Interactive Map of Indianapolis Transit Support

The big local news from the Election a few weeks ago was the passing of the IndyGo funding referendum. With almost 60% of the vote, voters in Marion County supported the measure, giving the City County Council a good indication of the direction of their upcoming vote on the issue.

Thankfully, MIBOR released the election results by council district. I asked Jill Saligoe-Simmel to help map the results so they could be displayed in a clickable manner. The results can be seen on her website, or below:

Supporters are now encouraged to write to their council members. I’ve already written mine, Duke Oliver. My district voted for this measure at over 70 percent, so it should be an easy yes for him.

Find your councillor here, or if you already know them, their contact information is here. Let’s keep our interest level up, and hopefully soon, Indy may finally have its best transit network in decades.

Comments 104

  • Nice to see it passed with 70% in College Ave Indy .org’s backyard. Looks like the margins between the two petitions were about right (1447 for vs 578 against aka 71.4%).

    When do the property values crater in that area? Now? After it’s built? Asking for a friend.

    • ahow628

      Snarky comments, really?

      Nearly 10 years and over $750,000 spent with dozens of full time paid professional lobbyists, public relations agencies, and that cooperation of the media, to the point that the Pres of WFYI called us individually to apologize for unfair and biased coverage, vs. 5-10 people advocating after their full time jobs, over about 6 months, with a total of maybe $2,400 spent and almost no media coverage up until the week of the vote. No to mention the undercover lobbyists planted in crowds to agitate against the opposition, suppression of facts, the vandalism of yards like mine with signs in them, the theft of opposition street signs, the campaign to have us uninvited from speaking events…not really something anyone should be bragging about. It is not like it was ever a fair fight. All of that and the vote was still held to under 60%. I think if the resources and time were anywhere close to even the vote would have gone differently.

      To me this map suggests it was more a political ideological vote. All of the inner city poor blacks and middle class urbanite whites (i.e. progressive democrats) voted for it. I would love to see this broken down by zip code.

      • “held to under 60%”…seriously? That was the goal? In almost any form, an 18 percent vote margin is pretty close to a mandate.

        I’m sorry about the vandalism. I also heard about vandalism of pro-transit yard signs. Jerks are on all sides of every issue. I disavow vandalism in any form.

        Finally, I’m not commenting about the conspiracy accusations.

        • If you can’t win, claim the media/corporations/lobbyists/men in black/aliens/the Easter Bunny conspired against you.

          • Also, if WFYI really did apologize for supposedly biased coverage (which I frankly never saw) this is a legitimate news story. Frankly, if WFYI feels this strongly, they should make that position more well known. Until then, I’ll take the assertion with a healthy dose of skepticism.

          • A.L.- All of those things happened. If you want proof I can provide it. One example I can give you is Addison Pollock of ICAT showing up at the last forums at Eastwood Middle School trying to get Erin Tuttle booted from talking without identifying to the crowd who he worked for. Why would I make a public claim about WFYI that can easily be proven false if it was not true? Feel free to disagree with me but never suggest that I am a liar.

            Kevin- I think 18% is a mandate if it is even close to a fair debate. I just think vast difference in money and time should have made it more like 75%.

            To be honest I never thought we could win, the game was rigged from the beginning. I only got involved because someone on the inside told me how it would go down and I knew that a large number of voices would be intentionally suppressed. It was the complete disregard in the public space of legitimate concerns without a even forum to examine those concerns. I just do not believe in bullying. I mean come on, it got to the point where faith leaders where publicly suggesting that we were racists for opposing it.

            For me it’s not just about this plan, it is about how we choose to be governed in this city. It is about the power that un-elected interests seem to now hold. Maybe I just expect more from my neighbors and elected officials. Maybe I am would just rather lose standing up than kneeling.

          • Robert Evans: you could look at 18% and a “lop-sided” debate/coverage on the topic as conspiracy and as keeping citizen’s real opinions contained, or you can look at it as improved transit really being needed in this city with a lot of real support. If nobody cared about the issue then nobody would have pushed for it. I pushed very hard for it and I have absolutely zero affiliation with any government body, chamber or other official organization. I’m a 30-something citizen who is tired of driving everywhere, cars killing people, polluted air from too many cars, and a city that desperately needs a more progressive plan for implementing more choice in getting around. More choice is good for everyone! Whether you choose to use the better transit is completely up to you.

