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Old May 27th, 2007, 10:20 PM   #761
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Originally Posted by cwilson758 View Post
Going up Binford would be a tragedy and a decision that would not surprise me based on the recent decisions by this City.
I think you need to give credit (or blame) to the MPO and their consultant when it comes to transit.

The last I heard, they were proposing the following absurd route from the airport to downtown. The current Amtrak route is shown in yellow and skirts the north side of the airport. This line will also be used in the regional transit system, but not to connect to the airport! The red line is the airport connector. I'm not sure of the exact alignment, but I am pretty sure it goes West from the terminal, South over I-70 and follows the Kentucky Ave. corridor. And look - surprise, surprise - it's going to connect the airport with the Lilly Technology Center and Lilly Corporate. The same people who wanted the rail lines downtown removed because it made it harder for them to expand their poorly-planned, suburban campus.

I can't think of any airport-downtown connector that is as stupid as this one.



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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #762
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I understand the idea of using an existing rail line, but I think using the middle of I-70/APE like how the EL splits the Dan Ryan in Chicago makes more sense.

I definitely think taking a route up binford would be a mistake considering the stretch between Keystone and 71st is basically all residential. Keystone has way more to offer. However a line splitting Binford/I-69 from 71st to 116th seems like it could work, but maybe better served by busses.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #763
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Originally Posted by benjaminooo View Post
I understand the idea of using an existing rail line, but I think using the middle of I-70/APE like how the EL splits the Dan Ryan in Chicago makes more sense.

I definitely think taking a route up binford would be a mistake considering the stretch between Keystone and 71st is basically all residential. Keystone has way more to offer. However a line splitting Binford/I-69 from 71st to 116th seems like it could work, but maybe better served by busses.
I agree about placing transit in existing highway ROW when possible. The Dan Ryan has a huge residential base on either side of it. I-70 West does not. When you get past I-465, there is no residential. Since our airport is so close to downtown, seems to me it would make much more sense to create a quick point-to-point connection for fast service. There could still be additional local/commuter lines along existing major roads and highways. Don't expect anything earth shattering from INDOT - they only do one thing - build roads.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #764
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that downtown does not contribute to the city, it only encourages suburbian sprawl, it is nothing more than a mere obstacle in development, where the rich flee from the problems rather than trying to stay and fix them.
It's ok. At the rate the northside is expanding those people will back themselves into Chicago and have nowhere to go.

The only good I can see in this in this Woodfield project is competition. We may soon have a Minneapolis - St. Paul situation on our hands.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #765
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It's ok. At the rate the northside is expanding those people will back themselves into Chicago and have nowhere to go.

The only good I can see in this in this Woodfield project is competition. We may soon have a Minneapolis - St. Paul situation on our hands.
that will be beautiful.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #766
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Don't expect anything earth shattering from INDOT - they only do one thing - build roads.
Unfortunately, you are all too correct, Bob. The hilljacks at INDOT don't have the first clue about mass transit.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:12 PM   #767
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Running rail lines down the medians of expressways is 70's thinking. Transit and autos are not really compatible in that transit functions well where autos function worst and vice versa. Thus combining the two is usually a bad idea. Expressway oriented development is not transit oriented development.

Plus consider this from the transit riders perspective. The expressway itself is a barrier that adds to the total journey time as you have to walk across to get it. Then you are standing in the middle of a loud battle zone as cars whiz by and you get to breath in the fumes.

The Dan Ryan may be the most dense transportation corridor in the United States. There is the fourteen lane Dan Ryan itself, plus the Red Line L in the middle, plus the Green Line off slightly to the east, plus commuter/Amtrak lines on both sides. (The Dan Ryan was originally built following the Rock Island ROW, something that was done for most Chicago area expressways and made them far less damaging to the urban fabric that what happened elsewhere). Nevertheless, the Dan Ryan L is heavily dependent on feeder bus service, not people walking to it, for the majority of its passenger. Constrast with the Howard branch on the North Side and see the difference.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #768
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Unfortunately, you are all too correct, Bob. The hilljacks at INDOT don't have the first clue about mass transit.
In fairness, transit is not INDOT's charter. They don't get money to build transit lines, so why expect them to?

