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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #801
arenn
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Originally Posted by thehoss257 View Post
Arenn, You seem so eager to add capacity to our freeways. If we continue to add lanes to our freeways then it doesn't give us much reason to pursue transit. I agree, we should add capacity, but I think we should do it with transit. We have sufficient ridership forcasts for transit we simply need to get our act together and do it.

Besides, pursuing transit starts to build a pedestrian ecosystem. It focuses development instead of dispersing it. Adding capacity to our freeways makes it more conveinent for people to live further and further away from the center and diminishes the quality of life for those surrounding these automobile gutters.
I am a big proponent of road improvements to address congestion problems in Indianapolis and make no apologies for it. You say "continue to add lanes" but for the most part Indy has not even started adding lanes. When is the last time lanes were added to I-69 for example?

I am a big fan of transit and believe it could have a role to play in Indianapolis. But transit and roads require very different environments to function properly. Transit works best in places where traffic congestion is terrible and parking non-existent, for example. The idea that transit will reduce congestion is actually self-defeating. Also, I don't believe that Indy is ready to sign up for real transit oriented development. Heck, even downtown and Broad Ripple the neighborhood associations fight practically everything but single family homes. Look at the battles that Mayor Brainard has fought in Carmel to bring modest densification there. And he's a one of a kind leader around town. Most others don't have the stomach for the fight.

I personally believe that transit, especially bus transit, would be an excellent way to help revitalize key neighborhoods and corridors in the central city. It might even help a minority of the minority (i.e., downtown workers who live in the northeast suburbs along a proposed light rail line) get to work. But I don't believe that it fundamentally negates the need for road improvements.

Consider Atlanta. Even the excellent MARTA heavy rail system, which is far more robust than anything proposed for Indy and which has ridership levels above the national average in its service areas, hasn't led to anything remotely resembling TOD in suburban Atlanta, which continues to suffer from congestion. What it has done is help create central city vibrancy in places like Midtown. I could see something similar happening in Indy.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #802
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hoosier, there is only one small segment of I-270 that is four lanes - that's between South High St. and I-71 on the south side. The main weakness of I-270, and the Columbus freeway system in general IMO, is that ODOT assumed the vast bulk of traffic would exit at freeway-freeway interchanges, and had far too few through lanes at them. For example, I-270 goes down to four lanes underneath both I-70 interchanges. (This is the same mistake that was made in LA). It really shows up in the downtown inner loop, which is a debacle of a design - there is only one through lane at most points. All of the others are exit only lanes.

The west leg of I-275 is four lanes, but that passes through Indiana and some generally rural areas. I-275 is like 83 miles, by far the largest US beltway and over half again as large as I-465 in diameter. There's only one small segment of the east leg that is two lanes. Interestingly, none of I-74 is wider than four lanes in either Cincinnati or Indianapolis.

I don't think Indy is necessarily in horrible shape compared to everyplace. The principle weaknesses are the low end exterior spoke routes and INDOT's generally "do the minimum" attitude towards upgrades. The problem is that for a city selling the product Indianapolis is, as I said earlier, it needs a clearly superior freeway system. INDOT has plans on the table right now, which time will tell whether or not they are really built, but over the past 10-15 years it has done very little while other cities upgraded roads. It has been said around Indy that "we can't just keep adding lanes", but for the most part the state hasn't even started adding lanes. TDOT needs to be the model to be emulated here.
Your assessment is spot on arenn. I have found that driving through Indianapolis on I-70 is MUCH nicer and stress free than driving through I-70 in Columbus, in part due to the reasons you cited.

I agree that certain spokes need to be widened in Indianapolis, namely I-69, I-74 west bound through fast growing Brownsburgh, and I-70 east bound.

Indy must get these routes (and the aformentioned in my earlier post parts of I-465) widened, but further widening should not occur after and LTR and TOD should be built to dissuade further freeway use.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:09 AM   #803
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what about the speedway developement south of IMS i like the idea and my dream would be a mills property like opry mills in nashville

also i remember a few years a go there was a developer i forget which one wanted to build a big lifestyle center by the airport anyone else remember that
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:09 AM   #804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arenn View Post
I am a big proponent of road improvements to address congestion problems in Indianapolis and make no apologies for it. You say "continue to add lanes" but for the most part Indy has not even started adding lanes. When is the last time lanes were added to I-69 for example?

