Peeling back the layers of time: 86th St. and Michigan Rd. in Indianapolis

This is Michigan Rd. at 86th St., a major Indianapolis intersection.

86th and Michigan

Michigan Road is eight lanes wide here – three northbound through lanes, two southbound through lanes, plus several turn lanes. It needs all those lanes; this is the gateway to the Northwestside’s best shopping and many of its employers, as well as to I-465.

This intersection is always busy, but it’s especially so at rush hour. It can be a dangerous place – in 2007 there were 227 accidents here.

It is hard to imagine now just how far out in the boonies this intersection once was. This video, compiled of screen shots of historic aerial imagery found at MapIndy, shows you. Watch the years melt away.

I’ve documented Indiana’s historic Michigan Road extensively. To read all about it, click here.

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9 responses to “Peeling back the layers of time: 86th St. and Michigan Rd. in Indianapolis”

  1. davidvanilla Avatar

    If you build it, (they) will come. Or did we build it because they came?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I think the biggest part of this was just the normal pushing out of a growing city.

  2. pesoto74 Avatar

    I wonder if we will come to regret the loss of vast amounts of farm land to accommodate the sprawl of car culture?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I do already.

  3. Derek Avatar

    Now an 8 lanes road in MI is harder to find :D

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Haven’t you ever been to Detroit? ;-)

      1. Derek Avatar

        I said “harder”, but yes I have been to Detroit. However roads are definitely not as wide everywhere else in MI. I just like how roads in other states named after Michigan seems to be “busier” than most of Michigan itself. E.g. Michigan Ave(?) in Chicago.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I’ve spent a lot of time on roads in southwestern Michigan, primarily in Cass County. The widest road I know of there is 4 lanes. When I was a kid, if it wasn’t highway, it wasn’t paved.

          1. Derek Avatar

            Further north you go, narrower they get (well probably with one exception) :D Should come back to MI with a road trip one of these days.

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