My problems with INDOT relate to their deficiencies as a highway agency. They are far behind the times. The lack of investment by INDOT in the Indianapolis freeway system compared to what peer cities are seeing is a major handicap for the city.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #769
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You guys think the Kosene proposal is a shoe-in... Do you really think it is a better proposal, or do you like it only because the towers are are taller than the other proposal?
I don't think either proposal is a shoe-in. I do believe that ultimately, as with the downtown hotel competition, merit is not the criteria that will be used. Rather, some sort of "political" consideration is more likely.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #770
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I think you need to give credit (or blame) to the MPO and their consultant when it comes to transit.

The last I heard, they were proposing the following absurd route from the airport to downtown. The current Amtrak route is shown in yellow and skirts the north side of the airport. This line will also be used in the regional transit system, but not to connect to the airport! The red line is the airport connector. I'm not sure of the exact alignment, but I am pretty sure it goes West from the terminal, South over I-70 and follows the Kentucky Ave. corridor. And look - surprise, surprise - it's going to connect the airport with the Lilly Technology Center and Lilly Corporate. The same people who wanted the rail lines downtown removed because it made it harder for them to expand their poorly-planned, suburban campus.

I can't think of any airport-downtown connector that is as stupid as this one.
I don't think it is as awful as you portray it. The circuitious route around the airport is required to avoid tunneling under the crosswind runway, which would doubtless cost hundreds of millions in its own right. I don't mind the concept of an express-route to downtown from the airport, or one with just a Lilly connector.

The real question is whether Indy needs a rail connection from the airport to downtown. Traffic is extremely light there and taxi/shuttle service could probably make the trip at a reasonable cost in 15-20 minutes. Plus the bulk of the traffic leaving the airport is likely not headed to downtown. Rail service to the airport to me sounds like a solution searching for a problem based on people's visits to other cities whose circumstances are nothing like Indianapolis. In a world of unlimited funds, it might make sense, but that's certainly not where Indy is at this point in time.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #771
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According to the below article, a route will be chosen later this summer or early fall...

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...86/LOCAL010403
I've got to believe that the Nickel Plate line is a fait accompli, especially as it is already owned by the local government. And of course you can forget about busway, no matter how cost effective it might be.

Unforunately, transit in the vast majority of American cities is a political project, not a transportation project.

If transit is going to work in Indianapolis, it should be easy to prove it at low cost. Simply buy some extra buses and increase headways on a slightly tweaked College/Keystone route from downtown to Broad Ripple to Keystone Crossing. If you run every 5-7 minutes at peak period, and 10 minute off peak headways, with first class buses, good marketing, etc, and still can't get good ridership, then you have no prayer of making light rail work. And the cost of doing this would be miniscule compared to light rail or dedicated busway.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #772
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I've got to believe that the Nickel Plate line is a fait accompli, especially as it is already owned by the local government. And of course you can forget about busway, no matter how cost effective it might be.

Unforunately, transit in the vast majority of American cities is a political project, not a transportation project.

If transit is going to work in Indianapolis, it should be easy to prove it at low cost. Simply buy some extra buses and increase headways on a slightly tweaked College/Keystone route from downtown to Broad Ripple to Keystone Crossing. If you run every 5-7 minutes at peak period, and 10 minute off peak headways, with first class buses, good marketing, etc, and still can't get good ridership, then you have no prayer of making light rail work. And the cost of doing this would be miniscule compared to light rail or dedicated busway.

I understand your point, but this is only thinking in the short term. True, in the immediate years, this might be a more viable option but cannot be expected to alleviate problems or provide solutions for the long term. This said, light rail would be a friendly option for the city for the following decade and beyond.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:33 AM   #773
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I don't think it is as awful as you portray it. The circuitious route around the airport is required to avoid tunneling under the crosswind runway, which would doubtless cost hundreds of millions in its own right. I don't mind the concept of an express-route to downtown from the airport, or one with just a Lilly connector.

The real question is whether Indy needs a rail connection from the airport to downtown. Traffic is extremely light there and taxi/shuttle service could probably make the trip at a reasonable cost in 15-20 minutes. Plus the bulk of the traffic leaving the airport is likely not headed to downtown. Rail service to the airport to me sounds like a solution searching for a problem based on people's visits to other cities whose circumstances are nothing like Indianapolis. In a world of unlimited funds, it might make sense, but that's certainly not where Indy is at this point in time.
I think an airport connector would be a valuable asset for the city. I would estimate roughly half of the travelers that come to the aiport wind up downtown. If a connecting route can be done effectively then it should be done. There would only be growing support and viability for it, especially as Indy's convention industry is growing.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:50 AM   #774
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I don't think it is as awful as you portray it. The circuitious route around the airport is required to avoid tunneling under the crosswind runway, which would doubtless cost hundreds of millions in its own right. I don't mind the concept of an express-route to downtown from the airport, or one with just a Lilly connector.

