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this is a great movement, to a more bike and pedestrian friendly Indianapolis!
I just wish it went into Lockerbie and the Old Northside.
 

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Very very nice Indianapolis! I did not realize until I saw the presentation that it would actually be removing a lane of traffic from the streets that it runs along, which is EXACTLY what needs to happen on some of those 5-6 lane one way streets going through downtown Indy. This project will benefit downtown Indy in every way imaginable, and I wish I could still travel to Indy as easily as I could when I was at Purdue to watch this shape up. Very impressive!
 

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I posted some construction pics in the main Indy thread.

I don't mind losing a lane of traffic, but I also don't think narrowing streets is necessarily required to improve the urban environment. This is the mantra of planners, but if you go to places like Barcelona or Buenos Aires - or even the Champs-Elysee in Paris or Michigan Ave in Chicago - you'll find numerous examples of hugely wide streets that are nevertheless pedestrian friendly and packed with people. If you ask me the biggest problem is more likely to be insufficient ROW rather than too much.
 

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I posted some construction pics in the main Indy thread.

I don't mind losing a lane of traffic, but I also don't think narrowing streets is necessarily required to improve the urban environment. This is the mantra of planners, but if you go to places like Barcelona or Buenos Aires - or even the Champs-Elysee in Paris or Michigan Ave in Chicago - you'll find numerous examples of hugely wide streets that are nevertheless pedestrian friendly and packed with people. If you ask me the biggest problem is more likely to be insufficient ROW rather than too much.
Michigan Avenue is SIX lanes wide TOTAL. It isn't that wide of a street. And the Champs Elysees has a subway line running right beneath it.
 

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I posted some construction pics in the main Indy thread.

I don't mind losing a lane of traffic, but I also don't think narrowing streets is necessarily required to improve the urban environment. This is the mantra of planners, but if you go to places like Barcelona or Buenos Aires - or even the Champs-Elysee in Paris or Michigan Ave in Chicago - you'll find numerous examples of hugely wide streets that are nevertheless pedestrian friendly and packed with people. If you ask me the biggest problem is more likely to be insufficient ROW rather than too much.
You're citing exceptions in exceptional cities. Most of the time the "mantra" holds true.
 

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The problem I have is that if you design the street properly - 10-12 foot sidewalks on both sides (including landscaping), on street parking, bike lanes, and/or cultural trail, you actually end up with very little road capacity even with Indy's mostly wide streets. The problem in Indy is very wide streets combined with typically fairly narrow sidewalks and no landscaped parkway buffer.

Again, I'm not saying that narrowing the street is bad. Only that it isn't necessarily required to improve pedestrian friendliness. And I do think the Cultural Trail looks like an out of the park home run project.

BTW: The number one thing the streets I listed above have in common is very wide sidewalks. This is something Indy should concentrate on, especially downtown. I believe the standard in Indy is only five feet, which is even too narrow for a purely residential sidewalk IMO (I'd prefer six feet). Commercial district and downtown sidewalks should be 10-12 (or even 15 feet with landscaping) wide. Unfortunately, the narrow ROW on most streets precludes this.
 

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Quick Question!

Is it possible for anyone with some spare time on them to make a map of this profound project? I mean i tried to on Google Maps but i always got side-tracked! Sooo, i was jw if someone could conjur up a map on google maps of where this "trail" is going exactly? I would GREATLY appreciate it! And im sure everyone else would too... :cheers2:
 

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Is it possible for anyone with some spare time on them to make a map of this profound project? I mean i tried to on Google Maps but i always got side-tracked! Sooo, i was jw if someone could conjur up a map on google maps of where this "trail" is going exactly? I would GREATLY appreciate it! And im sure everyone else would too... :cheers2:
http://www.indyculturaltrail.info/map.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
From the June 6 Indianapolis Star:

Construction of Cultural Trail Stays On Track

By Francesca Jarosz



The ripped-up terrain along Alabama Street might be an inconvenience to pedestrians and local businesses, but it's a sign that construction of the 7.5-mile bike and pedestrian Indianapolis Cultural Trail to link the city's districts is on schedule. Construction for the Alabama Street portion of the trail is set to finish by mid-November, with landscaping planned for spring.

