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The New and “Improved” West Street

It seems a distant memory when the City/IUPUI announced a partnership to reinvest in the Natatorium and to return West New York and West Michigan Streets back to two-way automobile traffic, with improved gateways, art, street furniture, lighting, medians and pedestrian crossings. Yes, this announcement gathered the usual concerns about what such a significant change would do to the mass of students and event participants that frequently, though for small fractions of each day, use these one-way arterials as mini expressways to the interstates. Regardless, these changes will create a more vibrant, safer and better connected western edge of downtown.

These changes, of course, can’t come in isolation. The City has spent decades developing a confusing and frustrating one-way web of high-speed streets through our urban core. To throw out two important legs of this system will certainly create ripples. The most noticeable of which will likely be West Street. Anyone who has spent anytime on the west edge of downtown through IUPUI knows that West Street serves as a suburban arterial mixed with interstate interchange. With the growing emphasis to turn IUPUI from a commuter campus and the growing popularity for students to live in swanky new apartments downtown along the canal and eastward, the connection, or lack thereof, across WeWest St. Bridgest Street becomes more obvious.

Those with any interest in downtown development have likely heard of, or even seen Downtown Indy’s “Vision Plan” Velocity. On Page 45 of this document, you can see a proposed pedestrian bridge over West Street. Previous pages and studies clearly indicate the danger and failure of pedestrian crossings along West Street. This image, taken from the Velocity Plan at www.indyvelocity.com is a rendering of the extreme ideas being considered to allow people to cross safely. This is at the intersection of West Street and Vermont Street.

So, if you’re wondering, after three paragraphs of blabber, what I am trying to talk about, here it is. We get to answer the unanswerable question. Which came first, the car or the human? Okay. That’s not exactly how it goes, but it leads in well to this discussion. As work is underway on the two-way conversion of West New York Street, the Department of Public Works (DPW) is presenting their “plans” for altering West Street. One would think that, with all of the energy devoted to pedestrian improvements, connectivity and safety, we would see the great way in which DPW is creating a more functional West Street to tie into the work on New York and Michigan. I know I was prepared to see significant pedestrian improvements, possibly related to the Velocity Plan. But, as is so often the case, we are presented these (click on image for larger version):

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

Image Credit: Chris Corr

 

 

 

 

 

These plans were presented at an open house at IUPUI this week, attended by Urban Indy Writer Chris Corr. As usual, they get a bit hard to read, but once you adjust to a freeway being constructed through downtown, you begin to get the picture. These images move from south (NY and West) to north (Michigan and West). West Street remains 9-10 lanes wide, only the right of way area devoted to automobiles grows significantly, approximately 15-20%. This may not seem significant, but to a human being, it makes crossing a street nearly impossible. Admittedly, the intersection at West Street and New York doesn’t change much. There are now left turns permitted from West to New York and the crossing distance on New York Street, from north to south is increased by the addition of westbound lanes. I will note that there is improvement in the bike lane, which currently blends into a vehicle travel lane, will be fully independent through the intersection.

As we travel towards Vermont Street, things start to get very dicey, kind of like the rebuilt intersection/interchange of Allisonville Road and I-465. The left two lanes of North West Street break into two dedicated left turn lanes at Vermont Street, but not to turn on Vermont, which becomes a one-way east for some reason. In fact, these left turn lanes are meant for people turning from West Street onto West Michigan Street, a dedicated left turn lane stretching nearly two large city blocks! This intersection with Vermont also represents the 10-lane version of West Street. Looks like there is still no hope to get humans across the interst….I mean, the street. I guess the pedestrian bridge will have to be THAT much longer. Or, just force people to walk two extra city blocks to cross a single street. Heck, we do it other places.