The real question is whether Indy needs a rail connection from the airport to downtown. Traffic is extremely light there and taxi/shuttle service could probably make the trip at a reasonable cost in 15-20 minutes. Plus the bulk of the traffic leaving the airport is likely not headed to downtown. Rail service to the airport to me sounds like a solution searching for a problem based on people's visits to other cities whose circumstances are nothing like Indianapolis. In a world of unlimited funds, it might make sense, but that's certainly not where Indy is at this point in time.
While it wouldn't be cheap to tunnel under the crosswind runway, I don't believe it be cost-prohibitive. Most of the work would be cut and cover, with tunnel boring under the runway and taxiways. Point of fact - the airport just used a tunnel borning machine for a one mile long utlity corridor (granted it wasn't on the same scale as a rail tunnel). If the other rail corridors are elevated, as the MPO wants, then there isn't any cost savings from the circuitous route.

This is also the reason that Airport Expressway wasn't extended to the new Midfield Terminal. The overwhelming majority of passengers are coming from east of the airport. An additional 6-mile round trip is now required - that's a lot of extra miles for a City that is struggling to stay out of ozone non-attainment.

Tie the airport to downtown connection to one that goes to Noblesville, and it makes sense to me. The taxi fare from downtown to the airport is $15 and from house is $20. I would gladly redirect that to transit. Given that downtown is the state's largest employment center and the convention business, it would make sense to have a link from downtown to the airport (as part of a regional system).

INDOT is a transportation agency with a rail section. I believe they are Indiana's charged agency if a high-speed rail system is ever built in the Midwest. It always comes down to money. If Daniels can earmark money to build connector highways and I-69, then he can find money for other modes of transportation. The State should be a partner in a regional transit system.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #775
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I understand your point, but this is only thinking in the short term. True, in the immediate years, this might be a more viable option but cannot be expected to alleviate problems or provide solutions for the long term. This said, light rail would be a friendly option for the city for the following decade and beyond.
I'm not suggesting it is necessarily the long term solution (though it could be). But rather than pouring a billion into a light rail line under a build it and they will come premise, it makes a heckuva lot of sense to see if you can actually convince people to get out of their cars first. The Nickle Plate ROW isn't going anywhere, and there is no reason which development on a light rail system is time critical.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #776
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What are you talking about? It looks like a bad sci-fi movie! Somebody’s ridiculous vision of the year 2025.

It’s really just a conglomeration of bland, suburban office buildings and an indoor mall. It’s the same old suburban crap that we always get only this time, its on steroids.
I'm sorry, but I don't know what you were looking at. This project has better architecture than almost any of the more recent buildings in downtown Indy. I think you judgement is more on the basis that this development is not in downtown. You would probably be praising this development if it was to be built downtown.

I also have to say, that this is a great option to combat sprawl (not contribute to it). This is a much more dense development than seen throughout most of the suburbs, which is what is desparately needed. I really like the design of this project and can't wait to see it built. Honestly, though, I would love to see this type of development built in downtown, it would be amazing for downtown. Oh well, I'll still take it. The architecture is really frickkin' sweet.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 02:45 AM   #777
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In fairness, transit is not INDOT's charter. They don't get money to build transit lines, so why expect them to?

My problems with INDOT relate to their deficiencies as a highway agency. They are far behind the times. The lack of investment by INDOT in the Indianapolis freeway system compared to what peer cities are seeing is a major handicap for the city.
How is Indy's freeway system deficient compared to other cities? The west side of I-465 is slated for a major reconstruction in the next few years and US 31 is going to be upgraded to freeway status by 2017.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 02:48 AM   #778
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I love that Woodfield Crossing development!! Keystone and 86th could become Indy's second skyscraper and commercial center. Downtown is getting PLENTY of development so I fail to see how this development would be negative for the downtown area.

