almost eight years and an upcoming election for the mayor to begin to discuss this issue,” said Indy City-County Council minority leader Brian Mowery. “Quality infrastructure is vital for our city to grow and attract talent and as such it’s important we get this right. Our caucus looks forward to working in a bipartisan manner to find solutions to address this issue.”

Hogsett is also calling on lawmakers to approve traffic cameras in school zones, the same way they approved traffic cameras in construction zones this past session.