      • Robert,

        From the city’s perspective they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they try to inform the public about their plans they are just propagandizing from a large platform that the opposition certainly can’t do. But if they don’t say anything, then they aren’t keeping anyone in the loop with their plans. Your group acts like the city should stand up and debate itself when it informs people of the plans. The best they can do is lay it out there for the citizens to vote.

        Of course ideology comes into play. City design and transportation planning is an inherently difficult topic to understand and predict. People use their ideology as a lens in which they view the world, why would this be any different?

        The College Ave Indy folks are really grasping at straws after this election. To be honest you most likely aren’t gaining anymore adherents to your group by acting like sour grapes over this.

      • Please read my comment again, Robert. I never said you’re a liar, but there are a lot of things in here that sound extremely outlandish without any attribution other than “I said so.” Any lawyer will tell you that evidence like that is never going to fly.

        Also, as I said, if WFYI is apologizing for biased coverage they need to come out and comment on this issue PUBLICLY. This isn’t something small if the implication is they were shirking their journalistic duties.

  • Thanks for posting this helpful map. I was actually thinking about this the other day when full election results were released. This is a lot easier than trying to parse through it myself.

  • How about tabulating IndyGo’s lies? They targeted the Meridian Kessler area by claiming, for instance, double residential and triple commercial property values. Also, they told the Federal Transportation Administration that Red Lie would service Butler University, which is 1.2 miles west of College Avenue, and also IUPUI, both of which are too far away to walk, in addition to IU Medical Center and its hospitals and clinics. These are lies.

    How about the biggest whopper of all, the one concocted by the Chamber that suckered in churches, the Urban League, and AARP–that voting in favor of the referendum is equivalent to voting for “social justice”. They intentionally conflated general improvements to bus service system-wide and Red Lie, forcing those who are in favor of general improvements system-wide to also approve funding for Red Lie. General improvements to system-wide bus service would help the disadvantaged, disabled and elderly, but Red Lie won’t because stations are spread out too far, requiring additional walking unless a rider lived right next to a dumb little bus station stuck in the middle of the street.

    Most of the $100 million will be blown to tear up College Avenue and Meridian Street to construct permanent medians and stupid little stations stuck in the middle of the street. This is to protect the investments of politically-connected developers, so they can qualify for “transit oriented development” government handouts. If another of IndyGo’s lies doesn’t pan out–i.e., the magical 51% increase in ridership, then IndyGo would have to abandon Red Lie on College and divert the equipment to lines with more ridership. The permanent median and dips**t bus stations are to prevent this from happening. How is this social justice?

    Is it social justice to blow $100 million on College and Meridian, where the need for public transportation is the least, as opposed to concentrating public spending where the need is greatest? Why not curbside pickup, or a trial run of more frequent bus service, to gauge interest, before tearing up two busy streets and wreaking havoc on an entire neighborhood and killing small businesses? You know the answer to these questions, and it isn’t social justice. Is it social justice to eliminate 75% of bus stops and to bypass the areas of the College route that service the majority of riders, who are mostly minority–those living south of 38th Street?

    IndyGo also lied about whether Red Line funding was involved in the referendum. They claimed, until someone made them stop it just before the election, that Red Lie was a “done deal”. Not true. The grant was approved. It isn’t funded, and with the political climate change coming to Washington, it may not happen at all.

    The big question: why should everyone’s taxes be raised based on blatant lies, and just to mostly benefit the already wealthy?

    Even though the opponents of lying IndyGo and the Chamber were outspent and outmaneuvered by the Chamber’s tactics, we won over 40% of the vote. They got slightly more than 59%. A 9% difference, given how outspent we were, the Chamber’s media campaign, the lies that were told and conniving that was done, hardly constitutes a mandate to enact a permanent tax increase, especially since many areas of Marion County have NO bus service. At the very least, the CC Council should put Red Lie on hold.

    • Since when does 59-41 = 9? It’s been a while since I’ve taken math, but that seems a tad off the mark.

    • I was waiting for this…thanks..

    • Natcha, do you think the federal government doesn’t know the location of Butler University or IUPUI, which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal financial aid and other federal funding? Do you think that people cannot easily speak to realtors (or just get on Zillow) if they are interested in learning about property value trends? Do you think that churches look to the freaking Chamber of Commerce for guidance, spiritually or otherwise? You make these absolutely silly claims about a campaign of lies and then act as if it couldn’t very easily have been exposed if it were actually occurring.