Between Vermont and Michigan, things really get tricky. You thought round-a-bouts were rough. Check out this traffic pattern. The two dedicated left turn lanes on West, the ones that started at New York Street, cross over the south bound lanes of West Street creating a block long contraflow leading to an otherwise unrestricted inside turn, always works out great as a human or someone traveling by bike. The landscape medians, the small signs that life exists in this area, are otherwise obliterated and replaced with…umm…red area. Automobiles traveling southbound become the middle lanes of a traffic engineer’s boyhood dream. After getting through that mess, you will notice that we are introduced to a dedicated right turn lane from vehicles traveling east on New York Street to Southbound West Street. Don’t worry, DPW made sure it was a wide enough turn that cars need not hesitate as they motor through. Another item that always works out well for humans. Speaking of humans, check out those great pedestrian refuges. Hopefully they put some picnic furniture to enjoy these spaces next to the highway. Can anyone else picture a cheesy drawing from 1950 promoting one of these highway-side rest stops? On the north side of Michigan, you see the twin of the aforementioned right turn lane, for vehicles traveling south on West Street, turning onto West Michigan. The existing bike lane along Michigan becomes a separated bike lane/multi-use path (a great idea), but not before it is channeled into the pedestrian refuge and jogged across the dedicated turn lane where cars will very likely stop and yield for humans. Wait a second. How do humans cross Michigan on the west side of West Street? What’s that? Oh, they can’t? Okay. I thought I was reading the plans wrong. Did we at least retain all existing movements for vehicles? We did? What? Oh, we actually expanded those? Okay. Freedom of choice and stuff. While I have you, do you really expect cars will make the dedicated right turn lanes and not just turn from the straight only lanes once they realize they missed the off ramp? Will cars traveling east on Michigan turning left onto West make it into the northbound lanes, or will they likely go into the southbound lanes after already having crossed so many lanes of traffic?

…And then you carry on to the interstate, and that’s how you travel through a developing urban core, adjacent to a huge pedestrian center, without having to slow down, adjust your driving preference, or really think about anything at all. What was this lecture about? Oh yeah, in a long fought effort to improve New York and Michigan Streets, we are now provided an impossible barrier for humans to cross, paid for by many of those humans.

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42 Responses to “ “The New and “Improved” West Street”

  1. Randall says:

    Absolutely disgusting. I was not aware of this. Thank you for bringing attention to this. When will this city ever learn?

  2. Udo says:

    Incredible. Thank you for sharing. At what stage of planning is this? There needs to be push back.

  3. Walter says:

    Oh No!!! They are dong a Diverging Diamond intersection on a city street!! These are usually reserved for Interstate interchanges where a highway meets an interstate. Definitely not meant for a dowtown urban environment.

    • Ed says:

      This is a continuous flow intersection (CFI), which is only used on surface streets, not a diverging diamond. I’m surprised the term isn’t mentioned anywhere in the post or the comments.

  4. Paul says:

    And then people will complain about how the bike lanes are the reason we can’t afford to repave our roads….. All of this pavement, all of this engineering, all of this money spent and my guess is that travel times won’t improve for any individual in a car. All of this happens while this very mega project drives down (or holds back) the property values of the adjacent land.

    This is straight out of the 1960’s except with more impressive engineering to make it look like peds and cyclists are accommodated

  5. Benny says:

    I think everyone here in the comments and people on twitter have rightfully gotten up in arms about the fact that this design does absolutely nothing to accommodate the modes of travel that are common on either a college campus or an urban core— a lack of accommodation that is utterly ridiculous considering that this is a street that defines the boundaries of a college campus and an urban core.

    HOWEVER

    I cannot get over these contraflow lanes. What in the world are they meant to accomplish?

    Are they supposed to help left-turning traffic have to avoid the wait-and-see issues with oncoming thru traffic with the usual green arrow/yield on green ball? So now the left-turning traffic is going to have to do the EXACT SAME THING, only half a block back, all the while giving these cars even less queuing space before blocking the NY St intersection.

    Is it because the West / Mich St intersection would be a blind left in some way? No, it’s a straight 90° and there’s hardly any buildings crowding sight lines. It seems to me that with the hugely offset thresholds for the stop bars on both the left turn northbound West St traffic and the left turn eastbound Michigan St traffic is something that would be more likely to cause vehicle collisions. And vehicle-ped collisions, too, since there are crosswalks.

    Is this something to help pedestrian/bike flow at this intersection? Well, it removes the ability for pedestrians to cross Michigan St at all on the west side of West St (at least, on a marked path). So that’s dumb as heck.

    Is this design meant to help prevent collisions? Look, I realize I’m not a traffic engineer, and I don’t have data on whether West St is currently a big mess of car crashes or something. But something tells me that there’s no way in the world that the average driver is going to adroitly follow that wacky crossover into full England mode somehow better than just putting in a normal left turn lane.

    Sorry to leave this long of a comment but good lord this design is stupid, even just for cars.

