Indianapolis, like many other cities, is looking for ways to gain revenues and cut costs. There is a great opportunity to do both at the same time to the east of Irvington. I believe that it’s safe to say that this city-owned cloverleaf at the crossroads of Washington and Shadeland is no longer necessary. Irvington has been looking to beautify the interchange. However, I believe it would be more useful to eliminate it entirely.
This interchange is huge. For a size comparison, this is the city-owned portion of this property (with the Right of Way included) superimposed on Monument Circle downtown:
For yet more visualization, I turned to Patrick Beyer, a recent graduate of Ball State University’s Landscape Architecture program. He put together these size comparisons focused on the intersection itself:
Instead of paying to maintain the roadway and infrastructure, the city can sell the land to developers and collect taxes on the sale. We could in turn reinvigorate the corner of Washington Street and Shadeland Avenue. Perhaps we put the shade back in Shadeland, in the form of buildings and street trees.
This would make an excellent starting point for an East Washington Street light rail line, which would help the intersection grow organically and lessen the need for parking.