Posted by Kevin Kastner in Historical Posts
on Apr 25th, 2010
Last Thursday, I attended the Indy Connect meeting at 40th and Pennsylvania. While it was an informative meeting, and I was excited to be able to participate in the discussion with the planners, the most surprising contribution was from the Harmoni table. They displayed an impressive report, complete with sobering demographic statistics, as well as a call to arms to maintain and build on the current successes of the large region “between the rivers”. Here’s a rundown of ideas contained in this document:
- Express mass transit lines (perhaps a streetcar) down College Avenue, as well as a bus between Broad Ripple and Butler University and another that traverses 38th Street. This idea was also brought forward on Huston Street Racing.
- White River Recreational Park to feature the river as a destination.
- Connecting trails between the Monon and Canal Towpath along 46th and 52nd Street.
- Art 2 Art path between the Art Center and IMA.
- Enhanced neighborhood centers and employment centers.
- Form-based zoning codes in specific areas to encourage urban character.
- Complete streets for new infrastructure projects.
- Branding (not my area of interest here, to be sure, but I can understand the need).
With regards to the funding, the answer to that question is located in this document. The organization wishes to create an Economic Improvement District, which would allow the neighborhood to levy a tax on itself.
The neighborhood is telling the city that it can not wait any longer if it wants to improve its infrastructure. It’s an empowering idea; however, it needs to be mentioned that it is also an idea that is most likely to be implemented precisely because the North Side is the city’s favored quarter
As a blogger who attempts to cover and promote the entire city, I am unsure if this plan would simply exacerbate the problems associated with the other 3 quarters. I can say that there has been a welcome trickle of good news for the East side with regards to the Super Bowl Legacy
project and Pogues Run Grocery
opening soon. The city has received a $16 million dollar
green building grant. Martin Luther King Jr Street is getting a redesign and will become a two-lane street. Fountain Square is still adding cool attractions, although opinions are decidedly mixed on the new fountain.
Perhaps it’s naive of me to be optimistic at this point, but I do think we can still head in the right direction as a city, as long as we can become better connected, and don’t hide most of the ideas and investment up in one corner of the city. Overall, though, Harmoni has some great ideas and I personally will attempt to become more engaged in the process.