    • Ed says:

      The purpose is to increase traffic throughput by allowing people to turn left at the same time oncoming traffic is proceeding straight. Oncoming traffic has to stop anyways when Michigan St. has the signal, giving left turning traffic a chance to cross over freely.

      I don’t get why there isn’t a crosswalk crossing Michigan St. on the west side (between the left turn lane and the rest of the road), considering there’s no traffic movement that conflicts with that.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous-flow_intersection

  6. ahow628 says:

    I passed this article along to my city councilor (Jeff Miller) and asked him to pass it along to the Ransom Place councilor and to be sure that all the residents of that area know what the heck is going to be happening in their neighborhood (traffic jams, severing their hood, wrecking their property values). Hopefully everyone can stand up and say, !@#$ NO, THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!

  7. Joe Smoker says:

    Sadly, They are actually increasing vehicle capacity on New York and Michigan as well. I had been so thrilled that they were making two-way traffic work in existing paved right-of-way, but no. These streets will continue to be hostile to pedestrians, just look newer for now.

  8. Bob Sharpe says:

    Was sitting at a TRAX light rail station on North Temple in Salt Lake City Tuesday during evening rush hour. It was right across from the arena where the Jazz play. North Temple used to be a six lane through street with turn lanes, kind of like West. Four lanes were taken out for light rail tracks and the platform, leaving one each direction for cars and bikes to share. In some places, the sidewalks were widened and parking was removed. In spite of all this, it worked well. Pics and video here http://tinyurl.com/nw23m8f

  9. Mav-1 says:

    I love the use of the term “Pedestrian Refuge”. Indeed, they will need refuge after crossing this street. These designers are aware of the significant student traffic from the city center to the IUPUI campus, no?

  10. Fred says:

    Typical of DPW. They have never been good with engaging the public (or other departments within the City).

  11. Chris Barnett says:

    Wow. That counterflow is crazy…and it will be much worse after pavement markings start to wear off. (The first ones to go are always the dotted lines for dual-lane turns.)

    My one snarky thought: too bad IUPUI didn’t build actual urban buildings up against the old sidewalks. It’s those campus green lawns and huge setbacks that have made this possible.

  12. Jim Hodapp says:

    I don’t understand this plan at all. Where is this initiative coming from in the first place? Is it from the 2-way conversions of Michigan and New York that initiated this? Are there crazy traffic projections that says this street’s car traffic will increase? I’d like to see these numbers if someone knows where to dig it up from the city.

    All of this while IUPUI is making a concerted effort to be less commuter-centric and more on-campus-living-centric, which means more pedestrians and less cars. This will make an even bigger wall that will prevent students from walking, jogging and biking to downtown instead of helping. It’ll be terrifying to cross on foot. It even looks like it would be quite confusing even for somebody driving a vehicle through it. Not only does it cut off IUPUI from downtown, but it also cuts off the southern part of the canal walk, makes the Cultural Trail less friendly, isolates the White River State park more and will be even more expensive to maintain.

    Why not remove some lanes of traffic and make the street much more multimodal. This isn’t the 1960s anymore. Many cities are doing roads diets while Indy is expanding our roads, doubling down on antiquated and dangerous road design.

  13. Fred says:

    @Jim – They are coming from DPW, which operates in a vacuum. I doubt seriously there are any data to back it up. The only data they have are traffic counts.

    IUPUI is just as guilty, as the campus from the beginning has never been truly master planned. One of the biggest components of pedestrian-friendly campus planning is pushing the parking to the perimiter areas. IUPUI did just the opposite.

  14. Randall says:

    This plan has infuriated me since I first read about it here yesterday. Why hasn’t there been anything about this in the IBJ or the Star? Will there be additional meeting regarding this? I hope so, I will be sure to show up.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if we will be the only media outlet that talks about this disaster. Stuff like this is a large reason that Urban Indy exists in the first place. Street design is critical for urban development, but it doesn’t often get page hits.

      I do hope to keep the public up to date with any opportunities to formally oppose the plan, but I’m not aware of any at the moment.

  15. Andy Arenson says:

    My daily commute is a walk to iupui that crosses Michigan on the west side of West.

    I regularly cross west at Michigan for lunch or to run errands.

    I’m looking forward to the improved Nike lanes on New York and Michigan, but was also assuming that the pedestrian crossings would get better, not worse.

    I’m disappointed and afraid.

  16. ahow628 says:

    Jeff Miller wrote back to me and let me know that Vop Osili is the councilor for that area and he was not aware of this. He plans on looking into it.