      Enough with the tin-foil hat conspiracy theories. If you do not like the Red Line and the bigger expanded transit plan, fine. Discuss and debate it on its merits, but drop all the melodrama and wacko-kooky conspiracy nonsense–it just destroys any credibility you otherwise may have.

  • Let me try to explain the spread to you. If you deduct 9% from the pro-Red Line vote of about 59%, and add the 9% to the more than 40% anti-Red Line vote, you get about 50-50. That’s why it’s not a mandate. In fact, given the amount spent by the Chamber and ICAN, plus the free media support, plus IndyGo’s lies, you’d think the difference would be more than 9%.

    • What you’re describing is a potential margin of error in a poll. That’s not how you calculate the results of an election.

      Though it is a solid attempt at turd polishing.

    • Let me get this straight – the margin of victory is insufficient because if you subtract 1/2 the margin of victory from the winner and give 1/2 the margin of victory to the loser, it’s basically 50-50?

      Wow. Just wow.

    • Then let me try to explain something to you: a mandate is awarded when one position garners more votes than the other … not the winning vote margin.

      See the definition of mandate:
      “the authority to carry out a policy or course of action, regarded as given by the electorate to a candidate or party that is victorious in an election.”

  • Last Boy Scout: before the CC Council enacts a permanent tax increase that will result in Marion County having the highest taxes in the entire State of Indiana, it should carefully consider the misrepresentations made by IndyGo, the amount spent by the Chamber and the tactics it employed to obtain the result. Until just before the election, voters were told that Red Lie was a “done deal”, and the referendum wasn’t about Red Lie. Not true.

    The CC Council should review IndyGo’s application to the FTA and the TOD Library Boards trotted out at the State Fair, at community meetings and at public libraries. Would Red Lie really provide service to Butler, IUPUI and IU Medical Center? Can property owners along College and adjacent streets expect “2X residential” property values? What is this representation based on? Will ridership increase by 51%? Based on what?

    The overarching question is: is this how the public’s business is going to be conducted in Indianapolis? Those who are well-connected politically manipulating the public and non-existent independent-thinking media to qualify for public handouts, public agencies lying about facts? Regardless of where you stand on transportation or any other issue, lying by a publically-funded agency to obtain a tax increase ought to concern you, because the next issue might be one you oppose.

    • I learn something new every day. Apparently my support for the Red Line was because I was an easily manipulated simpleton.

      Thanks for the info!

    • Please provide access to sources of the lies you’re citing.

      I’ve not heard IndyGo say anything about direct connection of the Red Line to Butler or IUPUI. They typically state direct connection to the campuses of Ivy Tech and UIndy. Maybe you misheard something about providing “connectivity” to Butler and IUPUI. Through the standard bus network, IUPUI and Butler will be well connected to the Red Line.

      As for the “IU Medical Center”, I’m not sure what that means. Most likely anything IndyGo stated was service to IU Health Methodist Hospital, which the Red Line will directly connect to at 18th and Capitol.

      Not only is Methodist already the biggest hospital in the state, it will become even bigger within the next 5 years or so as IU Health University Hospital is closed and Methodist absorbs the loss with the “Academic Health Center” expansion. From what little has been publicly disclosed, that $1B expansion will most likely center around 18th and Capitol to provide maximum connectivity to transit.

      • I believe it does go by Methodist which is connected to the rest of the IU hospitals (University prior to its closing, Simon Cancer Center, Riley, etc.) by the IU Health monorail.

      • Here is a passage from “Priority Projects for Regional Cities Consideration; Red Line Electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor” Ask: $15 million for Phase I of the Red Line eBRT. Under “Background”:

        “Higher Education–Four major campuses–Butler, IUPUI, Ivy Tech, UIndy–within 3/4 mile of the route, accounting for 94% of all college students in Indianapolis.”


        “Seven of the 20 largest Indianapolis employers, including IU Health, Eli Lilly, IUPUI, WellPoint, Rolls Royce, the State of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis and the cluster of Downtown Indianapolis service industries.

        IndyGo is a big, fat liar.

        • Regarding the campus connections to the Red Line:

          Ivy Tech has a direct connection
          UIndy has a direct connection
          IUPUI is 3 blocks from a station (West/Vermont to Capitol/Vermont)
          Butler is 1 mile from the 38th/Meridian station

          Butler is the only one that seems inaccurate, but it appears the application you’re citing was written prior to Meridian being selected over the Ill/Cap route through the near north. The corner of Butler at Sunset/44th and is about 3/4 mile from 38th/Cap.

