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Business owners upset over plans for IndyGo Blue Line

IndyGo Blue Line project upsetting local business owners

Aleah Hordges | News 8 at 6

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IndyGo’s Blue Line Rapid Transit System will run from the east side to the airport in the future, but business owners along the West Washington Street route are pushing for changes to the proposed plans.

The project is expected to have a designated lane for the bus, much like the Red Line. West Washington Street will go from four lanes to two, but store owners fear the Blue Line will negatively impact their businesses.

Many told News 8 the road isn’t efficiently designed for an exclusive bus lane and will create more congestion.

“It’s hard for us to get trucks in and out of here as we do get a lot of freight in and trying to bring obviously motorcycles in and cars in to park in front of the building which is what we really want,” said Mike Dreyer, owner of Dreyer Honda.

“Instead of people using this main road they’ll divert off onto the residential side streets which causes traffic problems for the residents,” said Rachel Hawkins, owner of Markin Sales.

IndyGo plans to build bus stations in the middle of Washington Street and remove some designated turning lanes. Some business owners feel that could steer potential customers away.

“It’s gonna be easier for someone to just continue west and find the next local shop or business that they’re looking for rather than turning back around and making it an inconvenience for themselves,” Roy Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Body Shop said.

Business owners believe the new line could also affect store profit along West Washington Street.

“As a business owner at that point it affects you and then it trickles down to possibly employees losing jobs,” added Reynolds.

According to a study posted on Indy Connect Central Indiana’s Regional Transit Initiative, “it is not realistic to expect ridership increase under even the most favorable conditions to approach the thresholds for exclusive lanes.”Business owners suggest IndyGo keep the existing way riders are picked up and dropped off.

Business owners suggest IndyGo keep the existing way riders are picked up and dropped off.

“This to me is the major artery in and out of town and to give up 60% of the road for 20% ridership doesn’t make sense to me,” Dreyer mentioned.

There is no word on when the project will begin, but store owners said it is several years away.

A meeting about the Blue Line projects is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Township Government Center.

IndyGo officials are expected to be at the meeting.


2 Columbus police officers arrested, facing charges of misconduct, ghost employment

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Two Columbus police officers have been arrested on multiple charges including official misconduct and ghost employment.

According to Indiana State Police, Dan Meister and Ron May were arrested for allegedly working off-duty security jobs while also working on duty with the Columbus Police Department. An investigation into the officers began in November 2018 after a request was made by the Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Dan Meister and Sgt. Ron May allegedly worked overlapping shifts for both the police department and Columbus Regional Hospital between February 2015 and August 2018. The officers were paid by CPD and the hospital for the same hours worked on multiple occasions.

Meister had overlapped hours on 52 different occasions and May overlapped on 62 occasions, investigators say.

The investigation was turned over to a special prosecutor and arrest warrants were issued for the men on Friday. They were arrested Friday afternoon without incident and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, police say.

Both officers are facing charges of official misconduct, ghost employment and theft.

May and Meister are expected to face initial hearings soon.

Information about how long they have worked with CPD was not immediately available.