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Broad Ripple Needs to Increase its Density

The latest Census figures tell us that the southern heart of  Broad Ripple lost population last year:

Here is a look at new buildings that have been constructed in this region. Lines in red indicate a change from 2001 to 2011:

Not much going on here. A few new condos near the Monon Trail, but that’s about it.

Contrast this with the population gain in the northern half of Broad Ripple, which has added a good deal of apartments and condos in the past decade:

Here are the northern section”s new buildings. Note the concentration in the purple circle:

The differences between attitudes toward development displayed by the northern and southern halves of Broad Ripple make logical sense.  The north’s houses are almost all converted into businesses, and more nearby residents mean more potential clients, with little need for them to worry about adding to their small parking footprints.  The southern portion is dominated by owner-occupied single family housing.  They are, in general, more fearful of change.  More on that in a bit.

A big change to the development scene could be coming soon.  Broad Ripple is looking to add a mixed-use parking garage.  I don’t feel wonderful about promoting this idea, but a possible upside could arise for the parking lots scattered throughout the neighborhood.  Posted below is a display of all of the parking lots in Broad Ripple.  Think of these lots as a potential for development:

This means that, at least for the time being, we don’t have to knock down buildings or houses to increase the density in the neighborhood.   The biggest issue with this is, of course, will the neighborhood actually support increases in density?  Consider the case of the proposed Monon Place project.  A mixed-use proposal of moderate density on an empty lot (as well as a non-historic structure) was vociferously opposed by a group known as the Greater Broad Ripple Community Coalition.  This is a common theme in this area.  Other projects in this section of the neighborhood have been fought against as well.  Eventually the Buckingham proposal was approved by the MDC, but 2 1/2 years later, there have been no signs of life on the property.  I’m unaware of any changes or updates at this time.

The 2010 Census proves that Broad Ripple needs to work on attracting new residents.   Supporters of the city and neighborhood can use this important data to serve their cause.  The final question from me is this: if we can’t increase density and vibrancy in the most well-known neighborhood in the city, where can we?

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33 Responses to “ “Broad Ripple Needs to Increase its Density”

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for bringing some much-needed attention to the Village, Kevin. I’d like to provide some context before commenting on your post.

    Since Earth Day 2008, Broad Ripple Village Association in collaboration with Green Broad Ripple, HARMONI and the City of Indianapolis Dept. of Metropolitan Development have collaborated on a public planning process dubbed Envision Broad Ripple. Increasing density has been a key element. (I know you know this, Kevin, because you’ve attended several sessions, and i want your readers to know that!) Our DMD allies have suggested that in order to keep the local retail sector thriving (retail, in this case means professional services- doctors, lawyers, optometrists, insurance, accountants, etc as well as boutiques, grocery stores & the like) we need to add 2000 more people to the Village who live within a 10 min. walk of the core biz district (defined as 30-50 acres or 15-25 blocks.)

    DMD used the following presentation from the Lincoln Center for Land Policy to help illustrate the rationale for increased density: http://www.lincolninst.edu/subcenters/visualizing-density/

    DMD reported that the key elements for promoting density include infrastructure improvements that make area more walkable, improve drainage, encourage bicycling & transit; increase alleys for circulation, parking, drainage, recycling & more housing. They obviously “get it” and we’re trying to include this kind of thinking in our planning process.

    DMD reported that the Land Use Mix for typical, successful centers and villages are between 40-60% of acreage in hi-density residential; 20-30% of acreage in mixed-use retail & service w/ residential above; 10-40% of acreage in public uses (libraries, parks, schools, etc.) As we fine-tune the Form-Based Code for the Village, we’ll take into account the differences of areas north of the canal vs. areas south of the Canal.

    Other than the ongoing Great Recession, a key factor in limited development north of the Canal is the floodplain issue. Until the Army Corps of Engineers signs off on the Flood Wall Project (unlikely soon, given the recent controversy over the proposed flood wall on Westfield west of Capitol) http://tinyurl.com/floodwall) Until the flooding issue is resolved, property owners will continue to pay flood insurance and developers are not going to be interested in meeting zoning requirements for building in the floodway and the community is not interested in seeing a bunch of structures on stilts.