Keep us posted on this everyone!!
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #779
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How is Indy's freeway system deficient compared to other cities? The west side of I-465 is slated for a major reconstruction in the next few years and US 31 is going to be upgraded to freeway status by 2017.
The vast majority of the Indianapolis freeway system has never been widened, or at least not since the 1960's. INDOT has even reconstructed much of I-465 as is, with no new capacity. Super-70, as much as I like the project and think it is a great approach, will not add any capacity, despite the fact that every planning document shows a need for an additional lane each way into downtown.

Go visit some other cities. I just visited Nashville, Tennessee this weekend. There isn't a spoke freeway route heading into the city that isn't a minimum of eight lanes right now - and many of these go 20-30+ miles out from downtown. What's more, unlike our friends at INDOT, TDOT builds every new bridge with additional horizontal clearance to add even more lanes in the future. And they are building an outerbelt.

In Louisville, Kentucky, I-65 is already six lanes minimum for an astonishing 45 miles out from downtown and most of the inner loop is already eight laned. (Incidentally, INDOT did a better job on I-65 in Clark County than it is doing on I-465 on the west side - including building frontage roads along a lengthy eight lane stretch). Dittos for Columbus, Ohio, where I-70 heading in from the west is six lanes for 35-40 miles from downtown and a good chunk of I-270 is already 8 lanes.

I'm not saying the story is monolithically bad. The US 31 project will hopefully be a good one, though given the history of this, I'll believe it when I see it. The I-465 west leg project looks decent, with a particularly nice job on the I-74 interchange and a less than stellar design on the I-70 interchange. I'm planning a detailed Indy-Columbus freeway comparison for my blog, and Indy is going to win on a number of comparison metrics.

Still, when your motto is the "Crossroads of America", when distribution is your primary engine of economic growth, when you are selling quality of life as evidenced by low traffic congestion, you need to be a leader in the road arena, and Indy clearly is not.

Major Moves will go part of the way towards fixing the problems, but not far enough. Here is what needs to be done (in no particular order) on top of it. Keep in mind, this is random, off the cuff typing, not a detailed think through of the needs, but it should give you an idea.

- The northeast corridor of I-465 needs to be five through lanes in each direction, minimum. INDOT has been reconstructing as eight lanes only and in fact has designed the road in at least one point (the 56th St. bridge) to be non-expandable. But other than that point, the rest of it should be five lanes each way + auxiliary lanes. It is just plain crazy to invest hundreds of millions of dollars there any only get one extra lane each way.

- Make sure not to skimp on the US 31, Keystone, and I-69 interchanges. I'm very worried that given the history on the west side, INDOT will downgrade many interchange plans to save money. I think they should look at innovative designs such a three level roundabout for Keystone to allow free-flowing movement in all directions.

- I've been very inspired by Nashville's roads and think they are onto something, namely that eight lanes ought to be the standard minimum. For areas like I-69 beyond Exit 5 and I-65 outside of the beltway, as well as US 31 INDOT should be looking to eight lanes, not six lane these routes.

- Speaking of, INDOT needs to be more aggressive in adding lanes on the exterior spoke routes from I-465. In particular, I-65 south needs to be widened down to Franklin, and I-69 widened to at least Exit 26 in Anderson, possibly further. (Eventually, INDOT wants to widen I-70 and I-65 through the whole state - a laudable goal but one far from being accomplished. My areas are the prioritized segments. Kentucky by contrast is well on its way to widening I-65 and I-75 through the entire length of that state). This is one area where other states are far, far ahead.

- SR 37 needs to be a six lane freeway between I-69 and north of Noblesville. It is already limited access and with good setbacks. Using tight diamond or roundabout interchanges, it is clearly doable without extensive relocations.

- The Indiana Commerce Connector deserves at study at least. The previous CISTMS study showed a projected traffic demand of over 75,000 AADT on parts of the outerbelt - clearly traffic will be there.

- Never build a structure that isn't designed to accomodate at least one additional lane each way at a future date.

- The I-465/I-65 south interchange needs to be reconstructed as a 4-level stack, and I-465 widened in the southeast corridor. INDOT should never have reconstructed this interchange as is.

- A very high priority project should be redoing the I-465/I-65 north interchange, in order to link the I-465 west leg project with the section north of there that has already been widened. Otherwise we'll be left with a small hole.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 04:44 AM   #780
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I love that Woodfield Crossing development!! Keystone and 86th could become Indy's second skyscraper and commercial center. Downtown is getting PLENTY of development so I fail to see how this development would be negative for the downtown area.

Keep us posted on this everyone!!
Are... you... serious...?
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