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Important Transit Meeting Tonight

Important Transit Meeting Tonight
  Just a reminder: for those of us who know how good the IndyConnect mass transit plan is and how vital it is for the future success of Indianapolis in so many different ways, there is a very important council meeting to show your support at tonight at 5:30 in room 260 in the City County Building. It’s absolutely vital that as many of us show up to this meeting as possible in support of the full transit plan. It’s still a very doable and needed plan even if the federal funding does not come through. If you’d like to say something at tonight’s meeting, please email Transit...
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2017: The Year of Civic Engagement

2017: The Year of Civic Engagement
Almost a decade ago, I set out to talk about urban planning issues in Indianapolis on a website. I didn’t know where it would go, or how many people would read it. I had no idea if it would fade away after a few months like so many other blogs, but it seemed to find a small niche. On April 11th 2017, Urban Indy turns 10. There would be no way this would have been possible without finding this niche. However, there’s still more work to be done. There’s a veritable wonderland of blog posts on this website now (many of them not written by me) to draw inspiration, and to take action. The...
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New Downtown Plazas in Need of Connection

New Downtown Plazas in Need of Connection
I’m a big fan of the new Transit Center downtown. It’s attractive and functional. And the connected public plaza is relatively attractive. Now, the city has finalized the second round of plans for another public plaza, across the street at the City County Building. The first time around, the winning proposal was going to bust the budget, so this one is more subdued: In essence, this means that a plaza will be across the street from another plaza. This could have some decent potential, with one major exception: The aforementioned street. Washington Street is a 4 lane wide, one way street,...
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The Cultural Trail in front of Conrad Hotel: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

The Cultural Trail in front of Conrad Hotel: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
The crown jewel in our city’s livable infrastructure, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail has been cited in almost every publication or promotional piece. Most recently, it was mentioned in The Vogue magazine. But there is one half of a block where it basically stops in deference to a hotel’s valet parking zone. The Conrad has insisted that it is trying to be a good neighbor, but that it has no choice but to use this zone for vehicles. A few weeks ago, this was the hilariously sad scene: After seeing this photo, I tweeted out a joke that they might as well host a tailgate party on the remaining...
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Remixing East 52nd Street

Remixing East 52nd Street
The running center turn lane on East 52nd Street (and many other streets around town) is a monument to traffic engineering winning over everything else: This configuration has bugged me for years. There is an unprotected bike lane, yes, but also a very narrow sidewalk with poles in the middle of it. I decided to see what else could be done with only 48 feet of right-of-way width, as shown below: There’s a great tool for this task on the web called Streetmix. It enables citizens to imagine different street configurations. There were a number of constraints that I worked with: 10 foot travel lane...
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