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Mobilizing in Support for Mass Transit

The next month will be absolutely critical for supporters of Indianapolis Transit. First, they need to pass the budget for 2017. The budget didn’t clear a Committee Hearing last month in a surprise move. Fortunately there is still time to save the budget, with a hearing scheduled at the full Council next Monday at 7pm at the City-County Building.

Supporters of transit are encouraged to attend, starting across the street at the City Market at 6:30 pm. Attendees will be provided a Transit Drives Indy t-shirt.

Also, there are now finally yard signs in support of the Transit Expansion Plan to combat the ones that the anti-transit folks have been displaying. There are more signs at IndyHubMIBOR, or you could contact Transit Drives Indy to request one.

Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

This is absolutely critical. I’ve been talking about transit on this website for 9.5 years, and it’s the first chance for us to actually improve the network. This means:

  • Earlier start times
  • Later stop times
  • More frequent routes
  • More Bus Rapid Transit to add to the Red Line
  • More trustworthy funding for a system that is always trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
  • For more, including the best summary of what this all means, check out this PDF.

I urge you to vote for this initiative, if you live in Marion County. Even if you don’t plan on riding the bus, more people riding in buses on the road means fewer cars for you to have to deal with.

 

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47 Responses to “ “Mobilizing in Support for Mass Transit”

  1. Natacha says:

    Well, at least you corrected your grammatical error and eliminated the reference to geometry, but you still didn’t answer the question: who is paying for the T-shirts and signs, and what is their agenda?

    Other questions you won’t answer before you delete this post: are people who are transit-dependent being misled into thinking that their bus service will be eliminated if they don’t vote in favor of the referendum? What specific plans does IndyGo have for service other than Red Line? Are there any? Also, do the transit-dependent understand that Red Line won’t help them, but will divert millions of dollars into destroying the infrastructure of College Avenue and Meridian Street that could be used to improve their service, just to protect the investments of developers?

    • Kate says:

      I’m pretty sure the signs and t-shirts are being funded by Transit Drives Indy. TDI is funded by a variety of partners, all of whom can be found here: http://www.transitdrivesindy.com/about-us

      As for TDI’s agenda, that can be found here: http://www.transitdrivesindy.com/the-basics

      I wouldn’t call myself “transit dependent,” but I do not own a car and use transit occasionally. I am not under the impression that transit will be eliminated if the referendum does not pass, but I do know that if it continues at current funding levels, it’s going to remain the type of system it is today: inconvenient and a system of need rather than of choice.

      As for plans other than the Red Line, yes. You can find them here: http://www.indygo.net/transitplan/.

      How do you know that the Red Line isn’t going to help people like me? It will certainly help my partner, who also doesn’t have a car, and bikes every day from the near east side to his work in Broad Ripple. The current bus stops a lot and takes longer than his bike, so even on rainy or cold days when he would prefer to not bike, he does. The Red Line will make those days a lot easier on him.

      • Natacha says:

        All I found were generalizations like “shorter waits, later hours, easier transfers, every route, every day”, and a completely indecipherable bar graph.

        My comment was directed to a statement by a transit rider who was interviewed by a local TV station. That rider’s comment implied to me that he thought bus service might be curtailed if he didn’t vote for the referendum. Given IndyGo’s history of exaggeration [that’s putting it mildly], this is a fair question.

        You still haven’t answered the question about why it is proper to blow millions of transportation dollars to tear up College Avenue and Meridian Street to construct a median, instead of curbside pickup, in view of the fact that the most public transit-dependent population doesn’t live in this area. Why weren’t the needs of those in more public transit-dependent areas addressed first? You also haven’t addressed why protecting developers’ investments is an appropriate priority for spending scarce transportation dollars.

        Why should people who don’t use the bus, which is the majority of Indianapolis residents, pay increased taxes for greater convenience for people who have other choices?

        • Jeffrey C says:

          I’m voting to pay for transit that I will infrequently or rarely use for the same reason it doesn’t bother me to pay taxes to support schools when I’ve never had children: it strengthens the overall economy and enables more opportunities for more people, both of which lead to a stronger city and often, better property values for me.

