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Multimodal Study Prioritizes Transit Based Development in Carmel

Carmel Circulator Loops (image from MPO report)

Carmel Circulator Loops (image from MPO report)

A recently completed study by private consultant Storrow & Kinsella looked at the future of the Carmel region and how to lay a road map to sustain the success of recent and current projects going on in the quickly urbanizing suburb located 15 miles north of downtown Indianapolis. (click here to be taken the report on the Indianapolis MPO website) a number of the maps referenced are also easily viewed here

While I philospohically struggle to justify putting this story here at Urban Indy instead of my own blog due to it’s not-so-Indianapolis geographical location, it has regional implications that are worth the reading, and could also serve as a call to action for Indianapolis’ civic leaders.

The study recently completed was funded by a federal transporation grant and represents the collaboaration of the City of Carmel and the Indianapolis MPO. Contained within, are a number of suggestions that would nudge Carmel into a modal shift from a car centric city center, to a more transit oriented mode; a move which seems to be matched by the current pattern of development in the Carmel city center area. The study aims to provide ways to sustain that economic development through transit oriented means.

The report is 232 pages and represents a complete and in depth look at what the future of Carmel could look like, should city officials decide to pursue the recomendations and proper funding be put into bringing it to fruition. It plots a path starting with multiple transit districts laid out in parts of the Carmel area which are geographically similar and which are all connected to a central transit hub that is located near where the current IndyGO ICE routes pickup and drop off.

A “rubber tired” based trolley system would be used for the first phase. Complete routes are recommended for additional future circulators also utilizing rubber tire based vehicles. The report examines future funding being used to impliment rail-based streetcar vehicles like those seen in Portland,  Seattle and recently adopted into plan by Cincinnati.

The report also emphasizes that creating places should be an important part of the implimentation. It lays out a number of scenarios that take in current trends in the Carmel area and exploits them to the advantage of a more pedestrian oriented environment. The current Carmel Bike Plan is referenced as are “complete streets” strategies of connecting places and making the areas walkable; a theme which is pushed all over the country by urban activists intent on reviving our city’s urban cores. Another theme which is hit on often in the report is that Carmel should emphasize that it is a “City of Neighborhoods” and that the transit plan would be used to connect these neighborhoods using the circulators. The neighborhood theme is one that fellow Indianapolis blogger Greg Meckstroth of Urban-out.com touched on in comparing Cincinnati’s neighborhood centric pattern of development, to Indianapolis’ car centric pattern.

Dreaming even bigger, the study pins some faith on Indianapolis and the Indyconnect plan and suggests that whatever Carmel decides to impliment, it should coordinate with the region’s long range transportation plan. To that end, the plan suggests some sort of rail based rapid transit along College Ave to Indianapolis’ downtown area. That portion of the report seems to have been aligned with the HARMONI group of Midtown Indianapolis, which is also a neighborhood based non-profit that pushes similar neighborhood based improvements in the Broad Ripple and Meridian-Kessler area of Indianapolis. HARMONI has also advocated for some sort of rapid transit along College Ave.

The study is so in depth that it even covers suggested methods of branding the potential transit system in a way that is marketable and attractive to the general public. “It would include specific vehicle types and well crafted graphic imagery of color, route associations, and the brand/name/logo applications to vehicle, stops, shelters stations, wayfinding elements and system maps and guides. Beyond graphics and names, vehicle types (to the detail of specific models) are extremely important considerations, as are the style and form of the architectural elements of stops, stations, and transit centers.”

I would be remiss if I did not give my opinion of the report. I think that it is large in scope for a relatively small community but reads like a summary out of the Portland, OR design guide. It promotes green infrastructure at every turn. It prioritizes pedestrians and bicyling and maximizes land use in a smart and dense manner; the overiding transportation theme ties it all together. While Carmel is not laid out in the most efficient grid pattern in which the most successful transit systems are implimented, it’s current pattern of dense devlopment does lend well to mass-transit’s theme. 232 pages later, I feel inspired to advocate for a similar type of report for Indianapolis and the Indyconnect plan. With Carmel’s record of success in developing innovative transportation design along Keystone Avenue, it’s development of the Art’s District of Carmel and the currently under construction City Center I would not be the least bit surprised to see a majority of the parts of this study already started down the path to implimentation.

