In the case of Indianapolis, it's probably because Marion County didn't prepare their roads for snowfall.
This past Sunday, my wife and I had to drive back to Indianapolis from Decatur, Illinois. We drove cautiously on our way back, but aside from winds blowing snow across the interstate, the highways of Illinois were clear. We reached the Indiana state line, and the quality of the road treatment dropped dramatically. Nothing, however, compared to the dismal state of the roads within Marion County.
I-74 was unplowed through Hancock and Marion Counties. Interstates 465 and 65 suffered equal neglect. It was after midnight as I travelled the highways, yet I did not see a single snow plow out treating the roadways.
I'm willing to acknowledge that perhaps I-74 is not a high priority roadway, but surely 465 should receive immediate attention. Am I to believe that small towns throughout Illinois and Indiana are better equipped to handle snowfall than Indianapolis?
It seems that the INDOT team is shocked each year when snow falls and sticks to the roadways. If INDOT Commissioner Michael Cline lacks the imagination to effectively treat Indianapolis roadways during winter weather, I would be happy to work as a consultant. Anything would be better than the mess I experienced Sunday as I travelled home after the storm.