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Intersection in need of a re-design: Delaware and Fall Creek

If you’ve ever traveled this intersection in anything but a car, you know what I’m talking about here. The sidewalks end just south of Fall Creek Boulevard, only to reappear one block to the north. (Sidewalks are colored maroon). It’s no safer for cyclists: I’ve ridden in a bicycle north on Delaware towards Washington Boulevard, and pretty much felt like this. I’m not sure how we could reconfigure this intersection to be friendlier for all users, but it is currently a major barrier between Fall Creek Place and Mapleton-Fall Creek.

13 Responses to “ “Intersection in need of a re-design: Delaware and Fall Creek”

  1. Mike says:

    Kevin – since I'm on that intersection every day I figured I'd comment. You're right that this intersection is somewhat messy for anything other than cars, but interestingly enough it's very friendly for getting traffic out of the side streets and onto Fall Creek. I think a start would be simply to add "walk" signs on the west side of delaware that would indicate when you could cross Fall Creek. Few people turn West onto Fall Creek from any direction.. it would help pedestrians/cyclists to know when to cross, and not kill the volume of cars that can get onto Fall Creek going East/Northeast. Just a thought on how to start anyway…

  2. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the comment. It is a good intersection for traffic flow, there is no doubt about that.

    Good point about westbound Fall Creek. The area could easily use crosswalks.

    One probably radical idea I had (probably not going to happen) would be to drop the short northbound links to Talbot and Washington, and make Delaware a two-way street for one block. Then add more capacity for vehicles to the 2 blocks on 28th Street. It would obviously be less quick for a vehicle travel this way, but much safer for both the vehicles and the bikers/walkers. That way you would also reclaim land that is more amenable to development than the current system allows.

  3. CorrND says:

    They DEFINITELY need to rip out those Talbott/Washington links. They're are a complete waste of space and provide excessive preference to vehicular movement in the area.

    I think I wrote a while back on SCS about a vision for that area which would include some mid-rise buildings on the reclaimed blocks from the Talbott/Washington spurs. They'd have great views and it would present a cool wall of buildings along the north side of Fall Creek in that area.

    Putting the pedestrian crossing on the west side of the intersection is a good start, but I wonder if you could simply eliminate the left turn from Delaware to Fall Creek altogether. I'm not fan of completely restricting turning movements, but there's already a pattern of restricted car turns along Fall Creek and a left turn there is sort of pointless. The few cars that would want to turn left there have other options to get where they're going (e.g. Delaware –> 16th/22nd/25th –> Meridian).

  4. CorrND says:

    Oh, and I forgot about the best incentive for the city to rip out the spurs: they could SELL THE LAND for redevelopment!

    Ballard was interested in selling park land at one point, so he should love this idea!

  5. thundermutt says:

    I'll put on my Clarke Kahlo hat for a minute and assert the beauty and viability of that patch.

    Regardless of how the intersections might be rationalized, that should stay passive greenspace to provide a gateway into Mapleton Fall Creek that is attached (nominally) to the "Parkway" there.

    Never mind that the "Parkway" has been paved over from Central down to Meridian…it wasn't supposed to be. That funky traffic island provides a bit of needed greenspace at the edge of the development.

  6. CorrND says:

    I don't think I follow why there needs to be green space there. The immediate vicinity is already served by a Polin Park at 29th and Talbott. Would the neighborhood be better served by a green buffer or an infusion of residents and retail (which this area sorely lacks).

    If it were up to me, I'd reimagine the area around a 2-4 story commerial/residential node at 28th and Delaware.

  7. Curt says:

    As much as I like parks and green space, I think I agree with CorrND. And as it was pointed out, there are many other streets to get around a boondoggle of an area. Fall Creek Parkway, although glorious in its funciton, might as well be a freeway the way that it seperates the neighborhoods in this area.

  8. JG says:

    That neighborhood suffers from inappropriate use of one-way streets and streets that promote speeding and high traffic volume.

  9. cdc guy says:

    Indy Parks' master plan calls for the Fall Creek Trail to follow 28th St from Fall Creek & Central over to Illinois.

    I agree that the north side of 28th should be redeveloped as "beachfront" property along the trail. But building up the edge of the Parkway any more will just exacerbate the freeway effect commented on by others. The island actually performs a traffic-calming effect, though the effect would be increased with a stop sign for northbound Washington Blvd.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Creative redevelopment (on north side of Fall Creek) would be a much better gateway for Mapleton/Fall Creek neighborhood than a patch of useless green space. People do not utilize this space and I'm not sure that a piece of eye candy for driver-bys is that beneficial. Mapleton/Fall Creek would start feeling like an urban neighborhood if there were more businesses in this particular area to support both existing and future residential areas. Mid-rise residential could take advantage of the southern view while some smaller commercial businesses could be oriented toward the existing homes to the north. This creates a significant gateway between 2 prominent downtown neighborhoods while giving Mapleton/FC a sense of place. Greg Ballard's plan to sell these vast, underutilized parcels of parkland (which are too expensive to maintain) is a great idea to help build up the city. Why would anybody want to keep building out the suburban landscape we currently live in??? Greenspace should only follow the development of higher density, mix-used communities of the future.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A bicyclist will get struck and hurt here periodically; effin' dangerous:

    A. I was almost struck by a car at this intersection this summer while on a bike: I was waiting on the south side of Delaware in the To-Washington-Blvd. lane, heading north, when a crazy driver heading west on Fall Creek cut across the north-bound Delaware lanes when turning south on Delaware, on the bridge. Scary.

    B. Four weeks ago, I had just crossed Fall Creek on a bike while headed south on Delware, on the Fall Creek bridge, when I felt something on my left knee: it was the passenger-side door of an old Miata pressing against my leg. Luckily, somehow, my knee was stronger than the sheet metal or plastic panelling of the door, which was PUSHED IN by my knee. I yelled some profanities and the driver slowly pulled away from my leg, never looking at me and acting all normal.

    MAYBE WE NEED BIKES LANES north and south at this intersection and maybe BIKE ONLY times in the light sequences. Right now, it is the cat-in-front-of-the-dogs situation.

  12. Sarah B. says:

    Economic development and efficiency are often good things, but not at the expense of green space, no matter how inconvenient.

    We're covering the planet with synthetic and the spread of this stuff contributes to the erosion of our souls, values, and character — not to mention all the other ways we pollute this place.

    Personally, I like the green gateway and think it sends an appropriate message about the
    quality of life in Mapleton-Fall Creek.

  13. Muuka says:

    I look out on this intersection everyday. I think a major addition to this intersection and the intersection along the Fall Creek Corridor may be to include walking bridges from the northside to the southside of Fall Creek Parkway. I have seen at least 20 accidents since I moved to my office in May of 2010.

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