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Friday Fun: Self-Driving Cars (in 2009)

There’s been a lot of talk in urban circles about how the implementation of self-driving vehicles will impact transportation in the future. Most of that talk is way out of my league, but I do have experience actually riding in a self-driven vehicle. Back in 2009, my wife and I visited Japan, and we checked out their futuristic island outside of Tokyo called Odaiba. It happened to include this exhibit for self-driving cars that visitors could ride in for free. So, we figured, why not? Who knows if we’ll ever do this again? Apologies for the poor quality. It’s a video of a video, shot...
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The Cultural Trail in front of Conrad Hotel: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

The Cultural Trail in front of Conrad Hotel: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
The crown jewel in our city’s livable infrastructure, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail has been cited in almost every publication or promotional piece. Most recently, it was mentioned in The Vogue magazine. But there is one half of a block where it basically stops in deference to a hotel’s valet parking zone. The Conrad has insisted that it is trying to be a good neighbor, but that it has no choice but to use this zone for vehicles. A few weeks ago, this was the hilariously sad scene: After seeing this photo, I tweeted out a joke that they might as well host a tailgate party on the remaining...
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Remixing East 52nd Street

Remixing East 52nd Street
The running center turn lane on East 52nd Street (and many other streets around town) is a monument to traffic engineering winning over everything else: This configuration has bugged me for years. There is an unprotected bike lane, yes, but also a very narrow sidewalk with poles in the middle of it. I decided to see what else could be done with only 48 feet of right-of-way width, as shown below: There’s a great tool for this task on the web called Streetmix. It enables citizens to imagine different street configurations. There were a number of constraints that I worked with: 10 foot travel lane...
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Matt Impink on Transit in Indy

Matt Impink on Transit in Indy
Come join us this Thursday, August 25th at 7 PM to hear a presentation made by Matt Impink of the Indy Chamber as he covers the background and future of transit in Indianapolis. Matt will be covering the current facts about transit in Indy as well as the talking about the Indy Connect transit plan for the near term and longer term. This will be a chance to ask questions about the Red Line plan as well as the upcoming transit referendum on the ballot this fall. Please try to RSVP on the Strong Indy meetup page if you plan to attend. Also feel free to share this invitation with anyone who might be...
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New Poll Shows Support for Mass Transit Referendum in Marion County

New Poll Shows Support for Mass Transit Referendum in Marion County
Indy’s Congregation Action Network commissioned a poll for the upcoming Mass Transit referendum. The results are encouraging to supporters, however I’m going to take this with a grain of salt. This is an organization that supports transit, and not an independent media source. Still, I figured it would be good to link it here in case anyone was curious to see a potential reading of the November electorate. Without some independent polls, though, we can’t average out the results to find a better...
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Guest Post from Kate Dobson: Vote Yes on Election Day

Guest Post from Kate Dobson: Vote Yes on Election Day
This is the 4th article in a series of guest posts in support of expanded transit access in Indianapolis. The first three can be seen here, here, and here. T.S. Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” In 2014, I spent nine months in northeast Brazil teaching English. This region of Brazil is stereotyped within the country as backwards and slow in contrast with the economically and culturally more developed southeast region. As a Midwesterner who has heard a fair share of...
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Guest Post from Nick Ison: Sustainability and Connectivity: Values that move us

Guest Post from Nick Ison: Sustainability and Connectivity: Values that move us
This is the 3rd post in a series of guest posts in support of increased transit access in Indianapolis. The first 2 can be read here and here.   In 2005, I moved from Indiana to attend college in Boston. Next came Philadelphia and Princeton to pursue a job and a masters degree respectively. When I returned to live at College and Kessler in 2014 though, I was anxious. Big east coast cities have a lot to offer a young professional, and I was worried that Indianapolis wouldn’t stack up. What I quickly found, however, was just the opposite: when friends from New York would call and complain about...
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Red Line Public Meetings begin next week

Red Line Public Meetings begin next week
With the Red Line approaching the final stages of planning, the Department of Public Works and IndyGo is holding a series of meetings for public input. We encourage the public to attend and express support for expanding transit options here in Indianapolis. Dates, times, and locations are listed below. I’m hoping to attend the one at the College Avenue Library next...
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Mixed Use Apartment Proposal for Fountain Square

Mixed Use Apartment Proposal for Fountain Square
A new proposal has been filed with the Indianapolis Department of Development for a multi-story mixed-use building on Prospect Street, just east of Santorini. The developer is Jackson Development, with architecture from Blackline: There are some quibbles, namely a lack of landscaping along Prospect. But overall, this is a relatively solid infill...
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New on Urban Indy: A Public Transportation Comparison, by Brad Gottschlich

New on Urban Indy: A Public Transportation Comparison, by Brad Gottschlich
This is the second post in the series from citizens who support the Indy Connect Referendum:     As an undergraduate at Ball State University I participated in a summer-long study abroad in the summer of 2010 near Munich, Germany, and lived with a host family there. Not a day went by that summer without interaction with public transportation as my primary means of getting around – with some ease I might add. This was a lesson that stuck with me upon my return to Indiana. In 2013, I was working as a post-undergraduate intern at the Indiana State Senate and the issues surrounding central...
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