    As for the parking structure – the community insisted that the project be called: Mixed Use Structure to include Public Parking. To serve notice that the community doesn’t want a butt ugly parking garage with a couple of awnings attached to it and called “mixed use” we inserted the following language in the RFQ that a qualified respondent would:

    • Demonstrate familiarity with and ability to implement Smart Growth/New Urbanism principles including but not limited to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), transit-oriented development & “Complete Streets.”

    The Village has also pushed for a neighborhood parking permit program that will help alleviate some of the negative consequences of late-night patrons parking in neighborhoods south and west of “The Strip” and generate demand for public parking in a secure, well-lit space that adds to the Village’s vitality. We’ve also lobbied for increased transit for the area and UI readers know what’s happened there. Right now, all we can hope for in the short-term are some circulator bus routes that serve Midtown. LRT connecting Carmel to Fountain Square along College remains a dream.

    You reference Buckingham’s Monon Place project and neighborhood opposition. The original proposal included a retail component that could have included a bar/restaurant. Many in the Village were justifiably concerned about an additional liquor license located outside of the main business corridor as well as the increased traffic & reduced visibility on narrow 61st St – a street, incidentally, that a previous MPO plan designated as a “Quiet Street” (think of it as a kind of Bicycle Thoroughfare.) http://www.storrowkinsella.com/workroom/0022_sns/index.htm
    The Broad Ripple Village Assn. successfully negotiated some commitments from the developer about parking and loading areas on narrow 61st street, increasing the numbers of trees that would be planted on the site and improving walkability by encircling the site with sidewalks. Most recently, Buckingham altered its plans and removed the retail component, changing it to residential-only. At that time, BRVA was able to get a commitment from Buckingham to change head-in parking along 61st street to parallel parking. Apparently Buckingham has other projects worthy of attention (can you say, North of South?) so there’s no telling if/when the Monon Place project will proceed. But when it does, it will benefit from community input into the plan.

    The “other projects” you reference was an ill-conceived proposal that both neighbors, the BRVA & City staff @ DMD opposed. Turns out we were all right – the project was DOA and the project lanquished as an eyesore (with many mature trees along the Monon sacrificed for no good reason) for many years until a new developer purchased the site and has begun to make improvements – including rehabbing some of the existing housing on Winthrop.

    Your penultimate sentence gets it exactly right. Keep your eyes and ears open in the coming weeks and months as more details about the Village’s Master Plan update are developed and the community sponsors public meetings to outline specifics of an innovative approach to planning. It’s not so much about fear of change as it is about asserting community values into the planning process so that the development community understands up-front what expectations are. Every structure has an effect on the Public Realm and can either augment it or deteriorate it. If the Broad Ripple “look and feel” can be enhanced piecemeal by individual projects as well as benefit from some serious City investment in infrastructure, the Village will shine as a “proof of concept” of durable urban planning principles that can be applied throughout the metro area.

    P.S. I should add another resource on density is an EPA document, “Creating Great Neighborhoods: Density in Your Community,” produced in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/density.htm

    • Thanks for the info, as well as the correction on the poor proposal on Winthrop. That block is looking much better today.

      With regards to a mixed-use structure with alcohol sales being a negative for 61st and Compton, I would probably disagree with that. However, you make a fair point with regards to the quiet street on 61st. I do enjoy riding a bike down 61st Street. It is kind of a shame that most proposed mixed-use structures feature restaurants with bars, but neighborhood retail is just not a hot ticket anymore. Thanks for the update on the project.

  2. Nobody is talking about turning Broad Ripple into Manhattan here. I don’t like skyscrapers, I just would like some properly sited 2 to 5 story mixed-use or residential proposals.