          • A.L. says:

            Same here, and I plan to vote yes for that reason. I understand that I’m privileged, and it doesn’t pain me one bit to have some of my tax dollars go to helping people in our city. Though I probably will use the Red Line, so I’m a tad self-serving on that part.

          • T says:

            Plus the fact that Indianapolis is at the bottom of the barrel in terms of public transportation, it’s embarassing.

          • EK says:

            Me too, Jeffrey C. No kids, but I’m devoted to public education and gladly support it with my tax dollars. No car, so I will definitely use the Red Line and am happy to help fund it for the betterment of this little burg we call a big city.

      • Scott says:

        As I understand, IndyGo is currently flush with funds that they could spend on more frequent runs and fuel efficient buses. They could also have routes that make fewer stops, creating somewhat of express routs, but they don’t seem to want to do this.
        I really don’t see the Red Line doing much for the poorer residents of Indianapolis. Individual bus routes can be changed or altered as needed, but not the Red Line. Has the question of emergency vehicle on College Ave been addressed? there will only be one lane of traffic in each direction which will cause serious problems for any rescue crews to get through. An accident or fire on College will make it impassible.
        The new apartments planed for College south of Kessler is proposing adding a signal just one block south of Kessler for tenants and customers of retail to enter and exit. I understand the Red Line will have the capability of controlling stop signals. How will this affect cross traffic?

    • I’m going to leave this one up, just so people can respond. If this thread gets out of hand again, though, I won’t hesitate to lock it up.

      First, It’s true that I don’t have an editor. I’m better at getting information out to the public than I am writing perfectly. I wrote that post too quickly, but I wanted to get that time-sensitive information out before I had to move on to something else.

      Second, I’ll let others respond to your points.

  2. Chris Corr says:

    1. Are people who are transit-dependent being misled into thinking that their bus service will be eliminated if they don’t vote in favor of the referendum?

    This smacks of innuendo. I suspect if you had evidence that this is happening, you would present it rather than ask this question.

    2. What specific plans does IndyGo have for service other than Red Line? Are there any?

    Absolutely! The Marion County Transit Plan is available here:

    http://www.indyconnect.org/the-central-indiana-transit-plan/the-marion-county-transit-plan/

    3. Also, do the transit-dependent understand that Red Line won’t help them, but will divert millions of dollars into destroying the infrastructure of College Avenue and Meridian Street that could be used to improve their service, just to protect the investments of developers?

    There is a high concentration of transit-dependent residents on Meridian, particularly between Fall Creek Parkway and 38th St. The Red Line routes there specifically to serve this population. They understand that and their votes will count in November.

  3. Joe Smoker says:

    I don’t know if I meet your definition of ‘transit dependent but I don’t own a car and ultimately bike, bus and walk anywhere I need or want to go. I am fortunate to live close to work and downtown, so I don’t have to rely on a bus for necessities. That being said, I also typically avoid many places along College and into Broad Ripple because it is just out of quick reach by bike and bus service is currently ineffective for this to be a common option for me. The introduction of the Red Line, and improvements to the current system will allow me to invest in the Broad Ripple area, supporting many local businesses that I couldn’t otherwise. It is certainly the transit dependent that suffer the most from our underfunded system, but also people like me. I am a choice rider and typically avoid the current system.

    • Natacha says:

      Again, Smoker, why should the majority of people who live in Indianapolis–i.e., those who don’t ride the bus, pay higher taxes to subsidize your convenience? Why should people like me, who live on College Avenue, lose the right to make left turns, the convenience of crossing College Avenue at non-signalized intersections, and the loss of parking for customers of businesses along College Avenue, lose these benefits for your convenience? Red Line would be only marginally faster than current bus service. Also, with fewer stops, those who don’t live close to stops will walk further, if they still ride, which is doubtful. 75% of stops will be eliminated, just for the convenience of people like you, who don’t want to bother reading bus schedules and waiting for a bus.