          I’m not sure what your concern is with the listed employers. 6 of them are within 1/4 mile of a Red Line station — only Rolls Royce is further, but has the advantage of being within 1/2 mile of 3 different stations.

          I still see no problem with IndyGo’s information.

    • “tax increase that will result in Marion County having the highest taxes in the entire State of Indiana”


      • Note that Natacha has avoided ADDRESSING this topic as she goes down numerous other rabbit-holes on this thread. I assume this is because she knows she is wrong or (more harshly put) LYING ABOUT THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRANSIT REFERENDUM.

        Yes. I was yelling.

  • I quote:

    TOD Library Boards: “Annual savings of $8,000 for median-income households”. Based on what facts?

    “2X more in property value for homes in transit-oriented neighborhoods. Nearly 3X more property value for businesses in transit oriented commercial”

    A document downloaded from IndyGo’s website, with representations repeated in its FTA grant applications, complete with photos of buildings on all four campuses:

    “The Red Line connects our four largest universities. With 60,000+ UNIVERSITY STUDENTS (94% OF ALL STUDENTS IN MARION COUNTY) at IUPUI, Butler University, Ivy Tech Community College and University of Indianapolis.” (all caps in original.

    “The Red Line connects us to many of our largest employers. IU Methodist Hospital (#1), Eli Lilly & Co (#3), Indianapolis Public Schools (#7), IUPUI (#10), Well Point (#14), Rolls Royce (#15), City of Indianapolis (#18). Really, how many Indianapolis Public Schools could Red Line possibly serve anyway, and don’t they have school buses for the kids?


    “The Red Line connects neighborhood in need of investment. The corridor’s median household income is about $14,000 below the region’s median, with thousands of transit-dependent riders”. Really, with Meridian-Kessler and Forest Hills, two of the most-affluent neighborhoods in the entire City along the route? If it went north of 66th Street as planned, it would run within Williams Creek, Meridian Hills and Arden, the rest of the affluent northside neighborhoods.

    The tax increase data has been reported in multiple sources, including the Indianapolis Star and television networks. That fact is not disputed.

    The foregoing are representations made to taxpayers.

    • “The tax increase data has been reported in multiple sources, including the Indianapolis Star and television networks. That fact is not disputed.”

      Cite? None of these 3 IndyStar articles support your prior claim that “…tax increase that will result in Marion County having the highest taxes in the entire State of Indiana…”

      • Actually, the highest local income tax in the state is in Jasper County, 3.05%. In all, 13 counties have higher income tax rates than Marion County. Source: IT-40 Booklet Complete, available on the IN.Gov website.

        Google is a wonderful thing. Natacha should use it more.

        • I should have pointed out that the local income tax and the sales tax on restaurant food are the only tax differences between Indiana counties. You’d have to spend almost $500 a week at restaurants for the tax differential in Marion County to be $500 per year. On the other hand, on $50,000 of income, a Morgan county resident pays >$500 more in income tax than s/he would pay living in Marion County.

          Property taxes are capped at 1% of AV statewide for owner-occupied residential property. The owner of a $400,000 house in Indianapolis, Carmel, Greenwood, Zionsville, St. John, Lawrenceburg, Floyd’s Knob, or anywhere else in the state pays a maximum of $4,000 in property tax.

    • You do realize that we only have to have yellow bus school transportation because we systematically destroyed our walkable neighborhoods and existing transit. But anyways, it has always seemed clear that you take things out of context and insist inserting your own context. It has become clear from this debate that you harbor so much animus towards the Red Line that you would say anything to stop it.

      • Natacha is a lawyer, that’s what they do. They take “facts” and push them and push them until they’re true. The way she’s been representing things in the comments sections of these articles clearly shows that.

        That being said, Natacha – it’s time to give it a rest. The public has clearly said it wants it. If this kind of margin were part of a presidential election, you bet the winning candidate would be saying left and right that they have a mandate from the people. Claiming that people were manipulated into voting in a manner that they wouldn’t normally choose is entirely childish and unbecoming of a professional such as yourself.

    • Natacha — the primary issue is that you’re taking statements like “Red Line connects to” far too literally. It’s clear to anyone that glances at the route map that IndyGo isn’t implying that the Red Line will deliver people directly to the front door of every listed business or university.