    • alki says:

      First, I must state openly I know little about Indy politics, its planning boards, and the city departments that plan check projects. But if its like most cities, there is a general distrust of residents for any developments proposed for a neighborhood. And both developers and the city are seen as adversaries. Typically, they feel the city is out to screw them…..and for good reason. Most cities have been fairly careless and arbitrary when it comes to introducing new development into a neighborhood…..with the poorer the neighborhood, the more intrusive and incompatible the development. For most single family residents, increased density is the adult equivalent of the boogeyman. All they see is more cars, less parking, more noise and less pride of ownership. They don’t see any of the benefits of which there are plenty.

      In the Pacific NW, the way that opposition has been overcome is to make the planning and development process as open as possible. A great deal of time is spent hand holding residents……..and making very clear the benefits that density can bring to a single family neighborhood if done properly and providing examples of neighborhoods where that has been done successfully. Until there is a working relationship and some level of trust between residents and a city, there will be fight after fight over every development project that is proposed. Up here, not every proposal gets approved but most do. And they tend to be even more successful as projects because they integrate the neighborhood more practical concerns into the project.

    • Curt Ailes says:

      Wilhelm, do you not understand the concept of what the parking garage would do for the parking needs of the village?

      I personally think that 2-5 story buildings would be a FANTASTIC addition. There are tons of vacant homes in the midtown area that are comparable in price to those directly adjacent to the village and which all have great connectivity via bike either on the Monon or slow side streets or canal trails.

  3. Curt Ailes says:

    Alki, that is a FANTASTIC point that it is rare where a working and cooperative spirit is generated between “the city” and the residents. I have been aggresively studying transit for over 2 years now and I will admit that there are many steps of the process which I still do not understand. However, we have made a lot of gains and there is some communication occuring at this point. Hopefully, that will lay the groundwork for a successful, and PROPER, urban transit system in years to come.

  4. crownhilldigger says:

    Doesn’t Wilhelm build parking garages?

  5. Jim Holland says:

    Tom, above, pretty much covers the bases. In theory, more density in certain parts of the village could be beneficial; however, there are practical implcations such as infastructure. Parking has been discussed. Any new residential construction would by necessity have to have adequate on site parking. And then there are the already overloaded storm and sanitary sewers. And wear and tear on the streets. Given the state of public transportation, in the foreseeable future all those new residents are likely each to own a car. Paragraph. The Buckingham development is an interesting case in point. Tom covered it well but the ground roots opposition was not simply NIMBYism. The original project was massively out of scale would have adversely affected the surrounding neighborhood. The Metropolitian Development Commission, not named that for nothing, agreed. Paragraph. An unintended consequense of demolishing exisitng single family dwellings to make way for more dense development is that remaing property values are artificially inflated come next appraisal.

  6. Let’s take this back to the original post if we could. The Census tells us that the southern half of Broad Ripple lost population in the last decade. Either that could be a trend, or a call to action to plan for changes. I’d prefer the latter. I’m glad that Tom is here to promote changes that would bring some new residents to the area. This talk about out of scale is a bit concerning to me, though. Most of Broad Ripple Village is only one-story tall. A 3 story building could be construed as out of scale if we are using that criteria. But then there is the old 3 story building that houses Buffalo Wild Wings. Is that out of scale?

  7. Curt Ailes says:

    If we look at other places where possible investment could occur, what about the Uptown? A project like that could inject some more dense development into the southern portion of Broad Ripple. There is an issue of obtaining funding to support such a project, but it stands to reason that if a development like that were successful, that it could draw more developers to construct similar structures. Success begets success…. Its obvious to me that there is interest in these old nodes along College Ave. Whether its yuppie, foodie, etc. what have you, people are coming to these areas to eat, drink beer, shop for groceries etc. Seems like a perfectly good environment to invest in to draw people back into these neighborhoods, and improve the state of the existing infrastructure as well.

  8. Jeff says:

    Why is Broad Ripple losing population? Is it home forclosures or are residencies being converted to commercial use? I think both are playing a part. Foreclosures are certainly a negative but the latter may not necessarily be one.

    The LARGER AREA south of BR is vast if considering everything south of the White River to 42nd and Butler University east to Keystone. It’s 95% free standing homes and should be handled DELICATELY to not ruin the things that have for years attracted and kept residents who invest in their homes and businesses. Redevelopment here is very different than Fall Creek Place or the Near Eastside. It is much less a blank canvas as are parts of those neighborhoods due to years of economic depression, but not immune to change as Kevin has proposed.