      • Joe Smoker says:

        Wow, you sure launch at the throat don’t you. This is such a false argument. Here I am, being asked to provide you your preference in lifestyle, through my taxes, because you intend to control a public utility based on your preference. Transportation is, and should be considered, a common good. Excuse me if I am being blunt, but why do you get to dictate transportation? In an effort to provide a multi-modal system, this proposal allows for automobile and mass transit on all routes. Do you think it is ideal to not have full access at all points? probably not. Do I think it is ideal that the red line can’t function with complete priority along this route? no I don’t. I’ve been asked to pay for education for kids. I don’t have children and don’t plan on it, but I know it is a positive for the community, so I pay it. This doesn’t mean that my neighborhood school is the best and my house is more valuable because of it. The truth is, because of mindsets like yours, transit in Indy will never receive the funding it needs. This isn’t purely a convenience for me, it is part of my transportation portfolio. Just as you could chose to ride the bus, but clearly don’t.

        I can appreciate the discussion on the topic, but you need to be able to broaden your perception of what increased transit service means to the city.

        • Natacha says:

          The inconvenient truth is that most people who live in Indianapolis do not want to ride a bus. In some instances, like those who live in the furthest reaches of Marion County, there isn’t even bus service available, but they are being asked to pay even more taxes to subsidize a service they will never use.

          The additional inconvenient truth is that there is nothing wrong with preferring to drive a car. Not everyone can ride a bicycle or walk 1/2 mile for a bus, especially with little children and in bad weather. Some people have lost their driving privileges; some cannot afford a car. There is public transportation available for them, which is very heavily subsidized by those who don’t choose or want to ride a bus. The real questions are: how much more should the overwhelming numbers of people who don’t ride the bus be forced to pay to subsidize those who do, and also, what is the best use of transportation dollars?

          There are also the other questions I raised about the absolute lack of necessity for Red Line and waste of money, infrastructure damage and harm to local small businesses and inconvenience to those living on or near the proposed Red Line route that would result from tearing up College Avenue and Meridian Street to install a median. That move is solely calculated to prevent IndyGo from abandoning Red Line when the promised 51% increase in ridership doesn’t happen, which we know won’t happen because Hamilton County has made clear they don’t want Red Line. The reason for tearing up College and Meridian is to protect the investments of developers who want to qualify for “transit oriented development” government handouts. That is purely wasted money that won’t help those who need bus service the most.

          Bus service is not a public utility, because public utilities are self-sufficient and priced according to the quantity of usage. While IndyGo does charge fares, most of its operational costs are subsidized. IndyGo has established that it can’t stay within its budget, even though ridership numbers keep spiraling down. IndyGo is financially irresponsible and its decisions are being driven by urbanism fanatics. Pushing for Red Line, in lieu of concentrating and prioritizing resources to help the most public-transit dependent population, proves this. These are all good reasons why people will be voting against the referendum.

          • Joe Smoker says:

            I understand that you are opposed to the Red Line, and transit in general. That is fine and your choice. The issue is that you blast your opinion as fact, and pretend that the majority of people are behind you. Surveys have concluded that a majority of Marion County residents support improved transit.

          • 2 questions says:

            Natacha, two questions:

            1. Would you vote in favor of the referendum if none of the resulting revenue following passage were appropriated for the Red Line?

            2. Should any public service exist if not funded by fees resulting from use of said service?

          • Paul says:

            Natacha, you are presenting a false choice fallacy when you talk about how not everyone can walk, ride a bike, or use transit. You are inferring that the referendum will somehow eliminate driving as an option, that is just an exaggeration opponents somehow still push.

            Also, people can walk and engage in physical activity. It is absurd to assume that some large portion of the human race is unable to walk. Not only that but to then push a transportation plan that is purely auto based because some people are physically unable to walk. There are far more people who cannot afford a car then can’t walk a few blocks. But all of this is moot because with the redline you can still drive your car as much as you want.

      • LastBoyScout says:

        Thank you for finally being honest about your personal opposition to the project, which is based on your personal convenience.

      • Rhonda Starr says:

        Perhaps you are unaware, but “the right to make left turns” is not an inalienable right.

  4. Andy Arenson says:

    The TransitPlan focuses on connecting the people who most need the bus to the places with the most vacant jobs — increasing the frequency and the hours, so getting to work becomes practical.

    This investment will pay dividends: More people working, more jobs, more sales and more taxes collected.

    The Red Line is the scaffold that the TransitPlan builds on, a fast north/south route connecting a series of East/West bus lines at different latitudes.

