New York Street in the Mile Square: Walk at Your Own Risk

Recently via twitter, some residents alerted me about a new sidewalk closure that had to be seen to be believed. Sidewalk closures for construction are common around Indy, and I have yet to see accommodations made for pedestrians via temporary barriers placed on the street. Even the City County Building was guilty of this during the Lugar Plaza construction, and they should be the most aware of public needs of anyone. There’s usually a sign alerting people to cross the street before the closure, but to me, that’s not good enough. We can do better than that. And here’s an example why:


Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

Walk north on Delaware towards Pulliam Square, and there’s the familiar sidewalk closure, this time for a project in the former parking lot of the Regions Bank tower. As of Wednesday, there was no sign alerting people to cross Delaware. Here it is, closer to the fence. I ran down the street when it was clear. Meanwhile, there were still 3 full lanes of one-way auto traffic on the street:

Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

Then I walked to New York Street, to the Pulliam Street corner. This north side of this corner is already finished, but the last phase towards Pennsylvania Street is still under construction. So, another sidewalk blocking fence:

Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

This means that there are now 2 blocked sidewalks on the same street. Again, there 3 blocks worth of one-way auto traffic. A few pedestrians can be seen here walking in the auto lane next to the southern closure. There’s literally no other option:

Image Credit: Kevin Kastner

I have created a crude outline of the areas that are blocked off:

Image Credit: Google maps

Indy has long touted itself as a walkable city. But this issue keeps popping up, and until some fundamental changes are made at the City Council level, it will continue. I’d support a move to require developers to provide a pedestrian space within the Regional Center.

Comments 7

  • “Sidewalk closures for construction are common around Indy, and I have yet to see accommodations made for pedestrians via temporary barriers placed on the street.”

    Not totally: The Cultural Trail along Virginia next to the under-construction City Way building has a nice on-street bypass. Of course that is only because of the Cultural Trail and I can’t imagine them doing it on their own.

    And of course that building has its own issue with its lack of mixed use frontage on the Trail – basically Indy oceanfront property being mostly ignored.

    • Good reporting. It’s pretty laughable to call Indianapolis a good walkable city when the only portion of sidewalks, even downtown, that get proper accommodation during construction closures are the super special ones (Cultural Trail) overseen by an organization with a multi-million dollar endowment and at least one full-time staff person. What if the Cultural Trail organization could become an advocate for all of Indy’s sidewalks? How cool would that be?

  • This issue involves right-of-way permits for the closure of sidewalks due to comstruction. These permits are issued to the companies doing the construction. The problem, however, is that the permit code does not (apparently) required the permit holder to mitigate the closure with appropriate and well-placed signage or other proscribed means. The city-county councilors who representat areas with such construction and closures need to be made aware of the issue, and encouraged to remedy it with amendments to the relevamt ROW codes.

  • both sides of prospect street are closed in fountain square because of the buckingham project and the upland brewery project. good luck walking to the bars at night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *