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New Proposal for Long-Delayed Hotel near Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

New Proposal for Long-Delayed Hotel near Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
There’s been a hotel proposed for this property for at least a decade. Seriously. It popped back up again 2 years ago. Still, nothing has been built on this valuable surface lot at the corner of Georgia and Pennsylvania Streets. However, it’s a significant enough of a proposal that the latest iteration deserved a post all its own. The Indy Historic Preservation Committee has posted the renderings and site plan, which can be seen below: I’m happy that most of the garage will not front the main streets, and that it will at least include street-level retail. Kinda sad that they...
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The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?

The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?
It almost goes without saying: in some Indy neighborhoods, when a developer proposes a new project, a certain contingent immediately assembles to oppose it. We probably all know which neighborhoods these are. While an article that calls these opponents to the carpet will seem unfair (and, at least on an urban advocacy blog like this, all too commonplace), I hope I can at least offer a little bit of nuance and balance to the investigation, while still making the fundamental claim that the proposal in question is a good one—which, in turn, means that opposing it is, in my opinion, not a very good idea...
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The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.

The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.
A few years ago, I reported on what might at the time have seen like a pretty run-of-the-mill transaction: the Marott Center downtown getting sold by its law-firm owners to a company known as Gershman Partners. It was a long-established, smartly preserved building along Massachusetts Avenue that survived from its heyday. And at the end of 2013, it changed hands.   No big deal, right? The crux of the matter is that a the law partners who had refurbished and then owned Marott Center for years turned the property over to real estate interests. At that point in time, Marott was just an office building...
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Interactive Map of Indianapolis Transit Support

Interactive Map of Indianapolis Transit Support
The big local news from the Election a few weeks ago was the passing of the IndyGo funding referendum. With almost 60% of the vote, voters in Marion County supported the measure, giving the City County Council a good indication of the direction of their upcoming vote on the issue. Thankfully, MIBOR released the election results by council district. I asked Jill Saligoe-Simmel to help map the results so they could be displayed in a clickable manner. The results can be seen on her website, or below: Supporters are now encouraged to write to their council members. I’ve already written mine, Duke...
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Potential Multi-Use Proposal for Chatham Arch

Potential Multi-Use Proposal for Chatham Arch
The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Committee has filed renderings for a proposal on the former Day Nursery, along East Street. This location currently serves as a de facto dog park. The renderings look promising: As usual, there are neighborhood concerns about the parking variance within the posted document. Overall, it looks like it could be a nice...
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Election Day Volunteer Opportunities

Election Day Volunteer Opportunities
Transit Drives Indy has opportunities for volunteers on Election Day, November 8th. Sign up on their website to attend a polling place in Marion County. NOTE: I have turned off comments on this post.  
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Mobilizing in Support for Mass Transit

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...
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Friday Fun: Self-Driving Cars (in 2009)

There’s been a lot of talk in urban circles about how the implementation of self-driving vehicles will impact transportation in the future. Most of that talk is way out of my league, but I do have experience actually riding in a self-driven vehicle. Back in 2009, my wife and I visited Japan, and we checked out their futuristic island outside of Tokyo called Odaiba. It happened to include this exhibit for self-driving cars that visitors could ride in for free. So, we figured, why not? Who knows if we’ll ever do this again? Apologies for the poor quality. It’s a video of a video, shot...
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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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