      While the Red Line does well to connect directly to numerous sources of ridership, many riders will have to transfer to local bus service for the last leg of their trip. For example, Butler students will take the 28 bus from campus to the Red Line station at 38th and Meridian. That’s the intended function of the BRT lines, to act as central rapid connections for the transit system as a whole, not to provide a direct door-to-door connection for every trip in the system.

      I don’t think there’s any misrepresentation of facts in the IndyGo information.

      • I would also add that there are a lot of bikes at Butler now and taking your bike to the Red Line is a pretty easy trip. I agree it’s a bit far to walk although certainly doable.

      • See above statements quoted directly from the “Priority Projects for Regional Cities Consideration”, where IndyGo claims that Butler and IUPUI, are “within 3/4 mile of the route”.

        That is a lie, and telling this lie to the public and to the FTA ought to result in criminal charges because the lie was told for the purpose of obtaining taxpayer money.

        • Now we’re calling for criminal charges? Under what part of the Indiana Code?

          Also, please see Chris Corr’s response to you for context.

          And around and around we go…

          • What possible “context” can there be to the false statement that Butler and IUPUI are “within 3/4 mile” of the route?

            Butler’s eastern edge is 1.2 miles from College Avenue. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Most of the dorms are a few blocks further west of that. I haven’t measured the distance from Capital to IUPUI, but it’s a lot further than 3/4 mile, and IUPUI is spread out over several blocks going west. The point is, Red Lie would not directly provide service to either of these institutions, because students and faculty aren’t going to walk that far to catch a bus. There is already bus service to these locations with a transfer. Red Lie offers nothing new in this regard, so why mention Butler or IUPUI at all or imply that Red Lie would serve them?

            IndyGo repeated this false claim on Boards they set up at various public venues to gain public support, in addition to other false claims about the alleged “benefits” of Red Lie.

            The bigger question: is it OK with you that persons on the public payroll lie in order to get the public to vote for a tax increase? If some poor person misrepresented his or her income when applying for food stamps or Medicaid, there would be criminal consequences, and the stakes are a lot less than with IndyGo.

          • Please read Chris Corr’s comment re. prior proposed routes.

    • If you are so afraid of what the Red Line will do to property values where you live, there is a viable solution that still exists for you. Move. You have some time before the Red Line happens so now is the time to sell (the market is currently really, really hot for sellers). Let me know if you want to sell, as I would love to live where there is easy access to good transit.

      • never have liked it when people say ” if you don’t like it, move”…

        • I actually agree with that. Seems pretty spiteful, IMO.

          Fellow supporters: make your arguments based on facts, and not emotions.

        • I agree that the “just move” sentiment is just as bad as the NIMBY sentiment.

          However, the market reaction to this will be higher home values or lower home values. At that point it becomes and business decision and people in the area need to decide what they value and actions will speak louder than words.

          My guess, values go up, reasons to stay also go up, and most anti people will stay and enjoy the benefits. This scenario has happened repeatedly in spite of repeated threats to leave in my neighborhood.

          • It’s also happened repeatedly in other cities that have actually managed to install useful transit lines instead of just token ones. I look forward to using the Red Line and hopefully the Blue Line one day soon. My car literally will only be for visiting my parents in the ‘burbs.

      • No, see, here’s the problem: when you sell a house, you must disclose adverse information you know about it that affects the value of the property. For example: if someone was murdered in the house, that fact must be disclosed. Also, that the street will be closed for a full year to tear it up, install a median and stupid little bus stations, so that IndyGo can’t abandon the BRT when the 51% increase in ridership doesn’t happen, all to protect the investments of developers. Also, all of those little walkable restaurants, bars and shops that make the area interesting will likely be gone, replaced by tall apartment buildings. These is adverse information affecting the value of property and by law it must be disclosed.

        • Increased public transportation that allows people to arrive at their destination without a car is ALWAYS the death knell for walkable businesses.

          But for real, you can’t possibly think you are legally obligated to disclose pure speculation of the future?

          Side note: The street won’t close for a year

        • Natacha, quit making stuff up. A seller’s disclosure form doesn’t include any of that. How stupid do you think we are? If, at the time you want to sell, you have received a governmental or quasi-governmental notice that the street in front of your home is about to be inaccessible, then you do of course have to disclose that. So now is the time to sell if you want to, although I doubt you really do, invested in it as you are. And Newbie — sorry, kiddo, but prices in the area where Natacha lives have flatlined recently. Some people nearby have taken their homes off the market recently, hoping things will improve in the spring.