  5. Natacha says:

    As to divorcing Red Line from the referendum. I am aware that IndyGo thinks it can build Red Line regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Once they blow $100 million on tearing up College Avenue to protect the investments of developers, then they’ll hound the CC Council to fund it, arguing “well, we’ve already spent $100 million, let’s give it a chance, because if we build it, people will ride”. No, they won’t. People in Indianapolis who have a choice do not want to ride a bus.

    So now, IndyGo is pushing to separate the issue of Red Line from increased funding for the entire system. It’s an after-the-fact shell game, contrived to disguise the fact that IndyGo did not priortize those who depend on bus service, and we see it for what it is. No, I won’t support the referendum.

    Red Line will replace the existing College Avenue line, eliminating 75% of current stops, and will disenfranchise the majority of current College Avenue riders–those who live south of 38th Street. To use Red Line, most riders would need to walk further. Eliminating 75% of stops and turning west at 38th Street means that there will be even fewer riders than there are now. Ridership has been steadily decreasing anyway, and this will lower it even more.

    Andy, you need to stop drinking the Kool Aid. There are few to no jobs along College Avenue and Meridian Street. Red Line will not go anyplace buses do not go, and therefore cannot and will not create jobs, increase employment or anything else, other than the tax burden. There are lots of jobs on the Keystone corridor–the original location for Red Line, but when developers discovered they could get “transit oriented development” grants to pay the cost of building tall apartments in the more-desirable Meridian Kessler area, the route got switched to College Avenue.

    More importantly for those who are transit-dependent, building Red Line will absolutely doom any prospects for the Blue or Purple lines because Red Line is destined to fail miserably. Hamilton County has made it clear that it will never go north of 66th Street, it will carry fewer riders than the College and Meridian buses do now, and because of the massive failure of Red Line, taxpayers will turn against BRT and refuse to sacrifice any more money toward this urbanism fad.

    • A says:

      I’m not sure why these comments continue, as it is not a constructive conversation. IndyGo has stated multiple times that, if the referendum does not pass, then existing routes will be altered to feed into the Red Line, resulting in operational savings from the other local routes. College Avenue has an access management problem, with vehicles turning left across traffic into driveways from general purpose lanes. Not having the Red Line in a dedicated center lane would result in this continued issue plus buses stopping in the right hand general purpose lanes.

      Your assumption on Red Line ridership is flawed as your assume that the only variable in public transit ridership is the number of stops does not account for travel time and bus frequency. 1/2 mile spacing on Red Line stops still keeps the 5 minute walk-shed for anyone along the College Avenue/Meridian Street corridor while increasing frequency and decreasing travel time. The faux-concern for bus riders based exclusively on the number of stops is a non-starter.

      You also claim that ridership has been “steadily decreasing.” This is not true, either. IndyGo’s ridership reached a peak of more than 10 million passenger trips in 2014. While ridership has taken a dip due to lower fuel prices in the past year, this is not enough to establish a trend line of decreasing ridership. Therefore, the claim of “steadily decreasing” ridership is wrong.

      In terms of whether or not it is needed, if you look at a map of exclusively IndyGo’s frequent service routes, they are all east-west oriented. The biggest missing part of the frequent system is a north-south link that traverses the county without a required transfer Downtown. The Purple and Blue Lines will increase travel times on the existing 8 and 39 frequent service corridors, but they don’t necessarily improve access.

      The claim that Keystone was the originally selected alternative for the Red Line is just a lie. You’ve made that claim many, many times and it has been proven wrong many, many times. Keystone was identified as a corridor that could possibly host BRT service, but it was never selected as the Red Line route. None of your claim is even remotely true, though it is a convenient one for you to make as a “conspiracy.” College Avenue is already a transit-oriented corridor. The homes and business structures there now were built up around transit by developers to begin with and has the transit-supporting fabric of an urban environment.

      Public transit is not an “urbanism fad.” This is a very serious issue that impacts everyone, particularly those of low income who have been plagued by poor public transportation service in Indianapolis for decades. The proposed system under the referendum will substantially increase the number of economic opportunities made available within a 30 and 45 minute travel time and with far greater frequency.

      As for “public utilities supporting themselves,” well then I would expect you to fight for higher sewer rates, higher water rates, billing from fire and police services, public park entry fees, and start paying for the free on-street parking that has been offered on Indy’s public streets for decades.

