An Indianapolis City-County councilwoman is trying to stop Carmel from building several roundabouts along the border between the two cities.
Christine Scales has refused to sign an interlocal agreement to allow Carmel to build roundabouts at 96th Street's intersections with Hazel Dell Parkway, Gray Road, Delegates Row and Randall Drive. As the local district representative, Indianapolis is following her lead.
Scales doesn't think traffic is congested enough along the corridor to warrant the roundabouts, and she is concerned that area businesses will lose customers if they are
built. She thinks motorists are more likely to shop on the commercial corridor if they have time to look around while waiting at traffic signals.
Carmel Roundabout at 126th Street and Keystone (www.carmel.in.gov)
Her stance has led to a clash with Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard that was highlighted in an email exchange between the two obtained by IndyStar.
"My opinion, which is shared by many, is that while (roundabouts) may serve well in some locations, it doesn't mean they serve well as replacements for each and every stop sign or light," Scales wrote in an email to Brainard. "The existence of 100 roundabouts (and counting) in a city the size of Carmel is a lot of roundabouts."I have said before that the creation of roundabouts by Mayor Brainard has been the best thing he did in office. Prior to the roundabouts traffic flow in and around Carmel was dreadful. However, after two recent trips to Carmel, I find myself agreeing with Councilor Scales. It seemed like every Carmel intersection I drove through had a roundabout, including ones that would have been much better served with traditional traffic devices.
Meanwhile Mayor Brainard indicates he may try to proceed with the roundabouts anyway, despite opposition by Scales and the City of Indianapolis. The Star article continues:
Brainard thinks he can build the roundabouts without Indianapolis' permission because state law places Carmel in control of improvements on its southern border. Carmel also isn't asking for any help from Indianapolis with funding.
Scales, though, said Indianapolis officials disagree that he can move forward without an interlocal agreement and will fight him if he tries.
Brainard hopes to convince Scales and Indianapolis to sign on. But he says he'll find a way to build the roundabouts regardless.
"If necessary," he wrote in an email to Scales obtained by IndyStar, "we would simply move the roundabouts a few feet north."