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A ghost bike on Indy’s South Side—an outlier or a signifier of greater road safety needs?

A ghost bike on Indy’s South Side—an outlier or a signifier of greater road safety needs?
It’s not typical of me to dive right back into a subject just two months after having written about it previously, but I can’t help myself: ghost bikes are an increasingly visible feature of the urbanized landscape.  (I also guess the medium is a little different this time around, because I’m asking the question on Urban Indy, regarding an Indianapolis ghost bike.)  And, as I depicted in my previous article at American Dirt, which featured featured a white-painted bike memorial in a completely uninhabited mega-park in Albuquerque, sometimes they’re in areas where one’s first reaction is to...
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Branding the border crossing: when one side of the boundary builds a landmark…and absorbs all the monumentality.

Branding the border crossing: when one side of the boundary builds a landmark…and absorbs all the monumentality.
The City of Indianapolis deploys the word “monument” far more than most American cities, and not without good reason.  Most metrics indicate that it has the second highest concentration of memorials, landmarks, and civic plazas (behind only our nation’s capitol), and the landmark that gives the city its well-defined absolute center—the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument—comprises a geometrically precise plaza called “Monument Circle”–hence the nickname “Circle City”.  Indy’s popular marathon takes the name “Monumental”, not only as a hat-tip to the city’s numerous...
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Pandemic Parking: Reclaiming the Streets for Embattled Restaurants, Through the Parklets of Al Fresco Dining

Pandemic Parking: Reclaiming the Streets for Embattled Restaurants, Through the Parklets of Al Fresco Dining
I’m revisiting this site after a long, long hiatus, not because I’m back in Indy or because I have an update on development and planning.  These days, I barely make it back more than a few days each year.  And this article will not feature Indy-based photos.  But, after all those disclaimers, let me make my case: I still diligently follow the goings-on in the Circle City, and I think a subtle discoveries like the one featured here can show precisely how cities like Indianapolis can further leverage the novel approaches that they’re currently pioneering.  Specifically, let’s explore the...
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Guest Post by Ben Platz: Midtown’s new Nexus

Guest Post by Ben Platz: Midtown’s new Nexus
Hello everyone. This is an amazingly detailed guest post that was sent to me. Consider this to be leisure reading while hunkering down during the Coronavirus. Summary: The mission of Midtown’s New Nexus is to adapt the Indiana State Fairgrounds to its urban setting to maximize the utility of adjacent pedestrian trails and upcoming transit improvements. The current conditions of the two hundred fifty acre site diminish walkability and transit suitability while wasting the potential to substantially increase the tax base of Indianapolis. The creation of a new neighborhood, Midtown’s New Nexus, could...
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My Final Post on UrbanIndy.com: Let’s Go Out with a Walk

My Final Post on UrbanIndy.com: Let’s Go Out with a Walk
Due to current life obligations, I’m unable to continue posting on UrbanIndy.com. It has been a good run, but my time has come to an end. I hope that during the past 12+ years, I’ve been able to contribute to a new conversation in Indianapolis. I don’t want to go out with a whimper, though. On Saturday, April 11th at 2 pm, 13 years to the day from the founding of Urbanindy.com, I will host a final downtown walking tour. Usually the tour culminates in a restaurant or bar. Details on this event will be forthcoming, although not on this blog. If you are interested in joining on the tour,...
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A Look at Mass Ave Infill via Surface Parking Lots:

A Look at Mass Ave Infill via Surface Parking Lots:
Now that we’ve reached the end of 2019, I thought it would be a good time to revisit an older post on Mass Ave Parking Lots. The post has a parking lot visualization on it based on 2011 data. Recently I was able to find the file that I used for this blog post, and clipped out the parking lots as of 2019: Here are some big changes, starting from NE to SW: Bottleworks is still under construction, and has eaten away at a good chunk of surface parking. 747 North has been constructed at Mass and College. Not a new development, but the parking lot at Barton Towers East was reconfigured to open room...
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What Could Happen With Lafayette Square Mall? A Lot, or Maybe Not?

What Could Happen With Lafayette Square Mall? A Lot, or Maybe Not?
Last week, news broke that the property containing Lafayette Square Mall was for sale. Most of the mall has been struggling or vacant for years. But I want to focus on the land. This is a huge chunk of land that is basically 100 percent hardscape. How much land is this? I’ve overlaid the selected parcels onto the downtown imagery for perspective. It stretches from the downtown Kroger at Michigan/Capitol all of the way to City Way at Virginia/Louisiana. This is a massive, massive property. So, what can be done with it? First of all, Lafayette Square was built with the car in mind. However, there...
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One Less Car Downtown

One Less Car Downtown
Last week, I gave my prepaid parking pass back to my workplace. This is something I’ve been looking forward to doing for a long time, and fortunately, my place of work has agreed to provide for my bus passes. Weekday Red Line service has been pretty-good-to-very-good so far. I’ve basically turned the station closest to my house into my own personal park-and-ride. Yes, I’m still using a car. After work, I need to pick my kids up from their schools. I don’t have a cargo bike. I’m bad at this urbanism thing. Still, I won’t miss driving and parking downtown one bit. Few...
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Save the date: Urban Indy Red Line Meetup, September 14

Save the date: Urban Indy Red Line Meetup, September 14
On September 14th, starting at 4 pm, Urban Indy will host a Red Line Meet-up. Here’s our tentative schedule: 4-5 Twenty Tap, at 54th and College Using the nice new IndyGo Ride Planner, we will plan to catch the Red Line downtown to the Transit Center at 5:06 pm. Dinner downtown at Pearl Street Pizza, which is about a block away. Ride the Red Line again to the end of the line, starting at 6:43 pm: This stop on the Red Line is conveniently right next to a Books and Brews location. Many of the establishments along the southern end of the Red Line will be participating in a special Red Line event on...
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This is for us

This is for us
Mass transit will never be the same again in Indianapolis. Finally, after years of planning, public meetings, and construction, Indianapolis is going to kick off the Red Line in less than a month. Lately, I’ve been seeing some online hand-wringing from residents that seem to be rooting for the system to fail.  And I suppose that’s only natural here in Indy. It’s big, it’s obvious, and it’s…not for cars? It took away auto lanes? What a not-in-Indy thing. Sure, we’ve nibbled around the edges with reclaiming the public space for all things non-auto (thank you...
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