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Land Use Plans Are Not Sacred Texts

Land Use Plans Are Not Sacred Texts
Recently, a spate of reasonable proposals have been shot down by the Metropolitan Development Commission due to fears of over-densification. The MDC has been using previous neighborhood land use plans to defend their repeated denials. While it may be true that the most recent land use plan called for a different type of development, that does not mean that there can not be some wiggle room left for development of multi-family residences. The best recent example of this is in Fountain Square, starting on page 41. A run-down old tire shop could be redeveloped as a small duplex. Some renderings are shown...
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A Proposal to Narrow Market Street

A Proposal to Narrow Market Street
The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Committee has posted a proposal (page 133) to narrow a portion of Market Street right downtown. This narrowing will also extend over in front of the City County Building, taking out the un-urban car drop off point. This portion of Market Street is just outside of the IHPC Jurisdiction, and I currently don’t have any renderings of it. I’ve attached the IHPC’s segment here: ...
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DMD Open House

DMD Open House
Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development has a major public outreach event scheduled this Friday. I’m planning on attending. Here are the details: October 5, 2018 6PM-9PM Exhibition on City Planning (Harrison Center, 1505 N Delaware St) And here is the promotional blurb: Enjoy an evening of art, cast your vote for your favorite team in the Thriving Neighborhood Challenge, and let your voice be heard on FOUR major city plans: the Marion County Land Use Plan, Thrive Indianapolis, the White River Vision Plan, and IndyMoves!  IndyGo will also be on hand with information on the rapid...
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Nickel Plate Trail Possible for Future

Nickel Plate Trail Possible for Future
Yesterday, the Indy Star dropped one of the more enticing nuggets that I’ve seen in a while. A 50 mile long connected loop of a trail between the Monon, Midland Trace Trail, and Nickel Plate would at the very least help to provide an alternative to the traffic-clogged northeast corridor. I’d encourage this trail development, and I would hope that they will still maintain the rail right-of-way. However, it must be noted that the Nickel Plate’s path is quite suburban in makeup. It would make more sense for the Monon Trail to be rail than for the Nickel Plate, but with the future Red...
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Indiana’s Bike Safety Rankings – A Guest Post by Tom Doehrman

Indiana’s Bike Safety Rankings – A Guest Post by Tom Doehrman
Indiana is the 12th least bicycle-friendly state in the country. The news comes from the League of American Bicyclists in the wake of a comprehensive, independent study that looked at factors ranging from government biking policies and programs to the funding and completion of bike-related infrastructure. Through its Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program, the League strives to help states and the business, universities, and communities within them with a mission to “make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people.” Despite its praise of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (a...
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A Map of The 2016 Transit Referendum, Correlated with the Presidential Vote

A Map of The 2016 Transit Referendum, Correlated with the Presidential Vote
I’ve always tried to avoid the topic of politics on this blog. I’ve long felt that the core values of Urban Indy could appeal to a wide spectrum of the general public. With that in mind, I decided it still would be interesting to see how many Indianapolis precincts split their tickets in 2016. A general narrative is that Democrats are usually friendlier to transit than Republicans, but this precinct map shows that there are plenty of exceptions to that narrative within Indianapolis: This is just a subset of who won in each precinct. There are also variations within each precinct that cut...
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7 Crazy Ideas to Transform the City – A Gentle Rebuttal

7 Crazy Ideas to Transform the City – A Gentle Rebuttal
Recently, the Indy Star’s editor published an article inspired by readers who had some ideas for how to revitalize the city.  As well-intentioned as they are, from our point of view, they didn’t tackle one of our city’s core issues: residential density. We’ve put together a list of 7 ideas that hope to address this. Our city’s sprawled-out manner has hurt our bottom line, as we have had to spread our limited funds, resulting in large areas with crumbling infrastructure. Here are some low-to-middle cost ideas to tackle our city’s ongoing issues: 1) Change the zoning...
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Guest Post by Anonymous: Scooters are not the Problem

Guest Post by Anonymous: Scooters are not the Problem
Editor’s note: this article does not necessarily reflect my personal opinion. I welcome a counterpoint article, which I would also post anonymously. This post was written before the scooters were removed from the streets. Scooters Are Not the Problem Recently, Indianapolis has been taken over by a new form of transportation: scooters! These little objects are a new form of micromobility for the city; a means of getting around without a single-occupancy vehicles. They’re nimble, easily accessible, and take up very little space. But first, a little clarity; what is micromobility and how does it...
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New Student Housing Development

New Student Housing Development
Another parking lot may bite the dust. Here is a continuation of developments along Indiana...
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Remnant Sidewalks Part III: The Pedestrian Bridge over Madison Avenue

Remnant Sidewalks Part III: The Pedestrian Bridge over Madison Avenue
This is the third post in a series on sidewalks or pathways that exist in places where no car traffic can travel. Parts I and II can be found here and here. The near south-side seems to have a decent amount of these remnant sidewalks for some reason. One of the most endearing is the pedestrian bridge over Madison Avenue, which connects Lincoln with Palmer Street. In an ideal world, kids could cross this bridge to and from the school located on the bottom right of this aerial: The area has long featured some of our more intriguing graffiti: This is a well-trodden footpath that looks slightly...
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