      • Natacha says:

        Let’s start with the alleged “lie” about Keystone being the original north-south choice. I’ve seen the documents from several years ago, showing Red Line on Keystone–have you seen these? When Councilor Scales confronted IndyGo with a copy of materials from the first iteration of Red Line, it clearly showed it as being on Keystone. The IndyGo rep told her she didn’t know how to read a map. IndyGo is attempting to avoid the inconvenient implication of the change to College, where there are few jobs and shopping opportunities. It is not a coincidence that certain well-connected developers own lots along College Avenue.

        I’ve heard the tired argument about College Avenue being a “transit corridor”, built around the interurban. First, many north-south streets had an interurban route, like Pennsylvania Street, for example, which also has corners with small businesses. If College was intended for mass transit, why was every single house on College and adjacent streets built with a detached garage? This argument is simply not true.

        College is also not a “commercial” corridor along the proposed Red Line route, either. It is a residential street. In Meridian-Kessler, between Kessler and 38th St, there are 21 intersections. Of these 21 intersections, less than 1/3 have small businesses–Kessler, 54th, 52nd, 49th, 46th, and 38th. Compare that to Keystone Avenue, which is almost all commercial.

        Building tall apartment buildings in a residential area and installing a BRT is part of the urbanism fad–“pack ’em and stack ’em”. It has failed and will continue to fail because most people do not, long-term, want to live in an apartment in close proximity to other people. People want their own space, including a yard for their pets and kids, and for gardening.

        As to public transit, IndyGo began the discussion with Red Line, in an area where it isn’t needed, rather than areas of the City where people are transit-dependent. It can’t justify this, so now, to garner support, especially from the religious community, IndyGo added plans to upgrade the entire system and harps about social justice, increasing employment, and so forth. No new bus routes are being added, so buses will not go any place they don’t already go.

        However, IndyGo won’t drop Red Line, despite mounting opposition and the fact that it is excessively expensive, doomed to fail, and the fact that funding has been delayed. Many people in the community see this for what it is–a shell-game.

        The streets belong to the public. Why shouldn’t citizens be allowed to park on their own street? This isn’t comparable to water, electricity and gas.

      • Scott says:

        There is no reason you cannot have 1/2 mile spacing with the current fleet of buses, if that is what they want. To alleviate the fact that residents will not be able to make left turns on College, they are proposing u-turns at intersections. There will not be room to make a u-turn with the lane configuration. If you want to see accidents and traffic tied up, that one item will do it.
        How will emergency vehicles make their way on College with only one lane in each direction? At the Fire station at 42nd and College, will the trucks only be able to exit to the North, taking much needed time to respond to fire of illness. The firetrucks currently need to block all of College when they return to the station, as they need to back in.
        Mass transit, yes. The Red Line and tax increases, No.
        At one of the meeting for the Red Line it was stated that IndyGo had a very large surplus that they appear to be holding back.
        I will also state that it appears Hamilton County wants nothing to do with this, which cancels out some of the Red Line plans.

        • Paul says:

          Hamilton County chose not to put Transit on the Ballot this year. It appears they could be waiting to see if Indy really builds the Red Line & how it does. This isn’t such a bad idea. How does this prove that “they want nothing to do with it”

    • Nathan says:

      Your outlook is remarkably jaded and filled with opinions and conjecture you parade as facts. The Red Line construction will not tear up College Avenue. It will develop it into a more transit friendly corridor while improving pedestrian access along the entire route. Opponents of the project want to have it both ways. They say that no one rides the current Route 17 bus therefor no one will ride the Red Line. Then they say the Red Line will create havoc and cause mass chaos because of all the people who will use it.

      To your point about Keystone: it was never planned to be on Keystone. Other corridors were studied as an option, which is normal. It was decided, for myriad reasons, that College was the best option. It has virtually nothing to do with TOD “handouts”.

