Indianapolis DPW is planning an improvement to Cornell Ave, located in Broad Ripple Village, just north of the Central Canel. The project aims to repair damaged streets and sidewalks and mitigate long-standing drainage problems in a project that should yield more than what might otherwise, in some cases, be simple remedial improvements.
The project scope is defined in terms of improving drainage, walkability and ease of parking. The project area is defined as Cornell Ave from the Central Canal to 67th Street at the Indianapolis Art Center.
According to plans obtained by Urban Indy, the entire project will Â be conducted in 5 phases starting immediately north of the Canal and will repave the roadway, repair sidewalks, add new sidewalks where none exist and improve existing storm drains in the area. Additionally, the Broad Ripple Village Association has worked with DPW to secure conduit installation along the right of way for future lighting improvements that would be implemented in the form of more pedestrian scaled fare versus tall mast lighting.
Tom Healy, President of the Broad Ripple Alliance for Progress, has also begun fundraising for Phase 1 of Art 2 Art parallel to this project. According to Tom,
“On behalf of the Broad Ripple Alliance for Progress, I applied for and was awarded a $17500 challenge grant that will be used in the area from the Art Center to the Canal along the Monon Trail.”
“…We’ll work w/ KIB to plant trees. Collaborate w/ Davinci Pursuit & Indpls Art Center to install and repair artwork and establish the Bill Brink Memorial Gardens.”
Along with the improvements, modifications to the existing angle in parking will be made. Where nose in parking is located on the east side of Cornell, north of 65th street, reverse angle parking will be implemented. Locals will recognize this as the same type of parking located on Michigan Street downtown near the Athenaeum. Additionally, new public parking will be added on the same side of the street and north of the existing spaces to compliment what is already a congested area in the evenings and on the weekends.
Taken as a whole, this project should transform what is currently a busy corridor into an even more bike and pedestrian-friendly Complete Street. Additionally, the underused space near the Canal will be much more enticing as an event space. According to Healy, the area immediately north of the canal could be used as programmable space for music, street performers and public art events.
Perhaps the biggest change for users who frequent restaurants in this area, will be the addition of sidewalks along Cornell, as well as new access from the Monon at 64th & 65th street. Currently, pedestrian access from the trail to Cornell is via roadside dirt paths. This will make for a much nicer pedestrian experience. Additionally, striped crossings will alert motorists to what is already, a heavily foot trafficked area. Perhaps most importantly, the opportunity to begin implementing portions of the Art2Art project is a huge win for Broad Ripple as well as the team pushing for this cultural enriching project.
A public meeting / open house will be heldÂ Wednesday, June 5 @ 6:30 p.m. at the Broad Ripple Park in the Family Center Building (former Library building). Anyone interested in viewing the plans can see them on display and speak with DPW personnel regarding the design of the project.