I am a big fan of transit and believe it could have a role to play in Indianapolis. But transit and roads require very different environments to function properly. Transit works best in places where traffic congestion is terrible and parking non-existent, for example. The idea that transit will reduce congestion is actually self-defeating. Also, I don't believe that Indy is ready to sign up for real transit oriented development. Heck, even downtown and Broad Ripple the neighborhood associations fight practically everything but single family homes. Look at the battles that Mayor Brainard has fought in Carmel to bring modest densification there. And he's a one of a kind leader around town. Most others don't have the stomach for the fight.

I personally believe that transit, especially bus transit, would be an excellent way to help revitalize key neighborhoods and corridors in the central city. It might even help a minority of the minority (i.e., downtown workers who live in the northeast suburbs along a proposed light rail line) get to work. But I don't believe that it fundamentally negates the need for road improvements.

Consider Atlanta. Even the excellent MARTA heavy rail system, which is far more robust than anything proposed for Indy and which has ridership levels above the national average in its service areas, hasn't led to anything remotely resembling TOD in suburban Atlanta, which continues to suffer from congestion. What it has done is help create central city vibrancy in places like Midtown. I could see something similar happening in Indy.
Arenn,

It is true that transit won't eliminate congestion, but that isn't the point. Transit simply adds to total capacity. The real point is that neither transit nor road construction eleminates congestion for long. If you build more lanes of interstate, it becomes more convienent to drive. therefore those lanes quickly fill up and become congested. In the mean time, you continue to subsidize suburban migration.

The real question is how does our transportation system contribute to the TOTAL health and livablitiy of the city. I'm not suggesting that we stop building roads, i'm only saying that we need to turn our focus to transit.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #805
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Also, most transportation planners will tell you that fixed guidway transit systems have a much greater impact on the built environment and real estate values. I can tell you that by first hand experience... My house is less than a block away from a bus shelter on Washington Street and I bought my house for 55K.

Also, not all systems are built to take advantage of transit oriented development. I don't know of the Atlanta example, but i'm told that ownership of land around stations is important. Having an overlay district or some sort of mixed-use coding or masterplan is important. Also, the technology and alignment of the system is also very important.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #806
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Christine Altman is a great proponent for mass-transit. She does an excellent job as the IRTC prez. She, along with Mayor Brainard really get it and if Hamilton County is on-board for a tax hike, Marion County will follow suit.
It is wonderful to have a pro-transit advocate such as Altman. The highway lobby is so afraid of transit and understandably so - they have a capital-intensive cash cow with guarantees of future work for years and years with ongoing maintenance.

The one thing I disagree with Altman about is the cost of AGT versus LRT. There are several article that seem to back this up as well as the preference of LRT over AGT:

http://www.lightrailnow.org/features/f_monorail006.htm

http://www.planetizen.com/node/70


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=453936
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #807
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The Flaw of Leaving Rail Out of the Transit Picture

The following link is to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters talking about the need for four new major airports in the next 20 years, including a second airport for Atlanta! What wasn't mentioned in the excerpt of her speech was that she actually anticipates 10 new airports.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...etairport.html

My question is this, why in the hell should another Atlanta airport be built? Or a second Chicago Airport? etc.

Atlanta, just like Chicago, acts a major connecting hub. That trafiic could easily be diverted to Charlotte, Raleigh or Nashville. Just like connecting traffic in Chicago could be redirected to Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

Additionally, if the country had a decent intercity rail network, preferably high speed, the need for most flights under 250 miles would be moot. It makes no sense to fly from Atlanta to Birmingham or Jacksonville. Or from Indy to Chicago or Cincinnati.

