INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two months before the Red Line is set to begin operating in Indianapolis, IndyGo says it is preparing a campaign to educate bus riders and drivers making their way around new traffic patterns.
Many platforms are under construction, electric lines are still being connected, and several areas are still waiting for new pavement.
Jeff Coulter works downtown; his office is right next to a new Red Line platform.
“It has taken a long time a lot longer then we would have liked,” said Coulter.
For drivers like Coulter coming into the city every day, the first of three lines in Marion County’s bus rapid transit plan will mean new traffic patterns.
“As you can see, where they put the stations, we think it will create a traffic problem, confusion changing lanes, and this didn’t have a traffic light before so it does now, and we have already seen some confusion in there, but of course the construction is still ongoing,” said Coulter.
Lauren Day of IndyGo told News 8 that the Red Line is still on track to open Sept. 1. She said changes to the platforms that accommodate emergency vehicles will not delay the line from opening on time.
“We even had to come back and kind of readjust some of those design elements to make sure the roof is just lined up exactly with that boarding platform so that it is really stationed right there in that station footprint,” said Day.
Capitol Avenue has been a one-way, southbound for decades. Red Line plans and new pavement and lane markings show two dedicated bus rapid transit lanes — one lane north and one lane south — in addition to two lanes for southbound vehicle traffic.
“We are about ready to kick off a big education campaign, so that will be everything from videos to animation, pictures, how to board the station, but also what is it going to look like as a driver,” Day said.
The Red Line lanes will be marked with a special paint and marked as bus-only lanes, which Coulter expects will be ignored when the lanes are empty.
“We have a little running bet inside to how long it will take somebody to crash into the station or the other stations around. We have seen stranger things here,” he said.
Painting of the bus-only lanes is expected to start after the Fourth of July weekend.