TRAFFIC: South Side Ramps Reopening
(Photo: Ashley Fowler/93 WIBC)
We’re stuffing our stuff into downtown this weekend, as in, really packing in our greasy bodies around Monument Circle and Lucas Oil Stadium. First, here’s some very important news to south side commuters, and that is…
SOUTH SIDE RAMPS READY TO REOPEN (SOON)!
Two of six bridges are still closed on the south side interchange of I-65 and I-465.
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), I-65 north traffic will shift onto the two new bridges today (Wednesday), with the final two ramps opening by the end of the month, if the weather cooperates.
This means the ramps from eastbound and westbound I-465 to northbound I-65 could be open (take a deep breath) by next Friday, December 1st!
Cheers! This calls for a fancy map:
SPEND THANKSGIVING ON NORTHBOUND S.R. 37
S.R. 37 from Bloomington to Indianapolis - especially the section to Martinsville - is an absolute zoo. Take away I.U. football games and campus move-in-day, and you still have every lane restriction imaginable because of I-69 construction. Granted, your grandchildrens' grandchildren will eventually behold the magnificence of such a corridor from Indianapolis to Evansville, but until then, we’re completely screwed.
The whole road is a disaster area - and considering the volumn of traffic expected through the weekend - INDOT is recommending you stay off S.R. 37 from Bloomington to Indy unless you white-knuckle the steering wheel:
Drivers who choose to use SR 37 between Bloomington and Martinsville are asked to eliminate all distractions behind the wheel, follow the posted 45 mph speed limit and be aware of changing traffic conditions throughout the construction zone. INDOT wants everyone to arrive at their Thanksgiving destination safely and on time.
Instead, head east on S.R. 46 until you pick up I-65 in Columbus. You can also take S.R.46 west to Spencer, and head north on S.R. 67 to Indy. Reverse the directions if you travel southbound on S.R. 37 from Indy to Bloomington - It’ll likely be as bad. Map please:
CIRCLE OF LIGHTS - Presented by IBEW 481 & Downtown Indy
Friday night is a monster. The Circle of Lights -- or the lighting of the gorgeous Christmas display at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument -- will bring 100,000 Hoosiers into downtown Indianapolis. Factor in the Pacers hosting a very good Toronto Raptors team (tipoff at Bankers Life at 8 p.m.) and the IHSAA Football State Tournament, and you'll have plenty of new friends to meet with little room to share the air.
Circle of Lights is AWESOME. Festivities start at 6:00pm, and the lighting happens around 7:50pm. In name of preparedness and punctuality, let’s take a look at the finer things in life, starting with the most important:
First thing you need to find, pronto. It’s the day after Thanksgiving and a Black Friday of leftovers, which means you have a nuclear bomb in your tummy, with a timer that's activated by nothing more than a small Mountain Dew. Be careful. Take a change of clothes - or apologize to your kids later. “Don’t look at Daddy, Daddy doesn’t want you to see him like this.”
Toilets are on the east and west flanks of Soldiers’ and Sailors’. Locate them.
Visit Indy has parking tips. Wear your walking boots. Here they are:
Monument Circle and its spokes will be closed to vehicular traffic, so be prepared to walk a few blocks. Nearby meters go for $1.50/hour, but if you arrive early enough, head to the Circle Centre Mall. For the first three hours, a spot costs only $2. Don’t mind an evening stroll? Park for free in Fountain Square or Fletcher Place.
THE STAGE HAS MOVED
The performance stage is on the north spoke of Meridian Street, right there off the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. There are viewing screens all over the place, but the public can’t enter the Circle from the north. You have to go in from Market Street or South Meridian.
ICYMI, as the kids say...
The City of Indianapolis created quite a stir last week when they declared that firearms were on the prohibited list for the Circle of Lights. Many responsible gun owners invoked the Second Amendment - questioning the city’s ban on guns at the highly attended downtown Indianapolis event.
93 WIBC’s “Gun Guy” Guy Relford is the station’s Second Amendment expert. He was on the “ground floor” of the city’s gun ban – so to speak – and chronicled the events that led the city to reconsider its ban list.
IMPD and Downtown Indy, Inc. held a press conference last Tuesday and announced some "changes" in this year's Circle of Lights celebration and listed several "prohibited items," including folding chairs, coolers and firearms.
After that press conference, I commented on social media that the City of Indy cannot prohibit firearms at an event on public streets, because the Indiana Firearms Preemption Act makes it illegal for local governments ("political subdivisions") to regulate firearms, including the carrying of firearms - subject to certain exceptions.
Hammer & Nigel asked me to appear on their show Thursday evening to discuss the issue.
In advance if that show, I sent out the attached tweet (tagging IMPD and the mayor). IMPD then contacted WIBC and said that they were reversing the prohibition of firearms after talking to the mayor's office - as reflected in WIBC reporter's Kurt Darling's reply:
Note: under the preemption act, an "organizer or promoter of an event" can prohibit firearms on property leased from a political subdivision (which is why the Colts and Pacers can prohibit guns in LOS and BLF - both owned by the city), so if Downtown Indy, Inc. was leasing city property for the CoL event, they could ban firearms. (But I don't think it's feasible for the city to "lease" Monument Circle and all the surrounding city streets.)
If you want to read the preemption act, it starts here - just keep hitting "next" to read all the sections. The general prohibition is in Sec. 2, Sec. 3 renders any illegal regulation "void," Sec. 4 lists the exceptions and Secs. 5-6 authorize litigation by anyone "adversely affected" by a political subdivision's illegal regulation of firearms.
In other words, you can carry at the Circle of Lights, providing you meet regulatory standards of carrying a firearm. Questions and further explanation can be directed to Guy on Twitter. You can also hear his Saturday show from 5pm - 7pm on 93 WIBC.
BEECH GROVE WALMART - BLACK FRIDAY EDITION
Nothing will get you into the holiday shopping spirit like the infamous shampoo fight at Beech Grove Walmart. Watch and enjoy. WARNING: SALTY LANGUAGE
Guys, gazillions of people are on the road through Sunday. Please, please be careful. As always, a big "thank you" to all of our tipsters and conversationalists on the Twitter.
I’m thankful for you.
Matthew Bair wants to be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving day dinner, and looks completely succulent with an apple stuffed in his mouth. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.