So with the 5.5" of the Valentine's Day Surprise on the front lawn, we are now a mere inch away from the snowiest winter (Dec-Feb) on record in Indianapolis, but still almost eight inches off the snowiest yearly total.
For all the fun talk about "Weather Guessers", weather forecasting is a lot different now than it was as recently as the '60s and '70s, before widespread availability of satellite and radar. The snow was no surprise, and neither was the amount; as far back as Wednesday they were calling for ~4" of snow in the central part of the state.
It's just that as late as Thursday, the fat part of the snowfall track was expected to pass about fifty miles farther south than it did, giving Indy an inch or two at best. From the comments at the linked article, it's obvious some of my fellow Circle City residents heard "1-2 inches" without stopping to hear the part about how is was supposed to be snowing 4-5 inches only a county or two away, and extrapolate some possible scenarios from that.
As far as the road clearing goes, it wouldn't shock me to find out that there had been some wishful thinking going on downtown as late as Friday morning, what with salt supplies dwindling and a call for 40° temps by Monday or Tuesday.