Good morning, and welcome to a new week. It's the best time of the year to live here. Let's enjoy it.

🌧️ Today's weather: Rain likely with a high of 76.

🗓️ Situational awareness: Mark your calendars for May 17. We'll be at Centerpoint Brewery from 6-8pm to chat with readers.

  • First round is on us!

Today's newsletter is 877 words — a 3-minute read. Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Gail Hughes.

1 big thing: 🚗 Indy's smooth pothole season

Average winter temperatures in Indianapolis
Data: Climate Central; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pothole season has come and gone with relatively little notice.

Driving the news: Indianapolis received 10,758 service requests for potholes between Jan. 1 and the end of April, down from 27,864 during the same period last year.

  • The city averaged 17,410 potholes over the past 10 years.

What they're saying: The public works department attributes Indianapolis' tolerable pothole season to "continued investment in the maintenance and rehabilitation" of streets under Mayor Joe Hogsett.

Reality check: It's the weather.

Why it matters: Climate change is easing Indianapolis' pothole burden even as the city struggles to chip away at a $1 billion-plus infrastructure deficit.

  • Potholes form when water expands and contracts during freeze-thaw cycles.
  • When the temperature stays above freezing, there are fewer potholes.

State of play: Indianapolis just had its second-warmest winter since 1970, with an average temperature near 37 degrees, per Climate Central.

  • Last winter was almost five degrees warmer than average.

The big picture: Winter is the fastest-warming season for much of the continental U.S., Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.

  • About 80% of the country now has at least seven more winter days with above-normal temperatures, compared with 1970, per Climate Central.
  • Not only are winters warming overall, but cold snaps are becoming less severe and shorter in duration, the latest research shows.

By the numbers: Indianapolis' worst pothole winter during the past decade was 2018 when citizens reported more than 30,000 — as the average temperature dropped below 31 degrees.

  • The lightest year was 2016, with 8,519 potholes reported, when the average temperature was 35.5 degrees.

The bottom line: Hogsett has increased spending on street work, including $50 million on resurfacing over the past two years and $10 million on strip-patching this year, but the city's streets remain in overall poor condition.

2. Six-figure households fill apartments

Affluent renters opting out of homeownership are driving Indianapolis' apartment boom.

Driving the news: Downtown Indianapolis has added over 3,000 apartments in the past five years, with more than 1,700 on the way through next year, per the IBJ.

  • Much of the investment has focused on high-end projects, such as The Whit and 360 Market Square, which cater to professionals with hotel-like amenities, including rooftop pools, dog parks and fitness centers that rival expensive health clubs.

By the numbers: The number of Indianapolis-area renters earning $150,000 or more nearly doubled from 4,789 to 9,506 between 2016 and 2021, per U.S. Census data.

  • That's higher than the national average increase of 87.5%.
  • During the same period, renter-occupied households among all income levels in Indianapolis ticked up just 4% to about 275,000.

The big picture: Apartment construction is booming nationwide, Axios' Sami Sparber writes.

  • Historically, new rental housing tends to hit at the higher end of the market, Chris Salviati, senior economist at Apartment List, tells Axios.
  • That trend has become more pronounced in recent years as rising project costs squeeze developers, he says.

Between the lines: High listing prices and mortgage rates aren't making homebuying as desirable as it once was, Salviati says.

  • "A lot of folks in that high-income band, who in the past would have owned homes, are now continuing to rent — whether that's for lifestyle reasons or because they are feeling like it's not a good time to buy," he says.

3. Pit stop: National eyes on a suburban race

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🗳️ The Carmel mayoral race is getting attention from the upper echelons of politics, with President Biden's former chief of staff, Ron Klain, and former Vice President Mike Pence watching it as a bellwether for their respective parties. (Politico)

🏨 The city of Indianapolis is taking over financing for the $510 million, 814-room hotel project at Pan Am Plaza. Developer Kite Realty Group says the market to fund the project has dried up.

  • The hotel is part of a broader project to expand the Indiana Convention Center. (IBJ)

🏠 Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill last week that will provide property tax relief — but not until next year. (State Affairs)

🚔 Indianapolis police responded to several fatal shootings over the weekend, including one in Fountain Square. (Indy Star)

4. 🌮 Meatless Monday: Tacos and Tequila on Main

Trust me, they're under there! Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

Welcome back to Meatless Monday, in which we try to find the best meat-free meals in Indy.

👋 Arika, here! The végétarien tour de Speedway continues, this time at Tacos and Tequila on Main.

While there are plenty of meat-free options on the menu (one of them's right in the name of the restaurant 😉), I'm looking for options beyond a cheese quesadilla.

What to order: Tacos Dorados — with potato! Also known as a taquito, the idea of a rolled tortilla filled and fried until crunchy isn't new, but the potato option is a thoughtful meat-free alternative and the soft texture of it against the extra crunchy exterior is 👌.

  • The dinner portion is topped with salad and comes with a side of rice and beans. There's a lunch option, too.

Cost: $13.50.

If you go: 1502 Main St., Speedway. 11am-10pm Monday through Friday, 11am-11pm Saturday.

On the job hunt?

👀 Check out who's hiring on our Job Board.

  1. Director of Policy & Data at Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana.
  2. Sr. Production/Depot Supervisor at V2X.
  3. Management and Program Analyst at US Customs and Boarder Patrol.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. 🚧 1 finished bridge to go

Photo: Lindsey Erdody/Axios

At long last, Near Eastsiders, the Nowland Avenue Bridge is open.

Driving the news: Pathways Over Pogue's and local officials celebrated the project's completion yesterday.

Flashback: The original bridge was designed and built in 1903.

  • A neighborhood effort to repair its deteriorating condition started more than six years ago. After years of fundraising, construction finally began in March 2022 and finished late last year.

Our picks:

👪 James is off the rest of the week to push a stroller around town — maybe to the zoo and some trails.

📰 Arika is back in town and taking over from here.

🌱 Lindsey planted her first attempt at a garden over the weekend. Wish her luck.

Like our newsletter? Help us grow and share it with a friend!