Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 29, 2010

Job One for the City of Indianapolis in Conjunction with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Clean Up the West Side!

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:01 am

The Detroit-like slumification of the west side of Indianapolis continues at full speed with no end in sight. Three of the four sides of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are now either ghetto, barrio, trailer park wannabe or some/all of the above. Lafayette Square Mall was once the premier mall in Indianapolis. Now it is a palace of thugs with empty, deteriorating empty anchors.

No business in their right mind wants to be located even close to there. Crime is on the increase, and the quality of the population has devolved. The list of big name businesses now gone is staggering.  Menards was the most recent in that area to leave. There is also no longer a Bob Evans, Kroger, Dennys, Red Lobster, Office Max, Office Depot, K-Mart, Circuit City, Lone Star on 38th Street. Now Paul Harvey Ford is outta there at the end of the year. Lafayette Road, Georgetown Road in that corridor, and other streets have become urban ruins.

Before long new I-465 interchanges will dot all exit points on the west side. 38th Street is still under construction. Will any of that really help? It is difficult to predict how to get rid of strip centers with not one sign in English or flea markets simply masking empty building blight. Some of the residential neighborhoods are even worse. Some have suggested providing scrub brushes and Mr. Clean. That might be great in some namby-pamby utopian fantasy, but the reality is residents are far more likely to use the scrub brushes for back scratchers and consume the Mr. Clean to get high.

The Town of Speedway is doing a commendable job with their redevelopment efforts, but many days it appears they are merely shellacking turds. On the one side of the Speedway not yet fully infested with human vermin, ominous signs are all over the place. Many Crawfordsville Road businesses are just gone. In the largest shopping center most of the shops are empty and have been for a long while. Kroger, the big remodeled anchor, has a police presence more often than not to deal with petty crime that abounds. The once well maintained Coppertree Apartment complex is rapidly becoming Indy’s own Cabrini-Green. It is consistently rated one of the worst complexes in the country. Whoever owns that place should be taken to task for allowing it to fall into such negligent disrepair and become the eyesore that it is, populated by many who are no better than the ownership.

The 100th Anniversary 500 will be great, but how many people will want to return in successive years after getting first-hand tastes of the surrounding slums? It is downright embarrassing. If Indianapolis and Indiana politicians want to make meaningful difference, they need to clean up the west side before it becomes the east side. Incentivize development that grows TOWARD the Speedway instead of AWAY from it. Tax and other special incentives could go a long way toward cleaning up the damages in the wake of infestation of urban rats that have moved in.

The Speedway is having a difficult enough time these days keeping their own facility pristine and it is not up to them to re-do the entire west side, then attract hard working people of adequate income to come live there. The city of Indianapolis should be doing a lot more than it is to protect its most treasured, valuable institution.


  1. We come to the track coming off Washington and onto N. Tibbs. N.Tibbs is, I believe SE of the track but it has become quite an eyesore, with boarded up houses all along the way. I hope this is the worst area because its pretty bad and I hope none is worse.

    The area West and Northwest of the track has always included very nice properties. This is down W.30th as you head west, Crawfordsville Rd. etc. Sorry to hear these businesses are pulling out.

    There are solutions, but nobody has the guts to speak the truth about many of these problems. If, like in bygone days, only property owners voted, the country would not be in the mess it is.

    Comment by Bob F. — December 29, 2010 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  2. You’re right, Bob, there are solutions, but I don’t think lack of guts is the only reason things are in such a sad state. As I’ve said before, Indianapolis is not in one of the most affluent sections of the country, and with the economic meltdown, was probably hit harder than most cities. Unlike New York, Chicago, L. A., or even Baltimore, Indy doesn’t have the resources to clean up urban decay, and just wishing that the “human vermin” and other such unpleasantries would just go away won’t make it so. Until some people with deep pockets who really care about the environment around the Speedway step forward, the problems will remain. And it’s probably useless to try to hit up the Government either, NHS status not withstanding, because it’s not much better off than anybody else these days.

    Comment by DOUG — December 30, 2010 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  3. Human vermin huh Bob? Judging by your photo and reference to non-English signage, I take it you mean blacks and Hispanics. It’s sad to run into that sort of cross-burner mentality when I read a blog about my favorite sport. Shame on you. You soil the community.

    Editor’s Note: Wussification of America. I have to drive through that crap every day, and I refuse to be politically correct. Once we as a nation regain the collective courage to specifically identify problems then clean it up I will be a lot happier.

    Comment by chuck — December 31, 2010 @ 2:05 am | Reply

    • Fighting the “Wussification” start with you Bob. Man-up and quit tip-toeing around the language. Say what you are – a white supremacist.

      Editor’s Note: That’s a broad brush label assigned by an ignorant person whose reading comprehension skills are not really up to snuff. Which is another problem endemic to society these days.

      Comment by chuck — December 31, 2010 @ 6:29 am | Reply

      • Aaaaand he scurries under a rock with classic broad-brush complaints. I guess you’re waiting for more of your type to start calling for the “human vermin” to be “cleaned up”. My grandfather risked his life in WW2 trying to keep people like you from taking over the world. And yet you keep popping up.

        Editor’s Note: I would be even happier if they could figure out what to do with a bottle of Lysol and a mop and had the common sense and/or decency to actually perform such tasks once in a while. I’m happy your granddaddy fought off the Nazis and such, but evidently he failed to pass along the necessity of comprehending things you read, which is especially critical for you to grasp the message being sent in this blog. You are ignorantly screaming racism like others prone to jerking their knees without first thinking, but in order to do that you must first understand what racism is. On the west side of Indianapolis a lower class of people have begun to squat, and it’s a melting pot of increasingly irresponsible societal sponges of all races and nationalities that are going to do the environs of the great track little good. That is not racism, it is merely stating the obvious. If we were racist we might advocate forced relocation, violence, etc., and that is not being done. There are other ways to turn the hands of the socioeconomic clock, and my suggestion is merely that the hands get turned by people who would not like to see the west side become the east side.

        Comment by chuck — December 31, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

  4. We all know the little euphemisms and weasel words by now. Your screed could have been taken from any Klan rally. You are a white supremacist and you’ve been called out on it. If you don’t have the courage to admit it, at least leave the hate off the blog and stick to the sport. If you keep up the hate speech, I will call you out on it every time, and you’ll have to churn out even more rambling climb-downs and redefinitions. I wish you an enlightened 2011.

    Editor’s Note: Calling me out, eh? LOL. Here’s my New Year suggestion for you: Learn how to comprehend what you read. The kind of knee jerk assumptions you make are just another symptom of a dumbed down society. I long for the day when the eduction level of the general population again reaches an acceptable level. We have fallen far below minimums.

    Comment by chuck — January 1, 2011 @ 1:35 am | Reply

  5. Hey Defender, you could always move, then you wouldn’t have to drive through that area daily. I left Marion county several years ago and haven’t looked back.

    Editor’s Note: Actually, I have multiple residences in other states, but also own property in Speedway. I choose to do what I can to cleanse the area and make it great again.

    Comment by TroyM — January 2, 2011 @ 7:15 pm | Reply

  6. Just FYI- Red Lobster is still on West 38th Street. It, Golden Corral, HH Gregg, and Home Depot are the last four business that aren’t gas, drugstores, or fast food that are still there.

    Comment by Kenny — March 7, 2014 @ 8:36 am | Reply

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