The implications for Indianapolis’ transportation system could be huge if one of it’s prominent suburbs were to institute a transportation system of the caliber described in the report. Should this reports suggestions be implimented soon, it could represent an embarassement to Indianapolis’ civic leaders for not coming together to put a similar plan together and impliment it sooner.

Editor’s Note: A special thanks to the IBJ’s Chris O’Malley for passing along some information to help in my research

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48 Responses to “ “Multimodal Study Prioritizes Transit Based Development in Carmel”

  1. First off, Carmel is always a welcome topic here on Urban Indy. So no worries about that.

    Second, wow.

    Third, I agree, I hope Indy is paying attention. Harmoni has been good at planning and organizing for midtown improvement, but I’m still waiting to see the implementation timeline. Harmoni needs its own mayor, apparently.

  2. Chris Barnett says:

    I think the same consultant worked on the HARMONI plans, which might account for the streetcar line appearing in both.
    .
    It seems that most serious people who think about it can see the value of rebuilding a Broad Ripple-to-Downtown streetcar line. It is not too late to flood IndyConnect.com with comments in favor of it.

    • Sean says:

      Nope, different consultant. HARMONI was Mansur / EDEN / Greenstreet, while Carmel was Starrow & Kinsella. Both teams arrived at the same conclusion because College Ave. always has been and always will be the most obvious transit corridor in the region (maybe tied with Washington).

  3. Kirsten says:

    I can’t help but think about Graeme’s post on property taxes when I read this. Does the difference between this plan and Indy’s own intentions result from a stronger tax base in Carmel or just a lack of will in Indianapolis? Or does Carmel’s foresight result from a lack of urban issues that our city has to devote time and energy to?

    One of the biggest challenges for real cities (not urbanizing suburbs) is that, in addition to considering the structural challenges of supporting a vibrant city, urban areas have additional pressures – financial, educational, cultural – that more homogeneous and affluent suburbs often do not. It’s awesome that HARMONI has a great plan (oh, I love that plan), but getting Indianapolis’ leadership to gather behind a plan like Carmel’s may require linking our other urban issues with the transit issues in a more explicit manner.

    It will be really interesting, if this plan moves forward, to see if structural changes can lead to the kind of cultural change Carmel would need to be truly pedestrian friendly. In terms of pedestrian-friendliness, I think of the northern Indy suburbs as Indiana’s Brasilia.

  4. RyanL says:

    This looks great, if not a little overreaching….
    Broad Ripple and Harmoni both need to coordinate this College Ave. route, it has the best chance of being a success.

    That being said, I find it interesting that Keystone at the Crossing, a major employment center for northsiders, has been left out of the plan. Perhaps including Keystone and Glendale, before hopping over to College Ave. via Broad Ripple Ave., would be the best way to serve the area with a rail line? it wouldn’t add more than a few minutes to the trip time and would better connect existing employment centers as well as 2 extra “malls” (if glendale even counts as a mall anymore).

  5. Curt says:

    Ryan, like it has been pointed out in other write up, we can all play transportation planner, and we typically all do. There are plenty of places that would make great stops for any number of alignments.

    Beyond that, Keystone at the Crossing is still located within Indianapolis’ jurisdiction and not Carmel, so when it comes to crafting policy, I believe Indy would be the responsible party for the Crossing. But you make a good argument. It does drive a lot of north side activity.

  6. Thanks for the post highlight in this piece Curt. I think this plan is very impressive and farreaching. which is a good thing. It’s nice to see a community aiming high, instead of the typical ‘good enough to get by’ mentality that seems to plague a lot of projects and ideas in the region. If Carmel is the place that has to set the bar high for mass transit in central Indiana then so be it, but the bar does need to be set and we need to be getting serious about it. And IMO, the IndyConnect plan does not cut it.

