West 10th Street Versus Velocity’s Goals

Indianapolis residents have been treated to a good deal of press releases in the past two days about the new Velocity action plan for downtown. The ambitious plan is full of great ideas that we at Urban Indy are excited about.   Of course, more could be done for the urban core surrounding downtown, but that is another story for another time.

Another new addition that seems to be generating a good deal of buzz is the new Eskanazi Hospital on West 10th Street.  The structure is quite attractive and features innovative features such as a sky farm.  Less attention has been paid to the built environment surrounding it, so I found it an unpleasant surprise when I was looking through the new aerial photography:

New Pavement is maroon, old pavement is blue

That’s right, the city has taken a road that was already plenty wide in West 10th Street and made it even wider.  I’m not denying that the new hospital will invite more traffic onto the arterial, but it seems that the street design is straight out of the old playbook, and in direct contrast to many of Velocity’s goals for downtown.  Is DPW on board with this ambitious plan?  What will it take to get all parties in line with a livable infrastructure initiative, and to stop shooting ourselves in the foot with over-built roads?

Comments 6

  • Good post Kevin. It is difficult to understand the full scale of this stretch without being on site. The new traffic standards are grossly out of scale with anything in the city and the addition of two-lane turn lanes create large, paved medians where a forest could easily have been planted…….seems contrary to provide such a hostile, single-use piece of infrastructure for an organization who’s main purpose is supposed to be the promotion of health.

  • I’d guess that some of it is driven by the need to have uncongested ambulance access to the hospital complex (VA, Eskenazi, IU/Riley).

    There is a similarly curious superhighway on Ritter Ave. in front of the Community East ER.

  • There is no such thing as an “over-built road.”

  • All along while this huge hospital was being built, I hoped that the roadway would have been redesigned to be closer to the “front” (north sides) of the hospitals there along W. 10th Street. I was hoping that the roadway could have been moved to the south – kind of in a curving line away from the W. 10th Street Bridge and then curving back up to reach 10th prior to where the old Wishard Hospital buildings are that front more closely along 10th. By moving the roadway – there would have been room to make a nice park area to the north of the roadway that could slope more gently down to Fall Creek that parallels 10th Street just to its north. I don’t like seeing all of that surface parking between the hospitals and W. 10th Street. Hopefully with lots of landscaping it’ll start to look much better come Spring time – and over the ensuing years as the trees get much larger.

    Speaking of nice park areas near the hospital though — the beautiful green space that sits just east of the new Eskenazi Hospital has been improved and is looking very good. It sits between the Riley Children’s Hospital tower, the Simon Cancer Center Tower and the new Eskenazi Hospital. It has many very large trees and makes for a beautiful, peaceful area that I’m sure will be a very welcome place to relax and get away from the hospitals for many of the future patients and visitors staying at the hospitals in this area.

  • Thank you Kevin!
    This is spot-on. I go almost daily between Herron School of Art on New York Street, and their sculpture facility on N Indiana Avenue, by bike. Because of the Fall Creek/White River, there’s basically one option, which is to cross the tangle of 10th/Indiana/University, and squeeze across the bridge over Fall Creek (not pleasant). Or there is the trail bridge also over Fall Creek (which winds so far out of the way as to make it inefficient for commuting), though it is lovely, but then a concrete retaining wall that dead-ends it at this cluster of a street is the worst!

    But really, from the 10th/11h Street spur on the east, to White River Parkway on the west, that stretch of 10th might be–for my money–one of the least friendly streets downtown.

    I keep hoping that between Stadium Lofts, The Avenue, 1201 Indiana, (and the huge amount of IUPUI foot traffic) there will be a demand to make these streets decent.

    • Actually Brent we have been literally begging DPW for YEARS to make our sidewalks safe and accessible. I can state unequivocally they just don’t care and are not even remotely interested in finding solutions. They would rather spend their energy on excuses and fabrication.

      In Ransom Place we have seniors – some using wheelchairs – who are forced to risk their lives dodging traffic on 10th st between MLK & Paca in order to buy a loaf of bread at the Family Dollar! 11th & MLK is a death trap for pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike. Speeding cars and big trucks some carrying hazardous materials are allowed to travel literally within inches of the curb. The same goes for MLK. Accordingly to DPW the situation is “unfortunate”. Their hubris is unbelievable!

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