INDOT: The Great Provider (of Lip Service)

Since we last left off, there was a bit of contention between INDOT’s tentacle of car-centric doublethink, Mr. Scott Manning, and Twitter urbanists.

The question at hand is whether INDOT is truly considering alternatives to the North Split or instead just playing lip service, all while knowing it will simply add lanes and steamroll through public sentiment anyway.

Given INDOT’s egregious history of allocating most of its budget toward automobile-centric infrastructure (while leaving pennies for other mobility options), it was curious to see an attempt to quell arguments against INDOT’s car-obsession with this:

Let’s first comment on the numbers.

The $340 million is great and all, however, spread it over ten years and you get an average $34 million annual stipend for bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Holy cow!

A quick Google search result finds an annual INDOT budget around $2 billion.

If that is the case, and Mr. Manning is correct with his $340 million number, then this means a little over 1.7% of INDOT’s budget is geared toward human-scale transportation.

Hm.

I thought that this perhaps seemed too low and only took into account money spent on pedestrian/bike infrastructure. Surely, public transit would have a far more substantial allocation.

So I went through INDOT’s 2016 Transit Annual Report to see any extraneous allocations made to transportation options beside automobile.

According to INDOT, only $42.7 million was allocated to PMTF (Public Mass Transportation Fund) in 2016. This is juxtaposed with the over $4.7 billion suggested for road repairs over the next five years.

Really, I was trying to give them benefit of the doubt.

Although, I could not find a similar chart for a more recent year, here is an example of INDOT’s annual budget (graph from 2010). Operations account for around 20%.

Graph from 2010, but a great example of INDOT’s priorities

That is alot of construction, Scott. How much of that went to pedestrian and bike infrastructure?

Despite INDOT’s rhetoric geared toward placating locals, words ring empty and hollow when analyzing their historical priorities.

While putting the automobile first in planning the North Split, construction firms in bed with INDOT are sure to be pleased, all while downtown residents are left with polluted headaches.

The public hearing is scheduled for May 23rd.

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