  7. Harvey Finkelstein says:

    Carmelites will never use this. Sorry but it is a fact. They are going to get into their cars at their houses in their subdivision and drive to where they need to get. Carmel Urbanizing? Only in some politicians and planners minds.

    • Rich says:

      Have you seen the number or type of cars parked at Meijer to us IndyGo commuter bus to downtown? I think your jealousy or political opposition to the current administration is tainting your view. Carmel is basically built out besides the far north west corner. Redevelopment is the only other option for growth.

  8. Curt Ailes says:

    Harvey, it goes without saying that if Carmel residents are never offered a different mode, then they are not going to take it, or demand it. What you say could be true. However, if these plans were implimented and a more sustainable mode of transportation shown to be of value, then perhaps people WOULD get out of their cars and do it. No one is beyond changing their habits. Some simply need to be shown that another option CAN work.

  9. Harvey Finkelstein says:

    It doesn’t work in Indianapolis and most other metropolitan areas; why would it work in Carmel? So I guess we should spend millions and millions of taxpayers dollars to build and subsidize something and then find out that the citizens don’t want it? Well one thing is sure, Carmel is really, really good at that.

    • Curt Ailes says:

      You are making some very generalized statements regarding transit in general now Harvey. Does transit work well in Indy? No because it is underfunded. This is indisputable. However, if we look at cities where it IS properly funded, yes public transit works VERY well. So you are on a slippery slope with your comments.

      • HarveyF says:

        So, if the public transportation system isn’t subsidized to excess it won’t work. Sounds like a plan.

        Look how well the cost effective public transportation system works in Chicago. <sarcasm

        • Joel says:

          I cannot think of one mode of transportation that isn’t subsidized… options, options, we need more options… Look at the transportation bill, the vast majority of transportation funding goes to roads. <subsidized

          • Ryan Gallagher says:

            Yes. The piece of the funding pie which goes towards roads is so vastly large there is no argument. Automobile transportation is, simply, the most heavily subsidized option. There are so many studies which indicate that for every dollar spent on every other form of transit, from pedestrian to commuter rail, the city either recoups the cost in economic development and increased property taxes, or saves it in a wide range of other ways, from healthier, saner, happier citizens to safer streets to cleaner air and so on and so forth. If just one year of road widening budgets were devoted to mass transit this city could begin to see massive transformation.

  10. Curt says:

    Harvey, you could make the same case about the roadway system of america. Is it not all subsidized by federal funds? When was the last time Wal Mart paved your street, or GM offered up cash to have the freeway expanded??

    Its all tax dollars sir

  11. Ronald J. Winston says:

    I’m not sure I want my city to study the idea of bringing in busses. We have to pay for them through taxes, nobody is going to use them, and HELLO! Everybody here already has cars. Pass this idea along to some other community, it doesn’t fit us or what we want.

  12. Ronald J. Winston says:

    Oh I just read through comments and realize I sound just like Finkelstein, but there’s good reason for that. If he lives up here like me, he is coming from the same palce – and that is that it is true. Nobody would take a bus anywhere. There is nowhere to take a bus. People come from a spread out area, go to a spread out area, don’t want to walk to the bus stop. Don’t want to walk from where the bus drops them off. That’s the nature of people who live in a suburb, and that’s why we choose to live here. You don’t have to like it but I’m just saying nobody here is ever going to use it when they have jaguars and mercedes sitting in their garages to take them wherever they want on their own time at their own convenience.

  13. jon says:

    Why would anyone want to take a bus to Carmel of all places, and I cant imagine the rich folks using public transportation either. I agree it seems like a bad idea – keep the money for paying for bus routes in Indianapolis.