    Center township cannot continue to lose population. Broad Ripple and surrounding neighborhoods are one of the cities best locations for those who want a life away from the outer ring suburbs. It should increase the number of 3 story apartments where current housing stock is falling out of favor, as Kevin has described.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Simple demographics and the law of large numbers is at work: average household size is declining. Fewer people per house in the same number of houses = fewer people overall. The 3 and 4 bedroom houses in the northern part of Meridian Kessler (sorry, I just can’t call it “SoBro”) no longer have 4, 5, or 6 people living in them. Today it’s 2, 3, or 4.
      .
      The area highlighted in the post not like the broad swaths of “old city” Indianapolis further south that are plagued by vacancy, foreclosure, and blight. In fact, the area highlighted by Kevin has been stable for the 30 years I’ve lived in Indy. If anything, it has gotten better: the 2br starter bungalows between Kessler and BR Ave. east of the Monon sold in the $50K range in the mid-1980’s and now go for $150-200K depending on how much granite, glass tile, and stainless steel has been installed. In other livable/not bad parts of Old Indianapolis such houses do not command that kind of price premium. In Irvington and Christian Park, for instance, equivalent houses are closer to $75-100K today, and the higher-end houses along Pleasant Run are about $100K cheaper than their equivalents on Central Ave. or Washington Blvd.
      .
      In decayed or unstable neighborhoods, cut that bungalow price in half again.

      • You raise a good point about demographic trends in the old city. Well, at least we recently added another person to our neighborhood’s total. She didn’t get counted in the last Census, sadly.

        • Chris Barnett says:

          The bigger (3-4-5 BR) homes in Meridian Kessler attracted boomers who wanted to stay in the city when it was time to move out of 2BR starter houses in BR and Christ-the-King (54th to Kessler, Monon to Keystone). Most of us had kids at home in 1990 and 2000. A lot of us remodeled and added to our MK homes in that period, as almost any renovation there would return close to 100% upon completion. (Ah, the good old pre-bubble real estate market!)
          .
          Because the Xer generation is smaller and more suburban-oriented than Boomers (I know you UrbanIndy guys aren’t so, but you bucked an even-bigger trend to the HamCo ‘burbs than I did), because the RE market tanked and made it hard to sell, and because tax caps took effect, many Boomers have stayed put. Boomers who are still there now have grown kids. Household size in those homes with kids gone is now 1 or 2 instead of 3 or 4 or 5.
          .
          Multiply that change by hundreds of houses and you’ll drive down total population and average household size without a single vacancy and even with a few new infill units. Voila: anti-density intergenerational demographics.
          .
          Solutions: have more kids, or move your inlaws into an addition. 🙂

          • JP says:

            Moving your inlaws 🙂 …even for us proponents of urban development and higher density, that might be a price too high to pay. All kidding aside, this made me think of the seniors and retirees that are often left out when we talk about urban development. They are the fastest growing group of people in US, and they would have many benefits from living in walkable neighborhoods with access to mass transit…not to mention the social component as well.

          • Chris Barnett says:

            I’m a boomer. Whatever age category we’re in is the fastest-growing age group, because we’ve been the biggest demographic group, and thus a “crisis”, all our lives. First it was not enough seats in grade schools in the 50’s and 60’s…then high schools and colleges in the 60’s and 70’s…then jobs (most boomers came of age during the “stagflation” of the 70’s and early 80’s) and houses. Now it’s looming retirement as the demographic slice is 47-65.
            .
            You’re right on the mark: when it’s time for my kids to take away the car keys, I want to be able to walk to the grocery and to accessible transit. As Indy sits today, that’s the “Old City” neighborhoods.

