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New York Street in the Mile Square: Walk at Your Own Risk

New York Street in the Mile Square: Walk at Your Own Risk
Recently via twitter, some residents alerted me about a new sidewalk closure that had to be seen to be believed. Sidewalk closures for construction are common around Indy, and I have yet to see accommodations made for pedestrians via temporary barriers placed on the street. Even the City County Building was guilty of this during the Lugar Plaza construction, and they should be the most aware of public needs of anyone. There’s usually a sign alerting people to cross the street before the closure, but to me, that’s not good enough. We can do better than that. And here’s an example...
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Looking at Safety from a Pedestrian’s Eye

Looking at Safety from a Pedestrian’s Eye
An important note: Urban Indy is planning on providing weekly construction updates for the Red Line. If you have any construction photos to share, please let me know at kevin dot kastner at gmail dot com. Construction has started in my neck of the woods for the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit project. With all construction projects, there will be adjustments to be made. However, some who are opposed are putting up an effort on opposing the line, arguing that the dedicated bus line will hurt response times of emergency vehicles. Actually, safety must be an option right now. If you’ve ever tried to...
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Market and New Jersey: The Evolution of an Urban Corner

Market and New Jersey: The Evolution of an Urban Corner
Now that Public Greens is open on the corner of NJ and Market, I figured it would be a good time to see the evolution of this corner, which less than a decade ago was an urban disaster. How bad was it in, say, 2007? This bad: The opposite corner was not any better. It was a surface parking lot for over a decade after the demolition of Market Square Arena: I also looked at the corner in 2011: The construction that is visible in the last photo is merely a gravel parking lot turning into a paved parking lot, to match the other paved lot on the north side of the street. Flash...
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Downtown Indianapolis Parking Lot Comparison: 2011 to 2018

Downtown Indianapolis Parking Lot Comparison: 2011 to 2018
Back in 2012, Curt Ailes posted an article containing a few maps of the surface parking lots downtown. After these maps came up on twitter, I figured that now would be a good time to compare the lots to what currently exists. First , I took the old lots and contrasted them with the new ones. The new configurations are shown in red below, whereas the 2011 parking lots are shown in blue: Next, the more interesting map for our purposes. The parking lots shown in red are the ones from 2011 , while the blue ones are the existing lots: There are fewer large blocks of...
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Indy Needs an Open, Public City Hall

Indy Needs an Open, Public City Hall
Recent History For most of the past 2 decades, Old City Hall was a jack-of-all trades. It was the site of the Indiana State Museum when I arrived here in 1999. Later, it became the temporary home of the Central Library, while the original one undertook an extensive renovation. After the library moved back to its original location, the City Hall saw several other temporary uses. During the 2012 Super Bowl, it housed a large public art exhibit called “Turf“. It was even home to Yelp’s Christmas Bazaar. Its most recent incarnation was as “The Hall”. The Department of...
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Helping with the Marion County Land Use Plan

Helping with the Marion County Land Use Plan
In the summer of 2018 I found myself sitting in a room with a small number of other people, making decisions about how land in Marion County should be used. I’m a computer person by trade with no background in land use planning. How did I end up here?   The Impetus The Long-Range Planning group in Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development had a challenge: Tasked with not only updating the balkanized and aged Marion County Land Use Plan, but in keeping with the vision of Plan 2020, which includes enabling the broader community to bring their expertise and interests to the task, how...
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The Indianapolis’ Sidewalk Donut

The Indianapolis’ Sidewalk Donut
I work on map layers for Indianapolis, and recently I’ve been updating the sidewalk layer. Something that really jumps out is a donut that’s about 6-8 miles out from the center of the city which has very few sidewalks. Aaron Renn of the Urbanophile might call this the new donut. There are some noted exceptions here, especially within the excluded cities of Beech Grove and Lawrence. But, the city went through a ~2 decade period of purposely not building new sidewalks. Much of that development lies within this donut: This area of the city was largely developed between the 1950’s and the...
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Indiana: The State That Works. Twice!

Indiana: The State That Works. Twice!
Recently, I was traveling with the family on I-70 just south of downtown. We hit a bad traffic snarl just to the west of the south split. The traffic jam allowed my wife to notice something amusing in the large “attractions” sign: I didn’t notice this quirk at all. But, sure enough, Indiana Govt Cntr is listed on the same sign twice. Soon after that, we went down the list of many of the other attractions downtown that were left off due to this redundancy. I’m not sure if this says anything about anything, other than the sign makers really want people to know that this is the...
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One Up, One Down…

One Up, One Down…
There was a recent petition to demolish the old gymnasium building at 625 S Meridian to be replaced with…a surface parking lot, which was modified to be a “plaza”. This building is within the Regional Center, but not within an IHPC district, so it will likely be approved.     Somewhat ironically, a new petition as submitted for Regional Center Approval for a new building immediately adjacent to the above. These are separate lots and, I believe, separate owners, but it is sad to think that, in essentially the exact same location, it doesn’t make sense to re-purpose an...
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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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