  17. IndyGuy says:

    I can understand that this design would cause issues for most pro-density, urban living types, but the fact remains that you can’t change a city overnight. IUPUI will remain a mostly commuter campus so long as the people that run the show want to keep IU-Bloomington as the flagship station. IUPUI has roughly 30K students and for about the past decade or so has started to really draw in students from all over the country. The original plans were for 10% of the student body to live in on campus housing. That is only 3K people living “on campus.” With the recent building of the The Avenue, 1201 Indiana Ave. (a/k/a The Tyler), etc., the surrounding area might add another 15% of undergrads living within what I call walking or biking distance. Compared to other colleges, having only 25% living within this distance means many will still be driving.

    The reason West Street diverts the NB left turn onto Mich. traffic is because so many people back up West Street as it is now. Currently the two left turn lanes are less than a city block in length. This new design allows for all those vehicles to stop blocking traffic down past Ohio and hopefully move those stopped vehicles north of NY Street to wait to turn.

    Taking the bike lanes off the street is needed, because many people have no clue how to safely ride a bike on the street, even with bike lanes. Watch the intersection of NY and West during the evening rush hour. The bike lane terminated just west of the intersection for eastbound traffic. The riders are so impatient, they would ride between two lanes of stopped traffic. Some would even run the red light. There is a complete lack of some that if you are riding a bike on the street, you are more like a car, and thus need to stop for red lights. Maybe there is some law that allows for a stop and go, but riding between stopped lanes of traffic, not wanting to actually stop your bike, this is all due to laziness. I’m glad the bike lanes are removed from the street.

    Additionally, any complaints about walking an extra city block or two are completely without merit. Again, a sign of complete and utter laziness. People today take the path of least work and effort and are so impatient they jaywalk, cross against the “Don’t walk” signal, etc.. I wish there would be more of a push to place some sort of barriers along these roads, forcing people to cross at proper crosswalks.

    • Chris Corr says:

      Two questions:

      1. What percentage of cars northbound on West are expected to turn left at the newly created westbound lanes on New York?

      2. How will this change the nature of backups for cars turning left from West to Michigan in the context of the existing configuration?

      I would be shocked if drivers would continue to “bang their head against the wall” in insane backups to turn left at Michigan given the new option to turn left at New York. Traffic adapts.

      The redesign for the intersection of Michigan and West strikes everyone who has seen it as an extreme answer to a rush hour issue. No street should be engineered for the benefit of one type of user for 2 hours, to the detriment of all other users all the time.

      This design is folly, the kind of urban renewal traffic engineering mistake that cities all across the country have begun to recognize and remediate. That we are moving in the opposite direction with our street planning — IN THE CONTEXT OF A PROJECT TO IMPROVE CAMPUS CONNECTIVITY, SAFETY AND ACCESSIBILITY — is unbelievable.

      Mark my words: if this intersection gets rebuilt as currently designed, DPW will be back in the future to rip it out.

      • IndyGuy says:

        Good point about cars turning west (left) onto New York from West Street. I don’t think it will be many. There are two parking garages and surface parking just west of the Mich. and West St. intersection. Those lots are what I would say are on the outer edges of campus. Not sure how much left turn onto Mich. traffic is going to these parking areas, if it isn’t many, NY Street west bound could become and option, and it might just keep the back-ups on West Street. We will have to see.

    • Jim Hodapp says:

      One of the main things that I take issue with in your response is that you have no issue with designing and optimizing for one mode of transportation only (cars/trucks) and that you want to optimize for throughput. Nobody drives in any major city thinking they’ll get anywhere in a car/truck quickly nor should they because of very vulnerable people on foot and bike that get seriously injured or killed by cars going 30 mph or more. Therefore we should be putting West street on a road diet and letting the grid handle the congestion issues instead of creating highway-class lanes and lack of visual and physical barriers to keeping traffic speeds 30 mph or lower. Lastly, the other folly that you are making and that many traffic engineers in this country make is to design for a single mode of transportation for a very small window of use. Congestion happens at very small, very specific times of the day. The rest of the majority of time these roads are not congested. Building for more capacity and more car throughput will only make congestion worse because it reinforces the idea that people driving can all leave at the same time. Instead, reduce lanes, make it more difficult to speed through and you’ll see people adapt. They’ll plan their class schedules so they don’t all get out at 5 PM or start at 8 AM, etc.

