Monday, May 30, 2011

What Was Up With The Traffic Control For The Indy 500?

In the last 20 years, I've never had a worse experience trying to get to the Indianapolis 500 as I experienced this year. Every year, I take the same route, 16th Street west to the track. My group left four hours before the race and spent two and a half hours in stalled traffic extending all the way to Downtown. In the past, the same route has taken only 30 to 45 minutes. It took 2 hours simply to get from Downtown to the old Victory Field. The problem was quite apparent. There were only two westbound lanes made available the entire route, while the other lanes were freed up for the escorted traffic. Further, the traffic flow was interrupted by cross traffic that is normally blocked on race day. I've always been impressed at how well Indianapolis handles a large volume of traffic on race day, but this year was an exception. When the race ended, the east bound traffic heading back Downtown was one way all lanes and it took only 10 minutes to travel. I'm still trying to figure out why the City would have changed a procedure that has worked so well in the past.

On a brighter note, the centennial running of the race was the first in many years that the stands looked full. Attendance was definitely way up this year over recent years. There was actually a brisk market for ticket scalping outside the track this year. The security upon entering the track was so lax, nobody even asked to check our tickets. If they were visible, you were directed straight through the entrance. The stubs on our tickets to enter the track and enter the stands were both still in place after the race because nobody ever asked for them. They weren't even checking carry-in coolers and bags this year at the entrance gates. I don't know if people were deliberately conserving on their spending this year, but despite the large crowds, there was no wait in line for food or drinks. And the typically long lines to the bathroom were short this year. That probably had more to do with the hot weather. People were sweating the water out of their system.


Concerned Taxpayer said...

The in-bound traffic plan was probably concocted by HERR DOK-TOR Straub, the New York liberal who knows everything.
He is an expert in all things. He is a DOK-TOR, you know.

Brizzonator said...

Dude it is all about the bike thing. Mayor Blowhard expexcts you to ride your bike to the speedway.

Cato said...

Again, Gary, roads. Indy sucks at building them. I-74 should never have been made to run concurrent with 465. It should have been a WNW to ESE highway, running through downtown, out 16th and onward to Peoria. Eastward, it should follow Southeastern until 465.

I-65 should run from Greenwood, through downtown, clipping the West side of Carmel around 146th St., then banking towards Chicago.

I-69 should come up through Bloomington, through downtown, and out to Fishers.

465 and I-70 are fine.

Draw the map that I just suggested, and see how Indy would move with that highway system.

This town was horribly designed, despite being all cheap land and unbounded by geographic obstacles. Fixing it will require a lot of money and admitting that a lot of highly placed people made some very bad mistakes.