A New Year – A New Urban Indy Writer!

As we all enjoy the fluffy, frozen whiteness to close out the week I thought it would be a good time to get my first contribution to the blog out there.  Happy Friday!

I’m thrilled to join the Urban Indy team – my name is Nathan and I’ve enjoyed seeing the city change (mostly for the better) since I first moved here to attend Butler 20 years ago (gulp!).  I’ll be adding posts from time to time keeping you updated on developments and projects that I see when I’m out and about in the city with my customers on a daily basis.

Nathan Smurdon - CEO ActiveIndy Tours

However, my next post will be about my observations of urban San Diego as I travel there for the first time this month.  I think we can always learn from the good and bad we see in other cities, so I look forward to sharing what I find.

Have you been there before?  From an urban infrastructure standpoint, what would you like me to see and report back on?

Until then, I’ll leave you with this fun little calculation of how many Cultural Trail snowmen we could have made if they weren’t so great about clearing the snow from the trail yesterday.  Enjoy!

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Snowmen

Comments 10

  • The downtown streetcar and development around it vs. away from it.

    Whether most buildings along the streetcar are still single-use, or if mixed-use has crept in.

    Snow removal. (j/k)

  • Thanks for providing that link Nathan regarding the cultural trail!

    ” Per city ordinance, adjacent property owners are responsible for clearing the sidewalks or pedestrian paths adjacent to property or buildings.”

    I wonder why did the city ordinance only made specifications for property owners adjacent to the trail. I was up by the pyramids today and took the streets home to my neighborhood of Community Heights. In that 23 mile stretch (most of which was on Michigan Rd and 38th Street), I’m sure that pedestrians would have appreciated clear sidewalks. It’s a shame there isn’t a citywide ordinance forcing businesses to have to clean their sidewalks, or the city to clean sidewalks that are city-owned, such as the ones on bridges (i.e. Emerson Avenue at I-70).

    Well have fun in San Diego. I was there in September. I didn’t take the streetcar but I did see a lot of businesses and apartment buildings adjacent to its route when I was downtown. I’m sure having one of those in downtown Indianapolis would spur development help businesses like Sitehawk and Cassidy lease out all of those open spaces they advertise on Pennsylvania and Meridian streets.

  • Scratch part of my previous comments. Apparently the city ordinance does require property owners to clear sidewalks. It’s one of those unenforced laws I guess.

    “Q: What should I do as a business owner to request snow removal on the sidewalk in front of my business?
    A: Per City ordinance, it is the responsibility of residents and businesses to clear sidewalks and drives in front of their properties. Businesses and residents can feel good about being good corporate citizens and neighborhood stewards when they understand the shared responsibility during snow events and pitch in to do their parts.”


  • Re: San Diego, my wife and I were just there 2 months ago. We stayed at the Omni on the waterfront. Here were my observations:

    1) Stop signs – Almost all the intersections in the downtown core have stop signs instead of traffic lights. As a pedestrian, it was wonderful. You always have the right of way and can walk for blocks without stopping.

    2) Light rail – It was extremely easy to get on, get off, buy fares, and navigate. I wish we had this in Indy.

    3) Beer laws – Not really an urban thing, but kids are allowed in breweries. Unbelieveable! We took our infant son and we took him everywhere with us – beer stores, breweries, wineries, bars. He managed to not drink any booze the whole time. Crazy, I know.

    4) Bike trails – San Diego is amazingly bike friendly. Lots of trails everywhere plus since downtown is littered with stop signs, all the traffic is going nice and slow.

    5) One ways – The biggest downside I saw as I navigated downtown was all the streets were one ways. Probably about as many as Indy.

  • Almost forgot. Call Pete at Stay Classy bike rentals. They drop the bike at your hotel or house or whatever. Super convenient.


  • Looks like someone hacked the page. Look at the recent comments 0.0 Weird. On another note, SD is a great city. Perfect example of a great LRT system.

  • I’d be curious on their attention to the details. Do they take pride in design of their street infrastructure (i.e. consistency, grass in between sidewalk and curb, proper drainage where a sidewalk intersects pavement, etc)? Also, are the side of their streets littered with ugly power poles and power lines, etc? Are there any unique city amenities that you haven’t seen before or are uncommon?

  • How long would it take for one person to build the 30,000+ snowmen?

  • Take note of the relatively new mixed-use, urban neighborhood surrounding Petco Park baseball stadium. It may be the best example of a city capitalizing on a substantial investment in a professional sports stadium. The grassy outfield “cheap seat” area also serves as a neighborhood park during non-game days.

    The vibrancy of the area will leave you questioning where Indy went wrong with LOS and its vacant parking lots and suburban-style chain hotels nearby.

  • Thanks for the warm welcome everyone – and also for the great suggestions for things to see & report back on out in San Diego…look forward to sharing what I find with you!

    And Ryan – have no idea how long that would take…it would be more fun to do it with all our friends & readers anyway!

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