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The City-County Building Plaza: Our Community’s Backyard

The City-County Building Plaza: Our Community’s Backyard
Earlier this year, the City engaged a process to rethink the City-County Building (CCB) Plaza, located south of the CCB. Once home to the county courthouse, the plaza, developed alongside the shiny new home for local government, never managed to provide a great space for the public. Instead, the harsh materials, hostile green space, barricaded fountains and inaccessible pathways to the entrance of the CCB have created a barren environment and maintenance headache. On even the nicest of days, this space goes largely unused. It may serve forever as a memorial to design that was largely form-based, with...
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IHPC Quick Hits, October 8th

IHPC Quick Hits, October 8th
It has been about 2 years since the last quick hits post, but infill keeps happening, so here’s some of the proposals that Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission has been hearing recently: The biggest news recently was the approval of the Fire Fighter’s Credit Union Proposal. Fortunately, they have downsized the proposed parking lot to make room for a future art space fronting College Avenue. I wish this new lot didn’t have a curb cut along St. Clair, and instead used the existing alley. However, I will accept that their compromise is an improvement. Linked below is the image...
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Near South Side Apartment Proposal

Near South Side Apartment Proposal
Developer Craig Von Deylen has applied for a zoning variance on the Near South Side along Madison Avenue (page 7) to construct an apartment complex in an empty lot. Interestingly, the Concord Community Plan calls for commercial property to be installed at this location, however, the staff report mentions the large quantity of unused commercial real estate in the area. It’s a good idea to adjust to current demands for accommodating residential infill, which is a more promising market at this time. Shown below is a Preliminary Site Plan and rendering: The land use plan is relatively standard...
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Indianapolis Bike Share Numbers: Some Perspective

Indianapolis Bike Share Numbers: Some Perspective
The numbers for the first 6 months of the Pacers Bikeshare are in, and the program appears to be a success in comparison to a larger bike share in Denver. These numbers are nice to see, as they show that there is a demand for alternative modes of travel in the downtown area. A successful bikeshare like the one centered around the Indianapolis Cultural Trail will help to encourage future expansion. However, I do think this data should be read with a bit more caution.  It does not prove that Indianapolis is a greener city than Denver, as the Indy Star article suggests.  What it does prove is that this...
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White River Trail

White River Trail
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to ride my bicycle on the newest portion of the White River Trail. According to the city’s link, this trail extends from 30th Street to the Indianapolis Zoo, but the southern extension to Raymond Street has actually been completed for months. It already shows up on Google Maps (pan down a few frames to find the extension). The trail is a great opportunity to play tourist in your own town, featuring panoramic views of the downtown skyline. There are nice historical markers in place that were designed by the late Eric Fulford. Most of the ride is quite...
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Marott Center Addition Proposal

Marott Center Addition Proposal
An interesting new proposal has been posted on the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Council website for a mixed-use 4 story building fronting Massachusetts Avenue.   The address for the lot is actually 333 N Delaware.  The parking lot will remain on Delaware for now, but this building looks promising to me: Here is the site plan. Note the potential for curb bump out where the silly pedestrian island currently sits. Removing these dedicated and lightly-used turns for vehicles will only help Mass Ave’s pedestrian infrastructure: The rest of the renderings are shown below: ...
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Strong Towns Curbside Chat

Strong Towns Curbside Chat
Tomorrow evening, Chuck Marohn from Strong Towns is making an appearance at The Hall at 6:00 PM. Marohn has been a advocate for better planning practices for years, and does a fine job of boiling down complicated subjects into easily digestible snippets on his many youtube videos. I plan on attending tomorrow night to see what he has to say about Indianapolis, and I hope to see other fans of Urban Indy...
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Ground Breaking Possibilities: Indy’s New Downtown Transit Center

Ground Breaking Possibilities: Indy’s New Downtown Transit Center
Thursday September 25, city leaders, members of the IndyGo executive board and MPO will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the new Downtown Transit Center.  Situated on the Southeast corner of Washington and Delaware, the transit center will be the new hub for buses that travel downtown.  This edifice will be a much needed and welcomed alternative to the current cluster along Ohio Street.  At this point, only certain details regarding the design, costs, and retail center have been released to the public.  The center will have 20 bus bays, bicycle racks, and general seating inside.  However,...
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Bus Rapid Transit: The Red Line

Bus Rapid Transit: The Red Line
Yesterday, Indy Connect made a big splash on local media with the public announcement of a $2 million dollar grant for engineering along the proposed Red Line from Carmel to Greenwood.  This post intends to give a quick rundown of the information that we know, as well as provide the public a peek into how the buses will be run.  First, the links from local media: Indianapolis Business Journal IndyStar WTHR WISH WRTV Next, a link to the pdf document released from the city.  Some highlights below: That last image is interesting, because it displays a new technology that has been demonstrated in...
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IndyGo Seeks Your Input On Moving Forward

IndyGo Seeks Your Input On Moving Forward
IndyGo will be hosting public meetings on September 18th and 19th as a way to launch their new ‘IndyGo Forward’ campaign.  IndyGo  is in the midst of an in depth study of how the bus network works today and how the network can be improved to fit the needs of local residents for the future.   To ensure that an efficient and comprehensive system is the final result, IndyGo contracted Jarrett Walker and Associates to aid them in the study.  Mr. Walker, along with other representatives from his firm, will be in attendance at each of the meetings.  Topics of discussion will include route...
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