        • I’m sorry but I’m straight up stating I don’t believe Natacha to be an attorney. I know dozens of attorneys. I am one myself. No self-respecting attorney would state so many of these easily refutable claims that Natacha has stated, used reasoning that is so attenuated to be unrealistic in supporting an argument, nor the subtract half the winning percentage to give to the losing side so we’re at 50-50 math tactic stated earlier.

          Natacha, please argue real facts and please use real logic to support your claims. If you’re not doing that you’re just behaving as an internet troll and that is shameful adult behavior.

          • Recommend Kevin send her the following (on UrbanIndy letterhead):

            Dearest Karen,
            Someone is using your preferred nom de plume to say stupid (and factually false) things on the internet. Just thought you should know.

  • There has been transparency for years on this issue. If you will note, go back and look at old Urban Indy articles where we were critical of the plan as not being bold enough. Several rapid transit carrots were dangled only to be changed later in the game.

    UI was highly critical and in full transparency, went out of our way to contact local officials and meet several times to get to the root of the issue. Planning issues. Social ills, etc.

    For someone to accuse this issue as being rigged is lunacy. Plenty of people have called into question the social and transportation validity on both sides.

    Finally, if you want to talk about social inequity, talk about the hundreds of millions being spent on freeways and road widening going on around the county and ask why someone who rides the bus and owns no car is suppose to feel good about cars getting an easier way when the buses are still stuck in traffic?

    Move on. Transit won. On to the next fight.

    • How can an issue be transparent if every media outlet decides to take a position on it and never independently research it or give equal voice to various view points? Maybe it conspiracy is the wrong word but for anyone to suggests that there was not an intentional media blackout of opposition and carelfully crafted, incomplete, message is just foolish. They admitted as much in a CCC meeting. We literally had national transit researchers submitting letters and not one of them got published.

      Seriously, it’s not about this issue. It’s about disenfranchisement. It’s about violating laws to pass agendas i.e. INDYGo putting up billboards promoting the plan. We made a complaint and they finally took hem down. The AGs office concurred that there were probably other violations but it was basically too late to do anything. Again if you need proof I can provide it. It worked in your favor this time but we all should really ask ourselves what happens when they come for you.

      Ideas about the value of public transit are based on individual values. It’s not like the vast majority of people think that, it’s one view. For instance, I don’t really care to talk to people on the bus. I like to sit quietly and clear my thoughts. Why should I have to pay taxes to get other people out and healthy? I don’t ask them to pay for my fitness goals.

      Anyway. Signing off. I’m glad it’s over for now so that I can go back to focusing on my fitness and professial goals, those things I pay for on my own.

      • I know you said you were going to sign off and I don’t want to take issue with most of what you have said. Although I disagree with your individual points your overall message is good.

        But your last point that seems to imply that only bus riders don’t pay their fair share in the transportation realm is ludicrous. By most accounts drivers pay for about 50% of the cost of the roads through user fees. This is also just one part of a very complex issue when you factor in parking subsidies (Donald Shoup estimates at $5 per commute), environmental damage, traffic deaths, etc. This is not even touching on the influence that transportation design has on the layout of the city and the tax revenue vs infrastructure cost in a low density sprawl environment.

        Thinking cars represent some sort of self sufficient life style is myth and the moral superiority that comes with it hurts our cities in drastic ways.

        • Very well said Paul. The largest and most insidious of the points you made is the influence that a car-centric design has on the layout of a city. Sprawl is inherently and literally a killer in so many way. It causes severe loneliness and isolation, makes us poorer because it sucks government budgets dry (there’s a reason Indy’s roads look the way they do and it’s not because of an inept DPW), pollution, improperly mixes pedestrians and high speed roads together instead of keeping those separate, causes obesity in numerous ways and not just through a sedentary lifestyle, and helps create our polarized political situation in this country again because of the isolation – we have little to no understanding of each other through daily direct public interactions. This list could go on.

          I used to think why would we need public transit and why would we need to walk places. Then I visited Europe and my worldview completely changed. That way of living is so much better aesthetically, financially, philosophically, socially, etc.

          • Other reasons that the streets are a mess could be the fact that so much tax money is given to professional sports teams, the City’s borrowing power and future tax revenue are tied up with TIF handouts to the undeserving, and delays in infrastructure improvements result from both of the above. Raising taxes isn’t the answer to the infrastructure problem. Attempting to force people to use public transportation isn’t the answer, either.

