Warfleigh and Floodwall Winter 2023 Updates

Hi all. I hope everyone is well. Just some winter 2023 Warfleigh updates!

Levee and Floodwall Project

The United States Army Corp of Engineers responded to a neighborhood request for information:

We have completed the construction of the project and have since provided it over to the City of Indianapolis for operation and maintenance. The documentation has been provided to FEMA for their review and ultimately their approval. We are 58 days into their 90-day review. If you would like to speak with our project manager, I can provide that info, but at this time we have no further updates from FEMA. Please let me know if you need anything else. Thank you.

Please note, this does not mean we approximately are 32-days away from relief:

– Within 90 days of receiving a request (for map revision), FEMA will provide the requester and the community either a Letter of Map Revision (“LOMR”), Conditional Letter of Map Revision (“CLOMR”), comments based on their review, or notification additional time is needed for reviewing/processing the request. When FEMA provides review comments, the applicant must adequately address all of the comments within 90 days.

-Once FEMA’s review is complete and all review comments have been adequately addressed, FEMA will issue a LOMR to the affected communities and provide copies to the requester.

– LOMRs which result in changes to regulatory flood hazard information are then subject to a statutory 90-day appeal period. FEMA publishes a notice of the appeal period in the local newspaper. This notice is published twice, shortly after the LOMR is issued. The 90-appeal period commences on the date of the second newspaper publication. LOMRs receiving no valid appeals will typically become effective approximately 4.5 months after issuance (120 days after the second newspaper publication).

See for more information: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/mt-2_requests_guidance_dec_2020.pdf

Warfleigh Traffic Study

I often hear Warfleigh traffic flow concerns. A few years ago, I reached out to the City (Jeff Bennett, Deputy Mayor) requesting Warfleigh be included in area traffic flow studies. The City agreed, but the studies seemingly have been delayed. Accordingly, I reached out to the City again this week.  Here’s their response:

DPW elected not to conduct the study, at least on that original (2020) timeline. When the pandemic hit just a few months after the Red Line opened, car traffic was reduced, and the department didn’t believe the study’s findings would be valid.  Now that we’ve returned to what might be a new normal on College Ave., I think the department would consider conducting that analysis as originally planned. I’ve copied the brand-new DPW Director, Brandon Herget, and not-so-new DPW Counsel, Bob Frye, to put it back on their radar.

I think the DPW will pay attention to this note from the Deputy Mayor! This should be helpful. Please reach out to me with any questions or if you wish to help me monitor and encourage the progress of this study.

Random Rambling of an Economist – Bias in Neighborhood Surveys

!! You can ignore this one !!

I often see individuals, groups, and associations attempt to use neighborhood surveys, especially on “NextDoor,” to gain input which they sometimes use to support their public policy or advocacy positions. For example:

– Does Broad Ripple need another apartment building? Or development project X?

– To what purpose should we dedicate property Y (e.g., Guilford Avenue Kroger)?

– Does the neighborhood need additional traffic control measures? Speed bumps? Stop signs?

– Should we impose development or property right restrictions in the neighborhood?

– Do you support the new Family Center at Broad Ripple Park?

While such surveys may help neighbors share opinion, and often frustration, they, unfortunately, provide little meaningful, actionable information because they suffer from what statisticians and economists call “self-selection bias” or “volunteer bias.”

Self-selection bias refers to the bias that occurs when individuals choose to volunteer or “opt-in” to surveys.  The individuals who choose to volunteer or participate in the survey often, on average, differ qualitatively from those who choose not to participate in the survey. As a result, these polls tend to overrepresent individuals with one perspective, and, consequently, they are unlikely to accurately reflect public opinion at large. This self-selection leads to a biased sample that fundamentally affects the generalizability of results. It’s why some refer to such studies as “self-selected listener opinion polls” – or “SLOP” (!!!).

See for brief additional information:



This may not be a problem depending on how survey results may be used. However, here’s how a problem could arise. Suppose some association that claims representativeness, such as a neighborhood association, releases an opinion poll and subsequently uses the results to justify their preferred public policy position. For example, a neighborhood association could release a survey seeking input on implementing development restrictions within the neighborhood (e.g., creating “conservation districts”) – or any other topic. Based on the results, the neighborhood association concludes, for example, the neighborhood supports restrictions on development and, subsequently, uses this to advocate for such before the City or others. However, as above, the results of such survey are biased and not generalizable. Think, for example, “We asked a number of people in the neighborhood who support development restrictions whether they support development restrictions and they said ‘yes.’ Therefore, the neighborhood overall supports development restrictions, and we will advocate for such.”

Just something to keep in mind as your respond to and interpret the results of neighborhood and NextDoor surveys.

Thanks all! Please reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns!

Jim Polito


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