  9. Micah says:

    Wilhelm: BRV feels crowded because of it’s dependence on cars—like all of Indy! Unfortunately, the Monon Trail as LRT would have taken too many years beyond realization. Fortunately, the Monon Trail has made BRV and it’s neighborhoods to the north and south more attractive, both for residents and new businesses. Increasing density in BRV would:

    $ deter crime
    $ increase property values overall
    $ promote new infrastructure: streets, sidewalks, alleys, trails, future BRT & LRT lines to downtown
    $ give you less of a reason to worry about parking due to SMART DEVELOPMENT
    $ retain existing businesses
    $ attract future residential and business investment

    If BRV is to grow, it needs to grow up and not out, sorry to say, like most of Indy. Low density to me just simply suggests inefficiency—to the point where it will cost the city more in the future to come. Wilhelm seems to argue that BRV is car based but does not want to blame low dnsity for this? I guess I’m confused. To attract more people to this area, 2-5 story developments should be the norm. So, I’m assuming Wilhelm is simply arguing that BRV should stop growing? Is this area really at it’s peak? I sure hope not.

  10. Eugene Fisk says:

    The increase in population in 3207 (250) is less than the number of people living in new construction in the purple circle. There is near-zero crime in the purple circle, according the IMPD’s mapping system. Unlike the Buckingham proposal, the development in the purple circle does not include retail. That the MDC approved the Buckingham proposal with the 12,500 sq ft of retail shows the meaninglessness of Indy zoning laws; people in the immediate area moved there expecting to live in a residential zone. Today’s Bed Bath and Beyond is tomorrow’s fireworks store. And an injection of retail breeds more retail – witness the west side of Keystone north of Kessler, and imagine 61st St west of the Monon looking like that. Without retail, the Buckingham proposal would have been approved long ago.

    The purple circle demonstrates that many people like living in denser development but not at the sacrifice of peace.

    Buckingham carries enormous political clout, being the beneficiary of the city’s largesse in the financing of NoSo. Maybe Buckingham needs government financing or a 10-year abatement to do the much-smaller Monon project. They certainly are dismissive of anyone who disagrees with such ploys – http://www.buckingham-co.com/pressroom/PriceProgress.aspx Also, Buckingham’s existing property, the Monon Place apartment complex, is badly managed. The NIMBY group is wise to expect future performance to trend with past performance – http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/IN-Indianapolis-Monon-Place-Apartments.html

    The best place for high-density residential would have been the Mile Square, had city leaders not opted instead to spend all their energy and all our money on sports venues and convention centers. Could have been Fountain Square times 100.

  11. JP says:

    Why is mix of residental and commercial (not just retail) so bad? I don’t think I am discovering the wheel here, Mass Ave is not one of the most desirable streets because it’s all residental. It has a residental component, but it also has restaurants, bars, butiques, art galleries, theaters, office space, etc. Of course, it has to be planned well. But claiming that most people moved to BR because they wanted to live in all residental neighborhood is not true.

  12. Micah says:

    Downtown just needs to focus on developing diverse neighborhoods on all sides: Fountain Square to the South, Mass Ave and 10th Street to the East, IUPUI as a true learn/live/work/play campus, and the Near North. I think all of these districts are in line to grow somewhat naturally and diverse except for the Near North, which is way too spread out with low density residential. Unfortunately, the only way to bring natural commercial development to the Near North is to rebuild the historic commercial nodes on College with LRT. This would be the only link that would promote proper high density, community oriented development for BRV and downtown. It’s such an easy solution to make Indy attractive and a much more livable place to live. The LRT should be called the FIGURE 8. College (MAIN N & S line), 38th ST (main E & W line). College to East(a slight jog from 10th) to South St. to Capital to 38th to Keystone to ?62nd?

    Sorry for getting off the subject of BRV DENSITY at first. But as I ended proves everything is inter-connected LIKE REAL CITIES.

    Seriously, what does Indy have to lose? It needs to develop Midtown to make downtown and BRV better—meaning real communities…………NOT ISLANDS.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Micah, the numbers don’t bear out your assertion that the Near North (or Mid-North) isn’t dense. It is, in fact, one of the most-dense parts of the city (at least south of 42nd). The area is full of apartment buildings, and the single-family homes are typically built on 40-foot lots.

