According to Health by Design’s Kim Irwin, Indianapolis is the largest city in the country without a formalized Pedestrian Plan. Recently, the group has announced a new initiative called Walkways, which officially launches next Wednesday. A summary of the event is shown below:
I hope to be able to attend the event next week to show my support for the process. It’s important to prioritize the most basic of human movements in our urban environment. As an example, last night I walked with my family from our house to Yat’s at 54th and College for dinner. It is great to have that option, but I felt like we were at risk with each curb cut and intersection. Making them safer in a place that is already relatively pedestrian friendly can help neighborhood desirability.
Try walking from 75th Street north on College Avenue to 86th Street and all that Nora offers. A pedestrian risks his or her life doing so as traffic speeds by at a legal limit of 40mph or more on this busy two lane street with no sidewalks. Sadly this is just one of hundreds of corridors in Indianapolis with a dearth of good, safe pedestrian walkways. Equally sad is that neither Chuck Brewer or Joe Hogsett (nor any members of the city-county council as far as I can tell) have a plan to remedy this problem. I wish Walkways good luck with its endeavors. It’ll need it.
Try walking approximately 1/4 mile east till you hit the Monon Trail. It will take you right to 86th St.
Do people really expect there to be a sidewalk or bike lane in front of every single area of the city. Where is the funding for all of this to come from?
Yes, I do expect a sidewalk next to every road. The funding will come from increased density.
Yes people on foot should be accommodated. We spend all this money on expensive car infrastructure to ensure there is ultimate connectivity and a high speed road right up to the shop window. Maybe we should take some of that money and invest it in stuff for actual people.
Your reroute would add over a half mile in distance, that is around 10 more minutes to your trip. If you had to tell drivers to add 10 minutes onto on trip of 30 minutes or so it would be unacceptable.
Why should we create a city where wide swaths of public infrastructure are completely unusable outside a personal vehicle? Should the person who does not have immediate access to a vehicle be landlocked or at least forced to take extremely inconvenient routes to get somewhere? This also encourages short driving trips that could otherwise be made on foot, creating more traffic and wearing our roads. If this is truly about cost then at the end of the day the cost effective thing to do is build our city where walking is encouraged and accessible. It is far cheaper to provide infrastructure for peds than the massive overbuilt road system we have.
In quiet neighborhoods where lighter and slower traffic typically consists of local resident residents, sidewalks may be less necessary and therefore though of as a “luxury.” But sidewalks along residential stretches of heavily traveled, high speed streets are (or should be) an important part of “public safety” aspect of the core mission by local government.
Indianapolis passed a sidewalk ordinance in 2008 that requires sidewalks for essentially all new development. It was long overdue, as sidewalks are a basic piece of transportation infrastructure that should be included with all new development, and should be the responsibility of the developer.
Remediating all the streets that were built without sidewalks is an impossible task at this point, but the city should continue to fund expansions where possible, especially in the context of road rebuilding.
Here is the section of the current Ordinance related to Chris’ point in commercial districts. There is varying language for Industrial and residential subdivisions. The requirements for sidewalks begins on page 81 of the document.