  14. Curt says:

    I dont think the idea of the study was to take buses from Indy to Carmel. I think it was more about circulating people in Carmel. As for whether or not people would use it, I think that is a valid topic worth debating Ronald. However, I get the impression that not every Carmel-ite believes the same as you and Harvey since there is a very urban-like transformation going on in the city center area. All those condos. The dense populations they promote, etc.

    And Jon, trust me, I am 100% behind an improved bus system in Indianapolis and believe the highest return on investment of that will be inside of Marion County.

  15. Skepticism about bus ridership in Carmel is natural and understandable. However, I’m sure that there was similar skepticism when they started planning multi-use buildings, as well as improving pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure. All of those have worked out pretty well, it seems. If any suburb can figure out a circulating bus network, it’s Carmel.

  16. Michael says:

    I think Ronald is mostly right Curt, I live in Carmel. Those condos you speak of are mostly empty and were encouraged by developers and a central development plan that wasn’t based on demand but on speculation that crowding enough people into the taxable area would provide the income to pay for City Center. So far it isn’t turning out to be a very wise choice – we shall see how it ends up. But as for existing residents, I agree we aren’t likely to use buses very often. If ever.

  17. Michael says:

    And Kevin – people use the bicycle infrastructure in Carmel by choice, for recreation and fitness. There are no health benefits to riding on a bus, and it isn’t exactly most peoples’ idea of a good time. You can’t compare the two. As for the multi-use buildings, I think they are required to have an upstairs because of a city code, not because a lot of people want to live or work above Noodles and Company. I would be surprised if much of those upstairs offices and apartments are leased and am pretty sure they wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the city code. Basically, Carmel is starting to look like something it isn’t, that doesn’t mean the people who lived there somehow changed.

    • When people walk to a bus stop, which most bus riders do, bus-based transit actually does support health. A range of studies on urban transportation systems indicate that one-way walks to transit system stops tend to be around the 10 minute mark – a little less than half of the 22 daily minutes of moderate exercise advocated by the Centers on Disease Control.

  18. Carmel is making the right decisions, even though it looks strange or out of place at the moment. The dense buildings and upstairs spaces are a good investment in urban design, even if they won’t be leased for a few years. It’s obviously something the private market is willing to bear, because they would not be developing in that area otherwise.

    Building a downtown area has many benefits. Eliminating parking spaces has many benefits. Riding the bus has many benefits – one of the most important is better health. 15 years later, people will wonder why every suburb hasn’t made the same investments in their downtown.

  19. MainStreet says:

    While it might be problematic that all of the Carmel loops would be adopted the City Core is reaching the stage where a loop to the Meridian and 465 business corridors would be a real selling point to residents living in those areas. When gas gets to $6 a gallon this will be a different conversation.

  20. Curt says:

    From an emotional point of view, the stigma of “riding a bus” can be overcome by simply getting on one and trying it out. The same can be said about a “tram” or light rail. Those of us who have been to Europe were never scared or apprehensive about getting on a train over there right? Im willing to stake a claim that many Carmel-ites have been to Europe and rode the non-automobile transportation options there and found them to be quite accomodating, so why cant the same opinion be adopted for our own neighborhoods? Just something for you to all noodle on.

  21. Shane says:

    I wouldn’t have bought a house in Carmel if I had a need to take public transportation. The same goes for anyone else who has a house with a 2, 3, or 4-car garage – which is nearly everyone in Carmel. In Europe, average, middle class people can’t afford a big enough house to have a garage to keep a fleet of cars for their family, and drive them on their crowded streets, paying exorbitant gasoline taxes.

    Each of us in my home town could easily afford to move into a small downtown apartment and take the metro bus, or walk around and it would be much more like Europe but the beautiful thing is we do not have to live like that. In fact, my community is made up of people who self selected themselves to be a part of the opposite of that lifestyle. That’s what a suburb is. The parts of Europe I’ve seen are charming and beautiful, but I thank God we are blessed with a bountiful, less restrictive standard of living if we choose.

    • Curt Ailes says:

      Shane, what you have said is true. And I agree that it is great that we live in a country where we can make these choices.