  13. Cato says:

    Do you really think Broad Ripple’s become an unpopular place to live? The shrinkage in the last census count could be nothing more than the effects of sky-rocketing property taxes and the fact that, despite being in Washington Twnshp., Broad Ripple is a catchment area for IPS. I have seen several families move out as their children reached school age. Maybe this is the 800 lb gorilla no one wants to talk about, but few parents who can afford to live here are interested in sacrificing their childrens’ future with an IPS ‘education’. Check the ISTEP scores.
    We are not ‘fearful of change’, we are fearful of urban planners who like to screw with good things, like Broad Ripple, we are fearful of well-intentioned bureaucrats and imminent domain. We’ve had a gutful of political/commercial juggernauts like the Pfizer debacle in New London, where entire neighborhoods were sacrificed to ‘progress’ only to have Pfizer pull out 8 years later, the damage done.
    Find some other part of the city to tinker with. I’m not interested in swapping my house for an 80-unit condo or a Krispy Kream. And none of the neighbors I’ve talked to are interested, either. We like it here fine. Go increase your own density.

  14. Kevin says:

    To answer your first question, no I don’t think it’s becoming unpopular. I just think it could be even better.

    Let me state the mission of this website, since you are new visitor. We believe in walkable neighborhoods, mass transit, bicycling, and urban revitalization.

    I believe in focusing development in Indianapolis. If it doesn’t happen here, it will happen somewhere else. Usually, in Indy, that somewhere else is almost always greenfield suburbs. This type of development is currently heavily resource dependent and inefficient. Infill, on the other hand, takes advantage of the infrastructure and history that already exists, and is a sign of investment in the neighborhood. Remember, I am not talking about developing on land that is currently single-family homes. I am talking about developing on parking lots. It’s a big difference.

  15. Curt says:

    Cato, in addition to what Kevin said, the village has some really good people with the right spirit guiding this ship. I cannot speak for them, but its a hunch you arent likely to see an unflux of kripsy kreams, TGI Fridays and Burger Kings anytime soon. The work being done, is to preserve the feel of Broad Ripple and build on that, so that a stronger neighborhood can occur. The parking garage? Intended to help the surrounding neighborhoods by taking bar goers off your streets. While I may be against parking garages, it seems like this one may have some good by-products coming with it. That doesnt replace the need for efficient rapid transit in and out of the village, but its a start.

    No one is going to gut Broad Ripple for a private developers benefit. Too many hands invested to see it happen that way I think

  16. JP says:

    I lived in downtown for many years, but ended up buying a house in Broad Ripple. I hope I’m not the only BR resident who welcomes higher density and smart urban development. Generalization often leads to misunderstanding. We should really look at each individual project, and discuss its pros and cons. For instance, would a garage with residential/commercial component on ex-Marathon gas station land be beneficial to BR residents? There are many different pros and cons, but just stating that higher density and development = bad is not really helping that discussion. And not that we should avoid having more big picture discussions like a global strategy for the entire city vs. just looking at individual projects (that’s where a streetcar initiative comes to mind). Anyway, it seems to me that this website welcomes different opinions, but I think we should all keep an open mind.

  17. Micah says:

    Chris, I would have to agree with you about the density in this area. My proposal suggests increasing density slightly in these areas while making them more diverse and livable. Over time these neighborhoods wouldn’t have to rely on the car so much either. Unfortunately, the only way for this to be acheived is for Indianapolis to make that huge investment in LRT to tie BRV and Downtown together to develop everything in between—or Midtown. Why wait another 30-60 years for single family home neighborhoods to simply be cleaned/dressed up when these types of neighborhoods become obsolete when $5 + gas arrives. This city never wants to invest for the good of community, but rather try to attract people by staying cheap. Seriously, is this the way to do it? One more question: If you brought outsiders in and gave them a tour of all of these Near North neighborhoods…let’s say between 16th Street and Westfiield and Keystone to Capital…what percentage of these areas would be defined as desirable vs. ghetto? This large spread out area between BRV and Downtown needs to be connected somehow…and the car will only run for so long.