            Indianapolis is not Europe. I know many, if not most of my neighbors, and we aren’t isolated. Young transients living in a cheaply-constructed apartment building do not invest in their home or really get to know their temporary neighbors. They are renters only, and will move on to permanent housing eventually, but probably not Meridian-Kessler because its charm will be forever gone. People in Indianapolis prefer to drive their cars. There’s nothing wrong with that. You have a different philosophy, which is fine, but attempting to force it on everyone else isn’t fine.

          • Forcing your position = bad
            Natty-Ice forcing hers = good

            Got it. Good talk.

        • Indeed, and I ran the pro-Red Line petition on More often that not when the online local media would talk about the Red Line, they’d usually give the anti-Red Line petition the majority of the coverage since it usually included an interview of someone on the anti side. Not once do the media come interview me or any other common citizen who was pro-Red Line.

          • Jim:

            1. do you live on College Avenue?

            2. do you presently ride a bus? If not, why not?

            You are wrong about media coverage. Management of the Indianapolis Star and most of the local television stations all belong to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, along with developers and banks which pushed for Red Line. Opponents never got a fair shake.

          • Natty-Ice, please review the articles posted above. Just because you say something doesn’t mean it’s true.

          • Ooooooh, so only people who live directly ON college get a say. See, I never realized that the Red Line wouldn’t service other people in the neighborhood.

            I know it doesn’t show through text, but my eyes are rolling so hard you can only see the whites of my eyes.

        • Once the only print media outlets in the city take a stance on any issue then any opposition is at a disadvantage. Most of these articles start with the supporters then go ” Oh by the way there is an opposition”. It’s not really great journalism. Once the Star and Nuvo take positions here no one else has a voice.

          • You should probably click on the articles that A.L. posted above then. The Touhy article from January goes on and on about opposition and support gets almost no mention except from Brian Luwellen and Colleen Fanning (maybe 10% of the article).

      • “Again if you need proof I can provide it.” Robert, you should ALWAYS provide proof of your assertions. Otherwise, no one will ever take you seriously.

    • Great Point Curt! Perhaps there will be some equity in this car culture city – we can only hope the council

      sees the big picture vision and listens to the majority of Marion County Residents who have been keeping

      the faith with each incremental step forward!

  • I voted against the measure. I do not wish to see transit here in Indy fail, but the first line that should be built is the one to the airport from downtown. BRT and light rail only make money when the vehicles are fully used going both ways. The airport line would have constant use from both visitors and residents and would return on the investment much more quickly than any other option I’ve ever seen proposed. Indy just doesn’t have the population density to make the Red Line economically viable.

    • The first line may be the Red Line, but shortly after that the Blue Line will be built which connects to the airport. So I’m not sure why you voted against the measure as the referendum was also about getting the line to the airport. The only part of the referendum that had to do with the Red Line was to support it’s ongoing daily operation and maintenance.

      • I believe the first component would be to just run more frequent routes.

      • Exactly correct!

      • No, Jim. Indianapolis tax dollars are needed to construct Red Line, as well as to run it.

        There aren’t even any concrete plans for any other lines, much less a grant to study the feasibility, much less a grant application. BTW: there aren’t any choice places along any other proposed routes where developers can get the government to pay to build apartment buildings for “transit oriented development.”

        Truth is, Red Line, which is nothing but a real estate development scheme, will fail, but not until after the wealthy developers get their TOD handouts. Red Line can’t succeed. Ridership is already low, and after IndyGo eliminates the portions of the College route that goes east on Kessler (to Glendale Town Center and Chatard HS) and BR Avenue, plus south of 38th Street, plus eliminating 75% of current bus stops, ridership will be even lower than it already is. It will never go north of 66th Street, but, for the sake of argument, even if it did, it would have to run with other traffic, so why doesn’t it just run with other traffic south of 66th Street? You know the answer to this one. This is all so obvious.

        • Because if it ran with traffic it wouldn’t satisfy the “rapid” part of “rapid transit.”

          For once you said something true, that was obvious.

