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INDOT Proposes a Devastating Blow to Downtown Neighborhoods (Edited)

One very powerful state organization has a proposal to set back the past 40 years of downtown redevelopment. Instead of a bold proposal that would help reunite the urban fabric, INDOT gives us the stuff of nightmares:

Image credit: local architect’s vision

INDOT gave us what the roadway could look like, but they didn’t give us the street-level view. Fortunately, local architects decided to fill in that massive gap.

The highway exists in the top photo, but at least it can be partially mitigated with greenery. Not so with a giant concrete wall. Click the above pdf to see the whole impact analysis for yourself. It’s worth a look. This plan is a non-starter.

Fortunately, the same group of architects and planners (with support from the Mayor of Indianapolis) are pushing for a more modern solution. Here is one of their ideas:

Given that this proposal could stand for the next 50 years, wouldn’t it make more sense to build something that would be more likely to create value? Fortunately, there is still time to persuade INDOT. Public meetings are already underway. This is absolutely critical. If INDOT builds this proposal, neighboring properties are likely to lose value, and our city’s investment in public transit might not pay off.

There are so many things that can be said about this proposal, but this time it can be kept simple: Just no. Don’t do this, INDOT. Please listen to the citizens of our city.

(post note: This article was edited to reflect the origin of the top visualization)

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13 Responses to “ “INDOT Proposes a Devastating Blow to Downtown Neighborhoods (Edited)”

  1. Matthew McClure says:

    Looks devastating to the near Northside of Indianapolis. All so trucks can travel with dangerous loads on ever-lengthening trailers and tankers whose wheel sets have not increased. Trailers used to be 40 feet and have increased now to 53 with NO additional wheels. And trucks are notorious for being overloaded. The NHTSI states one truck does the damage of 9300 cars and that estimate was years ago and for a properly loaded truck.
    This adds nothing to the millions of caress Hoosiers who do not cars and thus cannot commute to Indy for jobs. Wiser on so many levels would be establishing a commuter line on the CSX line east to Muncie and west to Terre Haute via the airport to bring many more Hoosiers into the labor pool while reducing singular dependency on highways.

  2. Matthew McClure says:

    Looks devastating to the near Northside of Indianapolis. All so trucks can travel with dangerous loads on ever-lengthening trailers and tankers whose wheel sets have not increased. Trailers used to be 40 feet and have increased now to 53 with NO additional wheels. And trucks are notorious for being overloaded. The NHTSI states one truck does the damage of 9300 cars and that estimate was years ago and for a properly loaded truck.
    This adds nothing to the millions of carless Hoosiers who do not cars and thus cannot commute to Indy for jobs. Wiser on so many levels would be establishing a commuter line on the CSX line east to Muncie and west to Terre Haute via the airport to bring many more Hoosiers into the labor pool while reducing singular dependency on highways.

    • joe shepherd says:

      Sounds like a downtown neighborhood is proposing a devastating blow to interstate highway traffic. Realize you must not live near highways, runways, or flood zones etc. without accepting the changes they can impose. They are not put there to please the people who might choose to live near them. This interchange and innerloop are there to move a large amount of traffic and little else in purpose.

      • Michael says:

        Are you a time traveler, joe shepherd? How did you get here from 1956 (without having learned anything at all from the intervening years)?

        Seriously, though, you are right about one thing: the designers of the “interchange and innerloop” only care about one thing, and one thing only: moving large volumes of highway traffic through the middle of the city. They definitely don’t care about the economic health of the city or its neighborhoods; they don’t care about creating a valuable asset that will accelerate the revitalization of the city; they don’t care about whether or not the city even continues to exist.

        It would be nice if the designers instead created a bypass around the city for thru traffic … in order for traffic to more efficiently bypass the city. If I were tasked with creating such a bypass, I think I would name it “I-465”. But, what do I know? Unlike you, I don’t carry the amnesiac burden of time travel.

  3. Natacha says:

    Now maybe you can understand how the people who live on Broadway Terrace across the alley from the Milhaus project at College and Kessler feel. They live across the alley from what will be a 50-ft tall apartment building, whereas before there was a tree-ringed parking lot.

    • Paul says:

      You did see the building they knocked down right??? What was that, like 42 feet? Also, desiring to live next to a parking lot vs a building is a personal preference. The idea that living next to nothing is some sort of public good that needs to be defended by city policy is ridiculous. You have lost the entire purpose of a city at that point.

      • Ya, this. Also, a building isn’t perpetually loud and polluting, but instead is contributing to the city’s tax base. Nice try Natacha.

      • LastBoyScout says:

        I will never understand how people who lived next to a giant parking lot with nonresidential zoning were shocked, shocked!, when a new proposal for the highly desirable site did not simply propose to add several single family homes.
        #savetheparkinglots

        • Chris B says:

          LOL. This.

        • Natacha says:

          Because several single family homes were on the south end of the site, and the entire rest of that block to the south, and across the street and behind the alley are all single family homes. Row houses or a no more than 2 story apartment building, like the rest of Meridian Kessler, would have been more appropriate, rather than a tall, ugly, out of place modern design building constructed of cheap materials. Oh, and don’t forget the retail on the first floor.

          • Paul says:

            Complaining about a ground level retail business at the corner of College Ave & a major cross street is really something. I don’t know how to put this lightly, but maybe your not familiar with the area???

  4. Natacha says:

    I’ve lived on College for 39 years. The Milhaus mess is in the middle of the block. There is nothing comparable anywhere on College in Meridian Kessler. This will likely be a huge flop, just like The Coil. Despite the attempts of urbanism disciples to re-write facts, College Avenue in Meridian Kessler is a residential street, not a major commercial corridor, like Keystone.

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