Indy’s Car-based Development History claims another victim

An interesting aside has been posted on the Cultural Trail thread on the Skyscraper City forum. Apparently the Trailside proposal is being stalled due to concerns over the parking situation. Poster Ablerock makes a keen observation when he mentions that the businesses in that section have complained for years about their lack of visibility, yet when a proposal comes along to increase the neighborhood’s density, they automatically fear the impact from the apartment dweller’s automobiles.

After viewing the proposal, it looks like a building that would be a decent addition. The scale would not be out of place with the surrounding neighborhood. I believe opposition to the project is a function of our city’s history of catering to car-based development. Residents and businesses want more people there. But they don’t want their cars. And really, who can blame them?

The true irony is that if more proposals such as the Trailside were built, a decent number of people who live in these apartments might not need to actually own a car. But we’ll never know if we don’t at least attempt it.

Comments 3

  • The major issue rests in our zoning requirements for these districts and the requirements for parking. I believe other people have mentioned before that if we are building density in this area, along with density comes with a less car culture. They should go ahead and develop this. If parking becomes and issue, more people will walk or bike as the development ocurrs. I think the business owners are just worried THEY might park, because the owners can never park further than their number 1 spot next to the door. Besides, we don't know what type of business are going to go in there. So the parking issue, may predicate who wants to go in there. Uggh, they need to just pass it already.

  • I totally agree with you Mark. People need to realize that higher density in Indianapolis will not change the car culture over night or within the next few years. It will ultimately change the culture in the future however. How long? WHO CARES! What this all comes down to is complaining that the business owners, residents and others involved with this area may just have to adjust their daily lives A LITTLE bit. Humans are resilient. We adjust easier than what we give ourselves credit for. Most this fear is based on people who let numbers/statistics rule their lives and/or are NIMBY'S. Many of these people are all for higher density development until it actually comes. Then the 'talkers/promoters' find themselves TALKING about something else! Progress will not be made without developments like the Trailside.

  • As some pointed out on that thread, perhaps some kind of agreement that allows the road to remain open as it was prior to trail construction would be sufficient. Some people had some really good points that the influx of tennants would likely replace any loss from cars taking up parking spaces. And lets be real. If someone wants to go to R Bistro, the Wine Shoppe or Chocolate shop, they are going to find some way to get there whether its walking or parking 4 blocks away. There were some flaring tempers in the discussion and there is cause for frustration, but those same owners who are complaining have to be considered too, as they have really helped put the east end back on the map. Good post sir! Keep up the good work.

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