    • Chris Barnett says:

      Let’s start with the ghetto question and then get to $5 gas:
      .
      Your boundaries take in a big slice of the Near East Side and Martindale Brightwood. Most folks wouldn’t define Mid-North or Near North that widely. Let’s focus on a more manageable “Y-shaped” slice of the city: I-65 (south), I-65 & White River (west), Monon/Fall Creek/Keystone (east), White River/65th St. (north). This hits all the HARMONI and Maple Road areas, along with the King Park, Near North, and Mapleton Fall Creek CDC service areas south of 38th to the north edge of downtown.
      .
      Of the area I defined, I’d say a good deal less than half would be widely considered “bad neighborhood”. Some of the parts are really sketchy, some are “block by block”, some are coming back with considerable public investment, and some are uniformly good. Some are the most expensive residential real estate in town (Meridian Street, Golden Hill). And most importantly, it’s relatively densely populated.
      .
      Now to $5 gas: living and/or working within those described boundaries doesn’t require the kind of car-driving existence that is true of the ‘burbs. (I can make this statement with confidence because I have lived and/or worked within those boundaries for almost 30 years. Everything a yuppie could want is there, even Target. 🙂 ). I think $5 gas will make more people consider living in those areas, not fewer. To the extent that any part of Indianapolis could be said to be “well served” by IndyGo, that’s the part.
      .
      And for discerning people, schools are a non-issue now that there is so much choice within the IPS boundaries: parochial, private, charter, and magnets. That part is actually easier than when my kids were young.
      .
      I completely agree about connecting BR to Downtown by light rail, but $5 gas and demand for transit has to come first. Many of us who post here are simply “right too soon” about the need for this LRT line (and the east-west one).

  18. Curt Ailes says:

    Ill continue to beat the “right too soon” opinion drum until something happens. I can tell you that they are listening though. *ahem*

  19. Micah says:

    ‘Right too soon’ for one reason: It’s never too early for REAL INVESTMENT. Traditional and ‘safe’ forms of investment have proven too costly and outdated for Indianapolis. You can argue that I’m unrealistically trying to change culture. However, I can argue that these ideas are more pragmatic because it addresses many components of lifestyle…not just one or two. These ideas may be too complex to deal with people or promoters who just like to talk.

  20. Chris Barnett says:

    I missed my chance last night at the Irvington Green Initiative. The mayor was standing in Legends Cafe on East Washington taking questions and I did NOT ask him when we’d ever see light rail through the front window there. 🙁

    • Micah says:

      Man the ‘FIGURE 8’ combined with the WASHINGTON LINE. How great would that be! Oh, density for BRV would be cool too.

  21. PJ says:

    Indianapolis is a racist city divided by race, then socio-economic lines.

    When we get over living our “Big Lie” where we lie about being racist, segregationist, killing people for gasoline, enslavement to make the goods we purchase, and generally just stop lying to ourselves to merely kill or offend anything we deem to be a barrier to our “success”…we are doomed.

    Keep on discussing things that don’t really matter and you won’t really matter.

    Broad Ripple did fine as an organic “being”.

    When they diverge from the “Master Plans” and run culture out of a cultural district…it really just becomes a massive property tax zone doesn’t it?

    Bridge Kids weren’t cultural? Give me a break…diversity doesn’t get any better than Bridge Kids, skaters, artists, hippies, bars, restaurants…etc. But it isn’t great real estate investment…and after OIL then AUTO…Real Estate Developers run local Bartertown.

    Instinct knows when things are contrived. At least Carmel’s art zone is organically contrived through planning rather than just throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if it sticks.

    Question: How do I access Broad Ripple Village at 64th Street from the Monon Trail? (There is NO sidewalk access.)

    Answer: After more than a decade trash cans and access from the neighboring areas (south of the higher revenue tax zones North of 75th Street) are an after thought other than what the planners came up with from the satellite photos of the area.

    Quit electing these people whose focus is on tax base. Tax base develops naturally as people love an area and the demand pushes real estate prices up organically and naturally.

    Micah keep firing with both barrels we will get an ounce of culture into this city one way or another and chase out these people who call pissing in their neighbor’s pool…”success”!

    Peace.

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