Indianapolis’ Department of Public Works has released the priority list for Rebuild Indy part II. The first Rebuild Indy project came under fire from many angles, including this blog. This is not to say that there were not good accomplishments that happened with the initiative, but for the most part this project was about resurfacing and maintenance of the existing status quo. Poorly designed streets had new asphalt and concrete, but still had many of the same issues: poles in the sidewalks, sidewalks that were adjacent to the streets, and large turning radii, just to name a few issues.
Building streets correctly may be more expensive now, but will pay off later with a safer population. Even downtown, which has seen the largest chunk of this city’s re-investment, is not immune from car-centered streets and intersections. Witness the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets, which marks the zero/zero spot for the city’s addressing system:
North bound Meridian Street has a dedicated left turn lane and light. That means pedestrians crossing Washington Street have to wait for cars for more than one light cycle. If pedestrians don’t get priority in this spot, what hope do they have in other parts of town that are less prominent? Northbound Meridian Street isn’t even too heavily trafficked on this block, according to the MPO’s vehicle count:
10,000 vehicles sounds like quite a bit, but unlike the surrounding streets, Meridian is a 2 way street, meaning that closer to 5,000 vehicles head northbound on this block per day.
Like last time, Rebuild Indy is a great chance to truly change the priorities of the city towards public safety and a multi-modal transportation network. The project list appears to be more of the same, unfortunately.