High gas prices and climate change issues were mentioned earlier - this makes air travel expansion less sensical.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #808
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SRC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintrain View Post
what about the speedway developement south of IMS i like the idea and my dream would be a mills property like opry mills in nashville

also i remember a few years a go there was a developer i forget which one wanted to build a big lifestyle center by the airport anyone else remember that
It's called Metropolis Mall... More of a lifestyle center than Indianapolis has seen so far. It's owned by Premier Properties of Northeast Indianapolis and is still growing.
http://ppusa.com/properties/view/metropolis

Also, the Speedway Redevelopment Comission has some interesting ideas, though I think if they were actually implemented, it could be a step in the wrong direction for this ultra-conservative area of town. They've got some very well-developed plans... but they lack what it takes to put the plans well into effect.
http://redevelopspeedway.com/results/main.html

I'm really enthusiastic for change in the Speedway area... but it's discouraging to think that the people in control of the plans will mess it up really bad. Any encouraging words or updates on this project (inside info?) would be really neat.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #809
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i know about metropolis there is another one that was proposed like 3 years a go like right off 6 points road
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paintrain View Post
i know about metropolis there is another one that was proposed like 3 years a go like right off 6 points road
I remember what you are referring too. I'm not sure what ever happened to those plans. I think it was supposed to be twice as large as Castleton.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #812
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Get to the Root of the Transportation Problem

I'll preface this by saying that in an ideal world we can get people out of their cars and there is a balanced, multi-modal U.S. transportation policy. If we had alternative modes of transportation in citie like Indianapolis, I believe the prior is would be happening now. The latter may be impossible given the impact of special interest groups on our legislators, continued pork barrel projects, and sheer imcompetance.

Where is the demand coming from that warrants expanding highways? Part is due to suburban-central city and suburban-suburban commuting. This only occurs during peak travel times. At a minimum, using Indianapolis as an example. Wouldn't it make sense to have an express commuter rail line running down the Nickel Plate/Norfolk & Southern? Or a line running down Binford? There would be no reason to place stops along Binford since a large portion of the traffic is coming north of Marion County. While it isn't the magic bullet, it would certainly help. At a minimum it would provide an alternative to being forced to drive I-69. IMO, expanding I-69 will make it even worse.

Where is the other demand coming from? Tractor trailer freight. Driving I-70 east to Columbus is not a fun experience - the road is jam-packed with semis. Will adding a third lane help? I read a recent article that stated the number of tractor trailers is expected to double in the next ten years! The answer is to get as much freight as possible off of the road. The answer is a multi-modal high-speed freight/passenger rail system.

Indiana is perfectly situated to take advantage of a multi-modal system. We have one of the top cargo airports in the U.S. and World (2005 - #7 U.S & #19 World http://www.iflymia.com/html/cargo_rankings_.html). We have three ports, one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River. We are conveniently located near Chicago. The Ports of Indiana was given the authority to bond capital projects a few years ago. Conceivably, they could build a high-speed, multi-modal rail link between Indianapolis International and Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan and one port on the Ohio River. This would provide the bulk of Indiana's portion of the Midwest High Speed Rail network. Of course, this would require the State and our legislators to be progressive, long-term thinkers, which has yet to happen. If Indiana is really trying to become a leader in logistics, then this project makes sense. This project would elevate Indiana in terms of economic development potential.

Airports - mentioned above. Why build new when existing airports are under capacity and short-distance flights are needless. While it might not have a huge impact, this could also reduce inter-city auto travel.

All one has to do is look at the European model. There is absolutely no reason why the U.S. can't implement the same thing. Future urban form can be built around rail transit.

The last piece is local intra-community transit. Buses will always play an integral part, but will never provide the permanency that high-density development requires. A developer is much more likely to build near a fixed-guide system like a trolley than a bus route. All one has to do is look at the old inter-urban routes up Meridian, Penn, Delaware, Washington St., etc. At a minimum, we should have a trolley system downtown, perhaps even spokes to older neighborhoods like Meridian Kessler, Irvington, etc.

How are expanding highways the solution?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #813
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Quote:
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Where is the other demand coming from? Tractor trailer freight. Driving I-70 east to Columbus is not a fun experience - the road is jam-packed with semis. Will adding a third lane help? I read a recent article that stated the number of tractor trailers is expected to double in the next ten years! The answer is to get as much freight as possible off of the road. The answer is a multi-modal high-speed freight/passenger rail system.
Bob, your whole post is excellent, but I think this is one of the best points you made. You always hear the merits of a high speed passenger rail line, but I think the capacity o carry cargo and get many of these trucks off of the interstates is way too often overlooked. I fear that Indiana has way too many strong freight lobbies for this to become a reality, though.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #814
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i dont get why they didnt extend I-69 to downtown when they built it i assume it was money
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #815
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Paintrain, the I-69 extension to downtown, known as I-165, was cancelled due to political opposition caused by the large number of relocations it would have caused.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #816
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Keep in mind that the proposed cost of the rail transit system here is vastly higher than the entire ten year Major Moves program for the region.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #817
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At midpoint of construction, new terminal offers peek into future

