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Hogsett proposes major change to state road funding

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mayor of Indiana’s largest city on Thursday said state lawmakers need to radically rethink how they distribute road funding to cities and counties.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said he and other metro area mayors would lobby lawmakers to base road funding on traffic volume rather than center lane miles of roadway, which he said means a two-lane road in a rural area gets the same amount of funding as Indianapolis’ busiest thoroughfares. Hogsett’s comments came during an announcement of several new road funding initiatives at a charter school near downtown. A state legislative task force will convene later this summer to investigate long-term road funding needs.

“Quite frankly, it’s difficult to come to any conclusion other than the historic state formula falls far short of the kind of long-term thinking that Gov. (Eric) Holcomb and other leaders in the General Assembly seek to embrace,” the Democrat mayor said.

Hogsett said he would ask the City-County Council to set aside $25 million in surplus revenue for residential street repairs when the council begins debating the city’s budget next month. He also wants to set aside $5 million over the next three years for repairs and maintenance in the city’s alleys. Additionally, Hogsett said he wants the council to fund flashing pedestrian crossing signs at roughly 25 schools along major thoroughfares.

Zach Adamson, vice president of the council, said the state funding question would not affect those projects. He said the state funding question will mainly come into play over the long term. Adamson said alley repair in particular is one of the top complaints council members consistently hear from constituents.

“A lot of residents, especially in the downtown area, use those alleyways to approach their driveways and garages and have access to their homes, so accessibility to their residences is a big issue,” he said.

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 as a whole. Hogsett’s office estimated Marion County would receive an additional $49 million in road funding while each of the bordering counties would add anywhere from $200,000 in Shelby County to $16 million in Hamilton County.

Rep. Jeff Thompson, a Republican from Lizton who chairs the House Budget Committee and co-chairs the road funding task force, said in a statement he is reviewing Hogsett’s proposal.

“While the proposal would pull levers on the state level, further local options to improve roads currently available to the city, such as the wheel tax, are an important part of the discussion,” Thompson said.


“It’s amazing how many new plans are being unveiled as Election Day nears. After seven years of ineffective leadership and as voters are desperate for new leadership, only now does Joe Hogsett have a plan to combat Indy’s crumbling infrastructure.

I’m a former CEO, not a career politician. I’ll lead Indianapolis in the right direction from Day 1, and take personal responsibility for our city’s safety and infrastructure.”

Jefferson Shreve, Republican candidate for mayor

“The infrastructure funding gap has long been a priority for council Republicans. It’s unfortunate it has taken almost eight years and an upcoming election for the mayor to begin to discuss this issue. 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.”

Indianapolis City-County Council Minority Leader Brian Mowery