The picture above is obviously not Avon (note the hill), but the built environment doesn’t look much different. US 36 is basically the only option for a person driving from Danville to Indianapolis, and it might be the best (worst?) example of unplanned sprawl in the metro area. This article in the Star mentions that the town is gathering ideas for alternative options for US 36. One can sense a backlash against sprawl in the article:
AVON — Town officials, business owners and residents said Wednesday they hope to avoid a future of heavy traffic, busy signage and sterile strip mall construction along Avon’s major roadway, U.S. 36.
Avon Planning Director Christine Owens Wednesday led a meeting to generate ideas for building guidelines, known as an overlay district, for the section of the highway within the town’s limits. The guidelines would set standards for building architecture and landscape in the district.
About 15 people attended the Town Hall meeting. Participants said they liked the use of landscaping, decorative lighting and crosswalks, but they disliked busy signage, strip center layouts and giant parking lots.“When you own a business you want to make sure your sign is out there,” said Dawn Eising, who owns the Subway on the much-traveled roadway. “U.S. 36 is a busy thoroughfare, so people only have a few seconds to see that sign. From a residential standpoint, people who live here, they don’t want the buildings to be billboards.”Those at the meeting brainstormed ideas that were straightforward, such as reducing traffic flow and improving communication with the Indiana Department of Transportation. Other ideas were more imaginative.“I would like to see 36 with a monorail system going all the way to Danville and to Indianapolis, with a spike to the airport,” said Joe Shimrock, an Avon resident who owns property along U.S. 36.
Can US 36 be saved? It would take a huge investment to change the suburban nature of the road. The fact they are looking at other options speaks well for them. I just hope it’s not too little, too late.