      However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that your chosen lifestyle puts a strain on the system out there. By your choice, and millions others like it, we have a lifestyle in place that promotes more roads, the upkeep that comes with them, and the habits that have made the suburbs continue making for even more road building and the expense of maintaining them.

      Meanwhile, state DOT have budgeted a large majority of yearly dollars dedicated solely to road building and maintenance while the urban areas such as those in DT Indy are starved for funds because it is all given over to making sure that you continue to have that “choice” to live.

      A byproduct is more miles driven, more carbon spewed, more dollars hemmoraged on keeping up while our inner cities deteriorate.

      And lets be real. It is in YOUR best interest to have a stake in the regional core, this case being DT Indy staying strong. Carmel wouldnt be Carmel, if Indy werent anchoring the region.

      So in essense, you have your choiec, but you are choking the source that gives you that choice and by not diversifying the suburbs to be a little more sustainable ensure that the core of regions across the country die the same slow death.

    • Ann says:

      Shane how fortunate you are to live in a neighborhood that sports 2, 3, or 4-car garages, but the tone of your posting does suggest a bit of snobbery… Public transporation does not nor should be viewed as a “negative” or “demeaning” experience reserved for the “financially challenged” citizens! However, I grew up in the “other” Carmel located in California where many individuals that worked in San Francisco, but lived outside of the city in one of the surrounding suburbs would use public transportation system (B.A.R.T) to commute to work daily rather than refusing to ride transit or carpool. Yes, I live in Hamilton County and for the past couple of years I have ENJOYED taking the public transportation to my office located in downtown Indianapolis . . . I’m being environmently friendly, saving wear and tear on my vehicle, and I get pleasure of either sleeping or reading the daily newspaper on my way to work everyday!

  22. Shane says:

    Curt, I can tell you are trying to be diplomatic but truthfully you actually come off a bit like you think you know what’s best and are telling me and everyone in my community how we should live. As if we have something to feel guilty about – I don’t buy it. Our community is plenty able to support the road infrastructure we have, as we have done for a long time. If anything is putting more strain on it, that would be the unnecessary over development in recent years which really should have been more restricted. Believe it or not, there are thousands of small cities where people actually drive further to go to work than you do, and they can afford the upkeep on their roads just fine. If you and your type continue to make Carmel more like a city, I will rethink living here and many will follow because that’s not what we bought into.

    • Rich says:

      Shane, do you remember the financial troubles INDOT was having supporting our road infrastructure prior to Major Moves? I am not sure where you are getting your information, but until recently the state could not afford it infrastructure. Now we have the looming issues of older bridges that can not be repaired due to lack of funding.

      You must be part of “old Carmel”. Many are moving here because of the progress not vice versa.

      Please move to Sheridan or better yet Lebanon. In 20 years, you will have to move again to stay away from progress.

  23. Curt is right, everyone in Carmel will benefit from investments in public infrastructure and public transit. The shopkeepers and businesses will find more employees applying for jobs, the younger and older citizens will find alternatives to driving and thus spend more money in the city, and Carmel can be marketed to corporations who want to locate near a developed suburb with a downtown core. Carmel will soon be able to attract new business without subsidizing them with excess tax breaks. It’s a win for everyone!

    • Curt Ailes says:

      In addition to what Graeme said, I would add this. Shane, I am POSITIVE that neither Carmel nor Fishers are subsidizing the 465/69 construction nor the US31 widening that is going to happen. That is over $1 billion in money generated from the toll road sale going towards the Carmel & Fishers area to make sure that you still get to have that choice. So you are incorrect when you say that there is enough money in Carmel to maintain the roads. All you have to do is drive out on the freeway and get stuck.

      And Ive driven on 146th street and US31 north during rush hour. There is nothing fun about sitting through multiple stop lights waiting on everyone to get home. There is also nothing sustainable about that.

