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MPO Transit Meeting

The Metropolitan Planning Organizatation held one of their 6 Public Forums last night on North Keystone Avenue. I attended and was quite surprised with the amount of backlash against the rapid transit study by a few citizens that attended. I feel that the backlash was partially tied to the general outrage against recent tax increases, as well as fear for what the transit will do to their neighborhoods. I can appreciate their concerns. It is something to keep in mind when dealing with development. Even though I think transit will have a positive impact on the neighborhoods around it, it will change the area, and of course there will always be people that resist change.

The real shame in all of this is the demise of the interurban and streetcars of the past. Rapid transit will only get more expensive the more we delay in starting the project. Federal funding is also a major issue as we’re competing with other major cities for a limited amount of resources. The city need to show that we deserve funding by increasing our density and improving our bus network. We have a long way to go.

8 Responses to “ “MPO Transit Meeting”

  1. bhorg says:

    Anyone opposed to mass transit in Indianapolis is a flippin’ moron. Also if something solid isn’t in the works or already started by 2012 I’m outta here. I don’t know how much longer I handle living in a city w/o proper transit.

  2. Kevin says:

    It is getting frustrating for me as well. I think CWilson on the skyscraper forum seems to have some good info on the progress of this. BTW, I learned last night that approval of the light rail project will require approval from our surrounding counties. Scary, huh?

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s going to affect the surrounding counties, and I’m sure they will TAX the surrounding counties to build it, so why wouldn’t they have a say in its approval?

    FWIW, I don’t want to sound like a NIMBY jerk, but I REALLY don’t want a light rail system on the Nickel Plate line, which literally goes nearly through my backyard. We would have little use for it and it will destroy the property values in our neighborhood. I still would likely have to drive at least a mile or so to get to a station where it would pick me up, and guess what? Neither I nor my husband work downtown. So we would get all of the minuses and none of the plusses.

  4. Kevin says:

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t have a say in the process. Marion County doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

    My preferred route would be a streetcar down College Avenue (crazy thought since it was built around streetcars), but then I live 2 blocks from it, so I’m greedy.

    It doesn’t matter which route is taken, really, because there will always be people against it. It’s possible that they will take the path of least resistance, decide against transit, then I feel Indianapolis will suffer a great loss.

  5. Netts says:

    Honestly, that sounds pretty “nimby” to me… but it’s understandable. This shows me that we need to get this going ASAP before we start building more neighborhoods in the way of future mass transit routes. Those neighborhoods (and their concerned inhabitants) are going to increase our problem of over dependance on fossil fuels by looking out for their own self interests. The sooner we get this thing going the less problems we will have like this!

  6. The Urbanophile says:

    Kevin, it is crazy to run a streetcar down College when it would be much cheaper, easier, and better to run buses down College. In fact, we already do it and College has the best bus service in the city. Alas, that’s still pretty poor. For about 1-2% of what a light rail line would cost, the city could start real bus service on College that would start paying transit dividends to the city right away, and prove the ridership figures. If it was wildly popular, light rail could be added to it later.

  7. Kevin says:

    I agree with you that it’s out of the realm of possibilities now. I do take the College bus in to work about once a week. I like your idea.

  8. bhorg says:

    “I still would likely have to drive at least a mile or so to get to a station where it would pick me up?”

    Boohoo! I takes anywhere between 12-20 minutes to walk a mile. If you’re getting in your car to go the distance of a mile every time, you’re just part of the problem anyway. My apologies if you’re disabled, but I see people get in their car to go to the convenience store 2 BLOCKS AWAY to buy soda and cheetos. Walking is such an underused form of transportation in Indy.

    Public transit systems are designed to be an asset to the community and in certain cases your proximity to them will actually raise your property value.

    Also, College Ave isn’t really wide enough for street car service.. Unless they only allow parking on one side. Keystone Ave is really the answer.

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