The new Indianapolis International Airport terminal is about 18 months from opening, but the work completed so far provides a glimpse into how the building will change the travel experience for residents and visitors.
From increased retail space to faster luggage-handling to more convenient passenger pickup, officials say travelers can expect quite a few improvements when the $1.07 billion terminal debuts in late 2008.
But first, there's lots of work to be done.
About 700 workers are now on the site each day, erecting steel, pouring concrete, wiring the building and performing other tasks.
Ground was broken on the project in July 2005. The building itself, which will be nearly double the size of the existing terminal, is now roughly half-complete.
"We hope to be giving the city an icon -- an image visitors will remember, that residents can be proud of," project director John Kish said Tuesday after a tour of the site.
Here's a look at what the new terminal will mean for travelers:
Less time on the plane
The terminal is being built in the midfield between the airport's two runways, cutting back on the notoriously long time planes now spend taxiing to gates.
That should help passengers get inside more quickly.
Now, some planes taxi for as long as 15 minutes after landing, said Gary Gibson, assistant project director for administration. In some cases, he said, the new terminal's more convenient location will shave that time in half.
It is also expected to save airlines a total of about $12 million a year in fuel, Kish said.
More to do
The time between check-in and boarding can get boring. Soon, there will be more ways to keep occupied.
The terminal will feature about 55,000 square feet of retail space for shops and concessionaries, up from about 40,000 in the existing terminal.
Significantly, 30,000 square feet of that space will be located after the security checkpoint.
Exactly what those options will be is not yet known.
Airport officials are talking to national chains and plan to launch an outreach program in July to get a sense of who's interested in setting up shop.
At least a few of the food and gift shops from the existing terminal are likely to make the move to the new facility.
Lugging luggage
If you're perpetually late, the terminal's $23 million luggage handling system could help ensure your bag gets on the plane with you.
In the existing terminal, any bag that gets checked has to be physically picked up and moved by airline staff at least twice after it disappears from your sight.
The new system, which includes two miles of conveyor belts, only requires a handler to pick a bag up at the end of the process and load it onto a cart headed for the correct plane, said Richard Potosnak, president of Aviation Capital Management, who is coordinating the engineers, architects and construction contractors on the project.
Reducing human interaction cuts the time it takes for a bag to be loaded -- and the odds for errors.
That's especially helpful for people who arrive at the airport only a short time before departure, Potosnak said.
Arrivals made easy
Tired of circling the airport waiting for your loved one or visitor to emerge?
That problem will be solved with the addition of a "cell phone lot."
Here's how it'll work: Drivers can park and wait in their cars in a free lot not far from the terminal. When the person you are picking up has claimed his or her baggage, he or she simply calls on a cell phone and tells you to swing by to get him.
Visitors renting cars also will have it easier.
Car-rental pickup and return will be in the adjacent garage, meaning passengers won't have to take a shuttle to rental agencies.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:48 AM   #818
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Keep in mind that the proposed cost of the rail transit system here is vastly higher than the entire ten year Major Moves program for the region.
So how did Charlotte, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Denver, to name just a few cities, build light rail networks then? The state doesn't want to raise taxes or shift transportation spending to rail to make alternative transportation a reality.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:13 AM   #819
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So how did Charlotte, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Denver, to name just a few cities, build light rail networks then? The state doesn't want to raise taxes or shift transportation spending to rail to make alternative transportation a reality.
Part of the problem in Indiana is that the rural, hayseed lawmakers - actually any provincial lawmaker outside of marion County - doesn't want to give anything to Marion County. Even if it could help their constituents.

Salt Lake was smart and creative - they leveraged additional federal funds by hosting the Winter Olympics. The Federal/local match rises to 80/20 for transportation improvements related to the Olympics.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:18 AM   #820
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Keep in mind that the proposed cost of the rail transit system here is vastly higher than the entire ten year Major Moves program for the region.

True. But why does the State want to keep building new roads when it can't properly finance the maintenance of existing ones? Can we really afford Major Moves?

How much of the ten year Major Moves program is being bonded?
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