This article on the Infrastructurist promoting streetcar investment has caused me to think about our past streetcar network in the city. The article isn’t exactly even-handed; however, you can still see the residue of our past investment along College Avenue, with the most obvious being the stretch between 16th Street and Broad Ripple Avenues. Multi-use buildings dot the corners every 2 to 4 blocks, and are supported by a decent network of sidewalks.
It is unfortunate that the area to the south of 44th Street has seen a long period of disinvestment, but the remnants that remain could have better potential if College Avenue were to return to its streetcar roots. I take the bus down College Avenue daily, and its latent potential jumps out at me, as the bus rattles down the potholed street.
This is not necessarily a bad neighborhood. Many of the homes are well-kept, and the good people that ride the bus with me overwhelmingly outweigh the bad. Returning a streetcar line to College Avenue could be seen as a source of local pride, and help with community re-investment.