  24. Shane says:

    Interstates are funded by other sources because they serve other communities, they aren’t part of the equation. Same goes for state highways connecting Indianapolis to the rest of the state. Not that they aren’t our concern, but we don’t have to prove we can pay for those roads exclusively to make this point. The best thing we can do to relieve traffic is prevent hyperdevelopment.

    But all of this is really arguing about nothing because no matter how much you wish everyone would buy into your plan, even if you were right, you can’t convince all of Carmel that their lifestyle is wrong and they should be what you want them to be. Your call for drastic urbanization is only going to motivate people to vote Mr. Brainard out of the mayoral office and replace him with someone who would better represent what we want in a city because he is outstaying his welcome.

    • Curt Ailes says:

      To say that interstates are funded by other sources is correct but to dispute that the current improvements are being made by reasons other than the mass of people living in suburban communities would be wrong.

      We can continue to disagree with each other and that is fine with me. I will continue to contend that the suburban form represents a much less efficient design than the urban form and by extension causes a disproportionate shift in funding to maintain it. The byproduct is a lower amount of development and upkeep for cities to maintain.

      You can go on believing you are right, but the evidence suggests that suburbs will keep moving outward leaving behind that which was new 15 years prior which moves closer to suburban blight as the years go by. And how to do we pay for all of that? Keep building out the new?

  25. Shane says:

    You do have a good point, but I’ll tell you that forcing suburbs to become more urban is only going to act as a catalyst for sprawl, because people by nature seek the most comfortable lifestyle they can afford. Not only that, but people who live on the outer edge of suburbs do tend to pay a much higher burden of the tax share while people living in the European model here tend to consume more resources than they pay for. Think about who lives in a typical apartment downtown and takes a bus to work. Then think about where all the taxes that fund the roads comes from, and where those people live. Really huge cities are the only place where rich and upper mid class people live in urban areas, and that’s only because the burbs are just too far to commute if they work downtown. Maybe Indianapolis will get there some day but as of now we are a community of just one million people spread out over a very large area.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Shane, at least get your figures right. The Indy metro is closer to two million than to one. Marion County by itself is close to 900,000.
      .
      Who exactly do you think pays for the roads in Indianapolis that all the suburban commuters use? Anything that is not an interstate is a city street, paid for courtesy of residents like Curt and Graeme and me. You don’t pay a dime for them. We do.
      .
      Apparently you’ve never been in Meridian Kessler or any of Indianapolis’ other upper-middle-class neighborhoods.

  26. Curt Ailes says:

    You might be curious to know that in the urban form, parking for automobiles causes an incresae in the required rent to meet property tax obligations and such. Think about this. If the standard of parking is 2 cars per apartment, then you have to give that much open space over to parking. If parking requirements were cut to where only 1 car were required per the same structure, the amount of space that could be given over to prospective tennants would be more, requiring less in rent to pay to cover property taxes, etc. If a community were well served by public transit say, rail or buses, then that would provide most of the local transportation one would need to get around.

    At that point the argument about expensive urban real estate becomes less of an obstacle to handle. I too struggle with the high cost of urban real estate, but if sefvices are provided that cut down on the need for automobiles, then the expenses get spread out over more people per unit.

  27. Suburban development ignores a lot of externalities that are not currently taken into account. If the true cost of sprawling, auto-oriented development were imposed on the users, then it would be a lot less popular.

    In any case, cities like Carmel have a civic responsibility to provide for their citizens. Carmel is not only middle-class car owners. There are young, old, poor, and even disabled citizens that deserve quality public transit. Arguing that this population should be neglected is not a tenable position according to the laws that we live under.

  28. Chris Barnett says:

    To add to Graeme’s comment: there are also service jobs in Carmel that upper-middle-class residents don’t want, which would be just fine for lower-income residents of other parts of the Metro area.
    .
    Who’s going to wait on your tables, mow your lawns, press your drycleaning, clean your gutters, paint your houses, remodel your kitchens, care for your day-care kids, pick up your trash, ring up your purchases at the cash registers? Certainly not people with 4-car garages. Probably people who live in apartments and ride buses.