      • Chris Barnett says:

        In all fairness, the grid is pretty chewed up right there because of the fact that IUPUI is essentially an island (with Fall Creek to the north, White River to the west and south, and the Canal to the east). So there are only 3 ways in and 3 ways out (10th/11th, Michigan, and New York) running between White River Parkway and West St. Further, IUPUI’s urban renewal created those huge superblocks.

        The grid just doesn’t exist there. This is not to say that this solution is a good one…it’s not. But it’s a predictable response to a much bigger “system” issue.

        • Jim Hodapp says:

          Agreed. As someone who attended IUPUI and drove to class, I understand this. However, changing Michigan and New York to 2 way streets should greatly help with this as all auto traffic no longer needs to flow in the counterclockwise circular direction. The answer to this is not to double down on making even larger roads but to fix the nature of the super blocks on IUPUI’s campus by continuing to get more and more people out of their cars and to live on campus. Further develop things less like the suburbs and more like the urban location that it is. That means mixed-use and not single-purpose buildings.

          • IndyGuy says:

            Living on campus can be costly. You might be able to do it on around $25K/year, but that depends on if the cheaper options aren’t first year students only. The apartments on campus are costly. The newer off-campus complexes are $1,000 per bed at a minimum, so even a two bedroom won’t give a person much of a break.

            While not having a vehicle can save a little bit of money, most students do have a reasonably priced used car while attending college, including more traditional schools like IUB, so the only thing one really saves living on or near campus is on gas.

    • ahow628 says:

      Wow, cyclists and pedestrians are lazy because they have to use extreme measures (jumping lights, crossing against signals, walk the long way around). That is some classic victim blaming. Unbelievable.

      I’ll also point out that regardless of what the law says, cyclists are not cars and should not be treated as such. I will never ride my bike like it is a car because that would be a death wish. I will ride in a manner that keeps me safe and that includes jumping lights, taking lanes, and passing stopped cars. It isn’t laziness; it is self-preservation.

      • Paul says:

        “We’re going to make it really inconvenient for you and if you complain, you’re lazy”

      • IndyGuy says:

        We will have to agree to disagree. I think the law speaks for itself, but if people want to take the risk of darting in front of moving traffic, crossing against traffic, that is on them. I get self-preservation, but I’ve see way too many cyclist have near misses and it was on the cyclist, not the vehicle.

        As far as pedestrians, they aren’t in the street like cyclist, so yes, crossing against signals just means they are impatient. Cutting across streets not at a crosswalk because it saves you walking an additional ten yards or something is laziness.

        • Bertie says:

          Yes, that is lazy.

          But by that same metric, what would you call students who live downtown and drive to IUPUI campus? Or, for that matter, people who refuse to go downtown because they might not be able to park immediately adjacent to their destination?

          Cars are the ultimate in convenience, and it’s ridiculous to knock them. But the emergence of America’s car-first culture and the public health epidemic of obesity cannot be chalked up to pure coincidence. We got the current built environment (West Street included) because of cars, and cars certainly helped us become lazier.

    • Joe Smoker says:

      This may be a joke post, just to incite arguments. That being said, it is important to note that road engineers dump endless sums of time and money creating “optimal” situations for the peak traffic period every day, but fail to provide even suitable conditions for the most vulnerable among us. Sure, someone, who is able-bodied, could cross the intersection two extra time to get to the same point, leaving them exposed and at greater risk of injury or death, but imagine those who aren’t able-bodied, or simply have difficulty walking. I simply request that, when you tell someone in a wheelchair that they must now cross West Street highway twice to get from one side of the road to the other, I be present.

      • IndyGuy says:

        This country can’t just change everything for a tiny minority. Should ever IndyGo bus start driving to handicap person’s front door, because making them walk a block or two isn’t a nice thing to do? I believe in accommodation and trying to accommodate everyone in some fashion, but do you think there are no limits on this? A comment above said traffic should be heavy, and people driving should just have to wait a little extra in traffic, or classes could be staggered, driver’s forced to leave earlier for early classes, or later for evening classes. If it is OK to mandate drivers changing their schedule, why not ask the same as a person in a wheelchair? It is going to take at most an extra five minutes for someone with a disability to complete the crossing, not hours.

