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Pedestrianizing Downtown Indianapolis

It’s no secret that Ray LaHood and the current Department of Transportation believe that cities ought to be for people instead of cars.  In late October, the Department’s $600 million Tiger II grants drove home this point, as 55% of the funds are going towards mass transit or pedestrian oriented transportation improvements across the country (16% went to ports and 29% went to road projects).  Perhaps the most interesting project that received funding is Downtown Crossings in New Haven, Connecticut, which is getting $16 million to remove the limited-access Route 34.  As New Haven urban planners...
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Washington Street BRT Under the Microscope

Washington Street BRT Under the Microscope
Last night I had the opportunity to finally attend one of the Indyconnect Round 2 meetings. It was a little different from the Round 1 meetings, in that it was more of a community meeting where one could sign up to stand and comment or ask questions. I was near the end of the roughly dozen people who stood up and commented or asked questions. There were many interesting questions, but the overwhelming theme was: “What happened to light rail on Washington Street?” The answer that officials on hand gave was that it was purely a financial decision. The support is obviously there, but the...
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McOuat Building

McOuat Building
The scaffolding is off the McOuat Building on Washington Street, and the transformation is fantastic. This place has been vacant for as long as I’ve been working downtown, and it’s great to see the care taken to show off the building’s details. You can read more about this project on the IBJ. Social Media
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The Power of Natural Places

The Power of Natural Places
Natural places have a role to play in our neighborhoods.  The best urban sites share space with nature so well that you can not tell when the bricks stop and the trees begin.  Whether it is a chestnut tree in a courtyard or an old street lined with elms, nature has to be present or our cityscape is unsatisfactory. The ability to incorporate natural spaces into our neighborhood is often limited by our choices in infrastructure.  We refuse to plant trees along streets because it is considered dangerous for drivers (even though its much safer for pedestrians).  Once we convince ourselves that trees...
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Saraga Market

Saraga Market
On Saturday, I attended the Made For Each Other event at Saraga Market. Made For Each Other is an organization devoted to providing an outlet for art and exhibitions in Indy’s under-served neighborhoods. This particular event featured cooking demonstrations and a chance to discuss food culture with the burgeoning international community in Lafayette Square. Saraga has become Indy’s melting pot, as it has transformed an abandoned K-mart into a shopping destination. It’s not fancy, but it’s the real deal. This is how our city will continue to evolve, as we rely on attracting...
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