Crews worked in tandem along different sections of Alabama on Tuesday, installing curbing, preparing the surface for concrete and removing light poles and traffic lights. Some crews are working 10- to 12-hour days, five days a week, to meet the deadline, said Melody Park. She is the trail's program manager with R.W. Armstrong the engineering firm overseeing the trail's design and construction. Crews will work even longer hours in the next few months.

Park said they're completing the foundation before the "extreme makeover" begins next month, when they'll start to install color pavement and lighting. "That's putting skin on top of bones," Park said. "It will start to come alive in July."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wish I could post the whole construction document, but that would be hundreds of images!

This is a layout enlargement for the intersection at Alabama, Vermont, and Massachusetts. If you look closely, you can see the outlines for the original sidewalks and get a sense of how much this project will change the street fabric of downtown Indianapolis. This is the intersection where the "Marbles" sculpture by Emily Kennerk will be installed. This document was created before the sculpture was announced, so their precise location at the intersection is not noted.



This is a rendering of Emily's Marbles. The corner building is The Old Point Tavern which is denoted in the diagram above towards the bottom.

 

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I am so looking forward to this! In the meantime traffic flow around this is a mess right now, especially during rush hour.
 

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That's a fantastic upgrade to the crosswalks at that intersection. The distance people have to walk across Vermont looks to be less than half the current length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the middle section (1/3) of the first leg of the 7.5 mile trail. This is an earlier rendering, the final design has changed (for the better), primarily in how crosswalks are designated (see construction plan above):



Here are more perspectives (see previous post above) of the intersection at Vermont, Massachusetts, and Alabama. North is left. The area in red is shown in detail below. Alabama is the street traveling from L to R in all 3:





A "before" picture taken 1 month into construction. The Old Point Tavern is the green building on the left. Every curb and island seen will be replaced:

 

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I'm so excited to come home in October. Maybe some of it will be navigable by then. I'm an avid bicyclist and I think this will be great for bicycle and pedestrian culture. Maybe this will be one of those things that will take Indy out of the "unhealthy" lists of cities. Not that they matter that much, but it's good for our image.
 

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the cultural trail is another step to a pedestrain Indianapolis! Once the lightrail comes in, and more walkable projects like this, the outcome should be amazing. The cultural trail will also make boring bland concrete sidewalks exciting, I wish they would do this with all of the milesquare sidewalks, especially on things like the avenues, streets around monuments, landmarks, etc.
But can we PLEASE, get some infill or something for those parking lots? I think they should stay with the brick/stone theme of Mass ave though. Those parking lots should be filled, or have nice looking parking garages with street level retail, greenery, etc. Once the cultural trail comes in, I think that this parking lots will be filled up, up to the sidewalk. Being a biker, I am very excited about this, so many sidewalks I ride on are either too thin, cracked up, bumpy, or covered in broken glass or filled with tables, signs, etc.
The street lamps that are not of a nice design should be replaced with nice looking old fashioned street lamps, or street lamps like on the circle.
 

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Mass Ave desperately needs infill, no doubt. 3 Mass will be a huge jumpstart to that, and the cultural trail will definately be a catalyst and eye opener for developers.

I don't think people locally really realize how big the Cultural Trail will be. It's rather upsetting. It's an uprecedented project that will be unique to Indianapolis.
 

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How long has the trail been in the development stage? It seems like it just came out of nowhere.
From the Cultural Trail website:

www.indyculturaltrail.com

"The Indianapolis Cultural Trail will completely change the way our nation and the world perceives Indianapolis," said Brian Payne, president of Central Indiana Community Foundation, who first developed the idea and has led the project since it began in 2001.
 
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