Utility Pole moved out of sidewalk on Shelby Street

You regulars keeping track of the ongoing utility pole issue on Shelby Street will be happy to see this update. The reader who has helped to keep me informed of the utility pole issues surrounding the reconstruction of the sidewalk adjacent to the Shelby Street cycle track sent in the attached photos today. As you can see, the offending pole has been moved completely out of the sidewalk and is now in the grass and poses no risks to pedestrians, the disabled or those who may be pushing a stroller.

Relocated utility pole on Shelby Street (image credit: reader submission)
Relocated utility pole on Shelby Street (image credit: reader submission)


The story of how this finally came to pass is an interesting one and leaves me wondering how much of an affect we really had here other than to simply report that the issue was taking place. The reader, after having little to no luck with getting DPW to move the pole, contacted IPL. After a couple of days of back and forth emails as well as an on-site visit, IPL agreed to move the pole.

First attempt to fix Shelby Street Sidewalk (image credit: reader submission)
First attempt to fix Shelby Street Sidewalk (image credit: reader submission)

My communications with the DPW uncovered that the city is entitled to 50 “free relocates” per year and the movement of this pole was one of those free relocates. Regardless, you can see that the pole is now totally out of the sidewalk and the project itself seems to nearly be on it’s feet with preliminary striping guides laid out on the pavement.

Shelby Street cycle track, preliminary striping (image credit: reader submission)
Shelby Street cycle track, preliminary striping (image credit: reader submission)

In conclusion, it goes without saying that if citizens had not spoken up about this issue, we would have been stuck with a utility pole in the sidewalk and life would have went on. This case illustrates that there are more than just a few people interested in a top notch built environment and that we will all go above and beyond to try and make it happen; even if it is simply the movement of a utility pole out of a sidewalk and into the adjacent grass.

Comments 18

  • Great, now there’s a big hole in the sidewalk! lol. Well that was certainly a quick response.

  • Wow! That is awesome to see our common interest for a better city actually result in something positive!

  • Time to identify 49 more. I’m sure there are quite a few that need to be moved.

  • Big thumbs up. If they want to blow the other 49, I recommend East Street gets a good looking at.

  • Oh yeah, and Washington by 65/70 is pretty bad.

  • I suggested 52nd street as well. LOL I bet there are 5000 poles that we could suggest around town.

    Keystone is pretty offensive as well

  • Good work! Now on to the other bajillion instances of this in the city…

    while we’re throwing out suggestions for the other 49, East 10th Street near Little Flower is pretty bad.

  • Great work! Hopefully, this sends the message to DPW that people are watching and a little more thoughtful planning will be implemented for future projects.

  • I’d like to toss in west 10th street for a vote. Between White River and Speedway there are numerous poles in the sidewalk, fiehydrants, cracked sections and huge weed issues. I’d hate to have to walk that ever.

  • Great work! Now this is what I’m talking about by “activism” as opposed to watching and waiting. It would be great if we could have a resource list of sorts, so readers know who they can contact to voice concerns, including direct phone numbers/email addresses.

  • As part of a Quality of Life planning effort in the Mid-North neighborhoods (Meridian Highland, Highland Vicinity, Crown Hill, Mapleton Fall Creek, Watson McCord, and Historic Meridian Park), we will be doing an infrastructure survey next month. Activist volunteers are welcome. 🙂

  • This is a great success at the “events” level. What would bring about change at the policy level to ensure these events don’t happen in the future? How does a new standard/requirement get established?

  • Seriously why is this that much of an issue? Why couldn’t they fix it the first time instead of trying the cheap route. I have no doubt this will cost the city of Indy some money. When i run for Mayor this kind of crap i will not allow.

  • If i have to personally watch the construction i will do so. Also keep in mind i plan for my vacation time as Mayor of Indy to be going to other cities and recruiting businesses to either relocate or set up operations in Indy and create jobs.

  • Great work! Another place around the city that baffles me is Broad Ripple Avenue. Blows my mind that they went through refinished the sidewalks… and left the poles in the middle of them on the South side of the Ave.

  • New York on the south side of the street between East St and the RR tracks is prettttty bad too.

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