      And the 75% of stops being eliminated is misleading. Currently IndyGo has bus stops approx. every 600′. This is the case becaause with infrequent service they wanted to provide as much access as possible. For years they placed stops whenever they were requested. Common transit practices, for 30-60 minute fixed-route bus service, calls for stops to be placed approx. ever 1/4 mile (1320′). This cuts down on bus stopping events and speeds up boarding, which lowers maintenance costs for the buses and increases overall travel time, also improving schedule adherence. So by that measure almost half of the stops could be removed with little impact on riders; negating your oft-repeated “75%” argument. This ongoing project is outlined in their last Comprehensive Operational Analysis, where they asked riders and stakeholders to weigh-in on bus stop distances. And if you pay attention you’d see that IndyGo is trying to remove stops that are spaced too closely together already, and has effectively removed over 400 since their COA.

      I could argue this point by point but you have clearly made up your mind. I live in Broad Ripple, will happily vote yes and will be using the Red Line for over half of my commute, as I cannot take the bus every day but will do so as often as I can. I can’t wait to see the Red Line finished. And I strongly believe that an increase in IndyGo’s budget will lead to longer service hours and more frequent headways, which is a vast improvement over current service and badly needed.

      To say that IndyGo has wasted money or has promised what it cannot give is simply false. IndyGo receives approx. 1/3 of the municipal funding that other cities our size receive. That is like saying that a person living below the poverty line is irresponsible because they cannot afford a Mercedes Benz and therefor have to drive a something 1/3 the cost. IndyGo has been underfunded for decades. It is time for Indy to pay for public transit. Other cities have done so and they are attracting talent and reaping the rewards. Across the country every dollar spent on public transit results in an economic return of $4. That is a fact. http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/Economic-Recovery-APTA-White-Paper.pdf

      Public Transit costs less than private transit by any measure and has a greater economic impact. There is nothing else for me to say. If you own on College I am willing to bet dollars that your property taxes will increase. When they do who will you thank?

      I encourage you to vote for the plan. And to ride the service when it is completed. I hope you do so, and you enjoy it and maybe, just maybe, strike up a conversation and make a new friend. I also hope that you have a fantastic rest of your day!

  6. Natacha says:

    Keystone is not a viable option, because it is not as desirable for development as College Avenue, and because no well-connected developers own parcels there for which they can qualify for TOD grants.

    Returning to the basic reason for a BRT, which is to connect people with jobs, shopping, health care, where are there such destinations on College Avenue? There are plenty of these on Keystone, including IU Health and Eskenazi Health outpatient clinics at Glendale. There are 2 Marsh stores, 2 CVS stores, 2 Walgreens, a Kroger, Meijer, Target, Wal-Mart, Glendale Town Shops, including Macy’s, and all of the tall office buildings and apartments at Woodfield at the Crossing and Keystone at the Crossing. Multiple other restaurants and businesses as well. What does College have? A Fresh Market and a few bars and small restaurants. That’s it.

    Keystone already has a median, no parking, left turn restrictions, it connects with 465 on both the north and south side and if it turned at Fall Creek, it connects with the Fairgrounds.

    There has to be some logical reason why Keystone isn’t the choice for a north-south BRT line. There also has to be a logical reason why the most transit-dependent routes weren’t given priority for a BRT line. I know the reason.

    • indyurban says:

      I suspect you’ll be very disappointed come Election Day, Natacha.

    • Stan-O says:

      There is a reason, Karen! The IndyGoToTheGulag crowd simply wants to enact their social engineering program on the last bastion of capitalism in our fair city…Meridian Kessler!!1! Keystone was scrapped because it didn’t fit their socialistical agenda! The buses are social welfare and we don’t need takers like THAT in MK……. Its time to take back this city and country from the commies that have kept people like me down!!!1!!

    • Brian says:

      “There has to be some logical reason why Keystone isn’t the choice for a north-south BRT line. There also has to be a logical reason why the most transit-dependent routes weren’t given priority for a BRT line.”

      Could the logical reason be a group of professionals, such as traffic engineers, statisticians, and demographers, who have years of education in those related fields; who also likely have years of experience in those fields, studied putting the Red Line on either College Ave and Keystone Ave, and simply thought it makes more sense to put a Bus Rapid Transit line on College? Could the logical reason be Subject Matter Experts used that expertise to make a decision?

      Hey I’m just a lawyer and I analyze evidence, how logical a story could be, risk analysis of situations, and how believable and credible a witness is. I’m hardly a transportation expert, but I’ve been looking at this mass transit issue in Indy and Central Indiana for around 20 years as I’ve paid attention to the news articles and attended various workshops for those 20 years.

