Blog > Traffic > TRAFFIC: Streets Made Of Glass

TRAFFIC: Streets Made Of Glass

Indianapolis woke up to ice covered streets, and a traffic calamity of incredible proportions ensued.

(Photo credit: Indiana Originals - Mel McMahon)

I go to bed and get up early, stumble downstairs and get in my crappy little car. Apartment garage door kicks open and WHOA. I’m a fishtailing, no traction sailing, Japanese whaling son of-a-gun.

Next storm, Kevin promises to say his trunk is "bootylicious."

My butt goes perpendicular. Figuratively. No literally. I’m frantically picking up my butt cheeks before the neighbors make ‘em into Cajun creole.  In a half second, I’m sweating out fatty acid. Car gets corrected and I start inching towards the traffic center on Monument Circle.  Turn onto Michigan St. - which stunningly - is just as slick and glassy as the side streets I just crawled down.

West side the worst side? Nah. We were all equally screwed.

Heavy vehicles couldn't negotiate the streets. An IndyGo bus crashed on Michigan Rd., and a semi jumped a guard rail just a few blocks north (see cover photo).

Six blocks later - or what seemed like six months later - I pull up to the intersection at Michigan and Penn, and commuters - including myself - slither off the line and into the box. It’s awful. Turning is like cornering a clipper ship in the White River. Nobody is getting traction.

The streets have not been treated. We’re on a complete sheet of ice.

I was going so slow I honked at myself.

He also was ticketed for parking too close to the hydrant

By now, why the Department of Public Works (DPW) didn’t treat Indy’s streets has been discussed thoroughly. Rather than hash out the whole thing again, you can check out the story here, and Tony’s commentary here.  For the record, Wednesday was the worst city-wide traffic calamity I’ve seen as a budding road slinger at 93 WIBC. Still - while sharing in everyone’s frustration - I was willing to give DPW a pass because the freezing rain and ice caught so many of us with our britches off.

The consensus? The interstates were slick, but better than the city streets.

Then came the reaction.

Instead of taking it on the chin, the city blamed the freaking weather man. I kid you not. That’s why Snow Force wasn’t mobilized in full. The city’s subscribed forecast didn’t call for overnight precipitation! Nevermind it started raining sometime between 8:00pm - 9:00pm the night before, and nevermind a couple of news outlets in Indy published modified forecasts with freezing rain well before bedtime.

We simply have to do better.

Here are some of the other sights from iceogeddon, courtesy of @WIBCTraffic:

If you look at the far left-middle of the picture, you can see a car actually rolled through the guard rail. Yikes.

We have the whole month of February to get back on course.  Let’s lick our wounds, learn our lessons, and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Be well.


Matt Bair was thoroughly embarrassed after digging around in a large pothole and finding no canibus. He's the new voice of Indianapolis traffic, and can be followed on Twitter @WIBCTraffic. Tips? Call direct at (317) 684-8134 or the 93 WIBC Newsroom at (317) 637-6397.

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