    • Did you not understand the plan? The Red Line was completely separate from the referendum other than the new tax going to help fund daily operations and maintenance of the Red Line. Otherwise, the referendum was about building the Blue and Purple lines as well, with the Blue Line going to/from the airport. The Red Line is mostly being funded by a Tiger grant. I believe it’s justified as being the first one built as well. There were plenty of studies done by IndyGo and others showing that that line indeed touches on the most dense areas of Indy. It’ll directly impact ~180,000 people. We need to build for we who live in Indy first, not for tourists or people visiting. We can’t build everything immediately because of cost and so we must make some decisions that have trade-offs. Getting locals out of their cars and allowing more people to not have to rely on their cars for getting around is the primary goal of better mass transit. Why?

      1. It allows much better development that is so much more financially productive than single family homes because not everyone needs a car.
      2. It takes up far less space than cars while moving more people to where they want to go.
      3. It costs less to build than car infrastructure and costs less to maintain.
      4. It reduces pollution, and in Indy’s case reduces the localized pollution completely due to the BRT buses being completely electric (both air and noise pollution).
      5. It gets people out and walking which is shown time and again to improve health, both weight-wise and mentally.
      6. It allows us to know those people around us better which is only a good thing.

  • I can now see why you think you were lied to and why you think there are IndyGo and city government conspiracies. You easily conflate things and take things way out of context. Try an open mind some time, you’ll make a lot more friends.

  • Are Natacha and Karen Neiswinger the same person?

  • Thanks for the valuable original post. Once again it proves the value of this incredible and informative website.

  • I just hope they don’t build the Monon Trail. That will destroy my property value and bring bad elements into the neighborhood. Oh wait, the opposite happened.

    • Does anybody know if people fought the Cultural Trail in the same way as MK fought the Monon and now the Red Line?

      • I’m just going off of memory, but I don’t recall the Cultural Trail being very controversial, nor it being heavily fought against. Most of the controversy I do remember about the CT was how was it going to be paid for.

        My personal opinion, FWIW, on the differences in attitude between the CT and the Monon Trail have to do with time and location. The Monon was the first trail built in the area and was quite controversial when first proposed and built in the late 1980s and 90s. What is a trail and why does anyone want to build one from an old rail line? By the time the CT was proposed it was the mid-2000s. You have 15 years or so of familiarity with trails and the Monon. Completely different shift in attitude.

        With the Monon Trail you had many private property owners fighting the trail. They viewed it as their land, and felt when the railroad was abandoned the property should go back to them. With the Cultural Trail good chunks of it were going to be converted from sidewalks and public right of ways already in existence. Property owners didn’t feel like they owned the locations where the CT was going to go. Completely different attitude.

      • MKNA supported the Redl Line but they are not elected so that’s not saying much.

        • MKNA spent the past year and a half discussing the Red Line design with both INDYGO and the City trying both to maximize the benefits and minimize what might be damaged. As with Land Use cases, that’s a more logical approach, especially since neighborhood associations never make the final decision, than simply supporting or opposing a given project. We continue to work with both the City and INDYGO, particularly in the area of neighboring infrastructure – a not always successful, but always necessary endeavor.

          • Unfortunately, it seems to happen in both MK and BR that the hysterical voices drown out the reasonable ones.

            It also happens that the people who live closest to something “new and improved” (typically a more-dense residential or more-intense commercial use) also have to suffer some unpleasant side effects, which “pro” forces often dismiss out of hand.

            The problem-solving/nudging approach is the right one and I applaud MKNA for taking that route.

      • I don’t know if it is apocryphal, but I had heard that the reason for the jogs in the Trail along Mass Ave (vs the straight shot down VA Ave) was due to merchant complaints. I’ve got to imagine that if that is true, there is some pretty major regret over that decision.

  • It was very interesting to see this map. I’d love to see the proposed bus lines superimposed on the map to show if there’s a direct connection between planned service and which areas voted which way. I expect that there is.

    As far as anything to take out from this beyond the obvious fact that central and northern parts of the county favored the referendum over the southern half, which won’t get much in the way of new service, is the fact that over 40% of those in Franklin Township voted in favor. It’s not much, but over 40% in a township that will see no new benefit in terms of expanded bus service in their area. That kind of leaves me hopeful.

    • The most-dense and most-walkable parts of the county, as well as the lowest-median-income areas, all voted yes. As it turns out, that’s about 16 or 17 of the 25 council districts.

      If the councilors in those districts want to get re-elected, or elected to higher office, they should pay attention to what their voters told them.

  • The lowest end of the range was 29%? I gotta say, that’s impressive. I seriously thought there would be a few rural precincts that were in the low teens.

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