      I remember when the rapid transit was being discussed and when College Ave was selected as the preferred route over Keystone Ave. I also had that same question: Why one over the over. That issue was discussed and the answer was something like this. Those Subject Matter Expects saw that College Ave had a history of public transportation with the trolleys or interurbans, the buildings and area around College was constructed over time with those trolleys in mind as they in existence then (so think zoning and mixed use development), and more people lived in a walkable distance to the proposed stops than along Keystone Ave.

      So prior historical use, favorable zoning that fits the purpose of public transit, amount of population that could make use of this idea, and quite frankly not needing to reinvent the wheel on College Ave made it the best choice. This sounds logical, credible, and believable to me.

      For once can people stop believing in cronyism and conspiracy and possibly believe a group of experts analyzed a problem and came up with the best answer they could with the information they had available? SMH.

      • Natacha says:

        Keystone is an actual highway–U.S. Highway 231. College Avenue is, according to the Indiana DOT, a minor arterial. Many north-south streets once had interurbans, including Pennsylvania Street, which also has small commercial corners. No buildings or homes were constructed with the interurban “in mind”. This is just an after-the-fact argument not grounded in fact. All houses along College Avenue were built with garages. Why would this be the case if College was built for an interurban? My house, with matching garage, was built in 1922 when the interurban was still going strong, as were the houses on either side of mine. The garages have the identical roof pitch and design of the house.

        I also am a lawyer and can analyze data. The urbanism fanatics decided to change zoning to create demand for Red Line on College Avenue, which just happens to be the street where several well-connected developers own parcels and can qualify for “transit oriented development” grants. College Avenue is a mostly-residential minor arterial, and is more desirable to developers than Keystone due to its proximity to the bars of Broad Ripple. There are few to no jobs or shopping opportunities available on College Avenue, and that is supposed to be the reason for a BRT–jobs, shopping, health care. You have to ask yourself why a BRT would be constructed on a street that has none of these things, and why it would replace bus line that is mostly empty, except for rush hour. Why spend millions destroying a residential street to put in a median and stations in the middle of the street, instead of curbside pickup? We see this for what it is.

  7. Scott says:

    Is anyone aware of the proposed apartment/retail complex at the ATT Site just south of Kessler Blvd.? They plan on installing a signal just one block of Kessler for residents and customers. Isn’t it true that the Red Line will have the capability to control the signals on College? This is bound to create bottlenecks at east-west intersections.

    • ahow628 says:

      You mean the AT&T site development that has had numerous public hearings, a dozen articles on Indy Star and IBJ, and has been featured on Urban Indy multiple times? Yes. We are aware.

      • Jason says:

        @ahow628

        You know, you are a pretty rude person. For months I have followed this issue on this blog and you seem to rarely have any positive input. It is usually just nasty snide comments like this one. I was actually on the border about this plan but I think I will pass now. I will at least stop looking here for information. I hope you don’t talk to people like that in person. You can disagree with people but the nastiness just makes you seem childish.

        Kevin, you should seriously consider if you want this person commenting on this site.

  8. Tucson Tom says:

    I moved to Tucson seven months ago. Tucson several years ago also did and tax increase to improve not only public transit but also roads and streets. The bus system in Tucson is nothing but amazing and with several transit centers is more in line with a grid system. Two years ago it opened a street car line from near west side to and through the University of Arizona(think Fountain Square to IUPUI). The street car line alone has created a mini housing explosion downtown. Additionally Caterpillar Corporation is moving a major division to Tucson and will build a divisional HQ on the near west side alone the street car line and mentioned it as well as public transportation one of the reason for the relocation. Public transportation is a community asset.

  9. Andy Arenson says:

    The TransitPlan doesn’t add a lot of new routes. It takes existing routes and makes them frequent enough and early/late enough that they become usable for commuting to work.

    The Redline isn’t necessarily about getting people to places along its own path, though it does that, but about connecting the various east/west routes quickly.

  10. Going to shut down this thread again. I see that our favorite commenter has started to make up new “facts” again such as “all houses on College Avenue have a garage.” It’s impossible to start a discussion with someone who keeps moving the goalposts on you. I’ll let Nathan’s fine comment be the last actual post on here (other than this one).