        • Paul says:

          The city should incentivize walking as a mode of transport in the downtown area. There are lots of natural pedestrian uses and the area is in high demand so it naturally lends itself to walking as the most efficient form of travel. The harder you make small trips for walking, the more you incentivize driving and the more gridlock you will get. Look at Castleton, 116th, South Madison. All of these places have horrible gridlock because there is no other option. The mile square has much more intensive use than these areas but IMO is actually easier to drive through because it is also kind of a pain, which is how it should be. Not unending gridlock for the people who must drive, just limited parking, slower traffic. People will walk from shop to shop, from their office to lunch. That is how it should be. But if you make people feel unsafe and make the street appear to be soley designed for cars, people will get back in their cars. Causing gridlock and bad functionality of place.

        • Joe Smoker says:

          IndyGo does have a para-transit service and open door service that will make direct stops at homes and businesses for people who are unable to walk. And yes, this country should make every single effort to make life livable for people in wheelchairs and those who can walk. There are millions of people confined to wheelchairs in this country. They DON’T have a choice on mobility. You seem to believe it is logical that we dedicated limited resources for the sole purpose of furthering an auto-centric society, when people driving cars have made that choice. It is their choice to drive. I am talking about people who don’t have a choice. While this is a broad topic, we are focusing on one of the most pedestrian-heavy sections of downtown. Even people who drive to campus walk from where they park to classes, using this intersection. I will say it again, people who drive have made that decision. There exists the infrastructure for them to drive. If they feel it is inconvenient, find a different way. Limiting the mobility of those who are already limited, just so people who have chosen to drive are slightly less inconvenienced during a few hours of the day is not an acceptable solution by any metric.

        • ahow628 says:

          As Joe Smoker pointed out, they do, as required by the ADA.

  18. Note: We will tolerate reasonable discussion of the merits of the project. If you can do that, you’re welcome to discuss this here and defend this project. Notice how the post at 5:01 AM on October 6th is still up, even though I didn’t agree with it.

    We will not tolerate implied threats and name calling. This has been our policy from day one. Feel free to make those comments somewhere else, but not here.

    • Thanks, Kevin, for consistently providing relevant info and keeping the conversation civil.

      This is a significant project to “get right” due to its function as a key downtown gateway, its large footprint, and its long lifespan once implemented. Though projects like this might not typically get much attention from the media, for these reasons this one should get as much attention and scrutiny as any major (re)development in the downtown area. Do you know if there will be a public comment period?

      In light of Indy’s Complete Streets Ordinance and the many significant planning efforts underway to make Indy more livable and pedestrian friendly it just seems counter. I also wonder what parts of this design might accommodate future public transit options such as BRT. It will be interesting to learn how truly integrated the next Comprehensive Plan: Thoroughfare Element (“Public Draft targeted for release Fall 2015” http://plan2020.com/plans/tr/) will be with the recently approved Indy Rezone Comprehensive Planning Ordinance LIVABILITY PRINCIPLES:

      Provide More Transportation Choices – Develop safe, reliable and affordable transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce energy consumption and dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.

      Promote Equitable, Affordable Housing – Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.

      Enhance Economic Competitiveness – Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.

      Support Existing Communities – Target Federal funding toward existing communities – through strategies like transit-oriented development, mixed-use development, and land recycling – to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.

      Coordinate Policies & Leverage Investment – Align Federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.

      Value Communities & Neighborhoods – Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods – rural, urban, or suburban.

  19. This reminds me (and I’m sure Chris Barnett can attest) of another city with a prominent 38th Street, which offers almost as big of a vehicular chasm, all while bisecting a campus.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9531943,-75.1987408,3a,75y,216.16h,85.32t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1suvTBMcVJoeJ4w0mwoNFf4w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    In Philadelphia, it might not be quite as wide as West Street in Indy (or 38th Street), but it has a similar effect, and for a campus (University of Pennsylvania) that never intended to lure commuters. Note how, using Google Streetview, it’s clear that virtually all the streets turn their back to 38th, reinforcing the notion that it is a chute for cars. It may even be more egregious in Philly, since it’s a much less car-dependent city by nature and it really does split the western third of the Penn campus from the rest. But the students get a pedestrian bridge!

  20. Louis Mahern says:

    Maybe this intersection will turn out as well as that at Raymond and Shelby. Anyone trying to cross Raymond is taking a chance on his or her life. Our new leaders need to read Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars. The amount of urban surface given over to the automobile is obscene.

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