  29. Andrew Troemner says:

    Just pitching in my two cents:

    My wife was not too long ago a teenager living in Carmel with her parents. Her parents’ budget didn’t include a third car (actually, she would be in line for the family’s *fourth* car, after her older brother), so she got around town the only way people her age could — by foot or by bike. Since she and her family didn’t spend that money on extra cars, she was able to take her money (which was considerable for a teenager, since she also held various odd jobs) and plow it into local businesses, like BUB’s, the bicycle shop, and the various bookstores around town.

    Young people are one of the demographic groups that end up being overwhelmingly serviced by public transportation, especially if they’re under the age of 16. Public transportation infrastructure allows them to get around the city without being dependent on relatively expensive cars or their parents to drive them back and forth.

  30. Joe H. says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything about how this could be viewed as a way to keep a very lucrative section of the population within Carmel….. senior citizens. Eventually many senior citizens are forced to give up their cars as they become unable to safely operate them. When this happens in a Carmel-like community…. they’re either stuck at home waiting for the kids/neighbors to help out OR hope they are lucky enough to live in a full service elderly community (which is expensive for anybody). By making investments in some level of public trans (I’m not saying it has to be this full scale deal), Carmel may make itself more attractive to baby boomers that can spend their retirement accounts in that community.

    Carmel won’t always be overflowing with young couples and kids. It will age in both demographics and infrastructure.

  31. Concerned Citizen says:

    A 232 page report is just more evidence that we have too many people in government with too much of the taxpayers’ money hiring too many consultants to pontificate. Any surprise the national unemployment rate is 10% while the public sector is just 2%. I wish public sector unemployment rate was also 10%.

    • Andrew Troemner says:

      Well, if you’re concerned about the size of the report, then look at banks especially. Banks regularly put out thousands of pages per account and conduct hundreds of deals every day.

      And when it comes to government decision-making, it does make sense to have information to base decisions on. I would hate to have a government making decisions exclusively on the say-so of elected officials best friends, for example. A good government that does not make.

      And where are you getting your data for the “public sector” unemployment rate at 2%? Because I’m not familiar with the BLS distinguishing the unemployed as being either part of the public or private sectors. Since, typically, they’re looking for jobs wherever they can get it.

      Ideally, I would hope that the overall unemployment rate were as low as possible. Wishing that the unemployment rate were higher in other sectors is at best sour grapes. I for one am glad that the unemployment rate is not even higher in government, finance, manufacturing, services, or any number of other sectors, mainly because we need as many jobs as we can get right now.

      I understand your anger, and rightfully we should be making the best choices right now to fix the economy.

    • What is the correct # of pages for a transportation study?

  32. Andy says:

    #1. I love this site.
    #2. I want to throw in this discussion that not everyone in Carmel is a curmudgeon (as seen in some posts above). I live, work, and play in Carmel and would use this or a similar system to move around. I have clients in Indianapolis and would dream of the chance to hop on a circular, go to a central location and ride into the city (BRT would work). Yes, I own a car. No, I don’t have a 3+ car garage like everyone assumes all Carmel people have. I do agree that this is something that would need to be in phases and probably should wait for the City Center/Arts District area and a plan for how this connects with Indianapolis becomes more clear. I don’t think all of these new urban projects will fail like some of the Carmel old-timers assume. It’s attracting folks that normally wouldn’t live here, and I’m OK with that. The city is growing and could be above 100k in 5-10 years if growth continues as it has in the past 10 years. Traffic on Meridian, Rangeline, 116th, Main Street has increased a ton, bringing in more business in those areas. I don’t think everyone would use it, but as the corporate corridor continues to boom and denser population areas finish, this could make some sense. I see more people walking/biking in this area and it makes me think people would be open to it. Either way, I’m glad the city is trying and thinking big. And if it works, maybe the supporters here would consider moving up north…making this thing worth-while. Thanks for the discussion.

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