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First post, woo! I have never visited Indianapolis for any period of time, just driven through, but it looks nice. Are there any local event or informational websites for the city to get more info?
 

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GT,

no i dont have more info about it. i just remember reading about it in the star about a year and a half ago, and i havent heard anything since then, so im guessing that it must be dead. maybe the city couldnt get the matching federal money or something. but anyway eli lilly and wellpoint had discussed paying some of the cost of renovating and updating the belt line, which runs in a big u shape around the east south and west sides of downtown about a mile away, so that all of the through downtown railroad traffic could be routed onto the belt line. this way the city could get rid of those disgusting 25 foot high dirt mounds supporting the track on the southside, thereby opening up the southside of downtown for development.
 

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Lilly was "concerned" about hazardous material being transported through downtown. While downtown has a large daytime population, re-routing freight traffic to the belt-way would affect both a large daytime and nighttime population. The real reason Lilly wants the raised train beds removed is that they want to connect their main campus with their Meridian Street buildings.

Here's the problem with removing the train right-of-way: once the right of way is gone and built over, how will the city ever get grade-separated light rail into the downtown? The city doesn't have enough money to place the train tracks below grade, ala the big dig. I'm not sure that running light rail at grade makes sense in downtown, especially on South Street.

My opinion is that this would be the biggest development blunder in Indianapolis history. Notice I didn't say planning blunder, because the fact is this decision won't be made by planners.

The State has already made it clear that if high speed rail were to become a reality, Union Station WILL be the transit hub. Some right of way will need to be preserved. My guess is it will be above grade.

Lilly's lack of adequate long-range site planning at it's main campus is quite apparent. It's lack of any vision when it comes to light rail is scary. Here's an idea - place a light rail station along the existing train line at McCarty St.

The raised train bed has always been a psychological deterrent in connecting the south part of downtown with the core. Perhaps an open-lattice, above grade, steel "el-like" structure might be a solution. Although I would rather see a "subway".
 

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Ok, am I the only one that really dislikes the way Mayor Peterson and the Planning Department make decisions? I voted for Peterson, but I'm really starting to regret it. It seems to me that so many decisions relating to planning and development in this city are short-sited and occur behind closed doors.

I constantly feel that any ideas or suggestions that people make regarding planning or development go unheard because the decision has already been made or never get opened up to the public.

littleolme, I totally agree with you!!! Somebody please explain to me the logic of putting the transit center south of Union Station. A couple years back I worked as an intern for the Metropolitan Planning Organization and worked a bit on the Directions transit study. I was and continue to be infuriated by the fact that this study does not consider Union Station as a possible transit hub. There are so many reasons it should at least be considered. I won't list them now because I'm tired and believe that no one is listing anyway.

I'm sorry; I know I sound like a little baby. I just feel that there may be a bit of arrogance at the mayor’s office and/or the planning department. They seem to think that they know best and don't need input from anyone else. The sad thing is, their vision for Indianapolis is small and is holding it back from its full potential.

Am I being too pessimistic? Do you guys know of any productive ways to get involved and voice our opinions?
 

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IndyBob said:
Lilly was "concerned" about hazardous material being transported through downtown. While downtown has a large daytime population, re-routing freight traffic to the belt-way would affect both a large daytime and nighttime population. The real reason Lilly wants the raised train beds removed is that they want to connect their main campus with their Meridian Street buildings.

Here's the problem with removing the train right-of-way: once the right of way is gone and built over, how will the city ever get grade-separated light rail into the downtown? The city doesn't have enough money to place the train tracks below grade, ala the big dig. I'm not sure that running light rail at grade makes sense in downtown, especially on South Street.

My opinion is that this would be the biggest development blunder in Indianapolis history. Notice I didn't say planning blunder, because the fact is this decision won't be made by planners.

The State has already made it clear that if high speed rail were to become a reality, Union Station WILL be the transit hub. Some right of way will need to be preserved. My guess is it will be above grade.

Lilly's lack of adequate long-range site planning at it's main campus is quite apparent. It's lack of any vision when it comes to light rail is scary. Here's an idea - place a light rail station along the existing train line at McCarty St.

The raised train bed has always been a psychological deterrent in connecting the south part of downtown with the core. Perhaps an open-lattice, above grade, steel "el-like" structure might be a solution. Although I would rather see a "subway".
I agree with you 100%. Allowing that right of way to be vacated would be a huge mistake!

No location, except Union Station, presents the city with existing above grade infrastructure, existing rail right-of-way, the ability to integrate high-speed rail, regional-rail, local/circulator rail or bus and IndyGo.

I propose using existing rail right-of-way for regional rail service that would serve the entire metropolitan area. There could be 3 downtown stations. Union Station would be the main transfer or hub station; a second could be on the east side of downtown near Washington and Park Street. The third could be west of downtown, west of the river at New York and Lynn Street. These stations would be served by three on-street circulator type light rail lines. These circulator lines could run along Washington Street between the east station and the Zoo via the Washington street pedestrian bridge, North along Illinois Street between Union Station and 16th street area or even up to 30th street area near the Children’s Museum and along New York or Michigan Street from the west station, through IUPUI and out towards the Woodruff Place area.

I should plot out a whole sytem on a GIS program.

It's a pretty wild idea, but I think it could work. The most important part, however, is the hub at Union Station.
 

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An example of the many forms of transit that could be connected into Union Station. Regional Rail, Light rail/circulator, IndyGo Bus and High Speed Rail/Amtrak. Oh, I forgot to mention Greyhound. It could also be integrated into the southwest side of the train shed.
 

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Those are great graphics. And Greyhound desperately needs a new terminal. I still dont like the idea of a downtown bus terminal though, as it is an inconvenience for those who have to travel from one side of town to the other shouldn't have to make an unnecessary stop downtown. IndyGo does this on purpose, which really irritates me. They would rather you waste 45 minutes and pay another $1.25 to get where you're going.
 

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Are there any new developments with rail and whatnot? Also I would like you guys to continue posting pics, I would really appreciate that.
 

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the belt-way/beltline: so it currently exists but is unused? what is around the right of way? could it be transformed into trails/medium-dense housing, etc? can someone post an aerial.

union station: how much of the space is vacant? i thought a lot of the space was converted into office space?

thehoss, surely you asked why union station was not considered while you were there? if so, what was the answer?
 

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An interesting aside:

Indianapolis Development News was active from 7/15/04 to 9/30/05, ~14.5 months.

Indianapolis Development News 2 was active from 9/30/05 to 1/27/06, ~4 months.

Indianapolis Development News 3 was active from 1/27/06 to 4/19/06, ~2.5 months.

At this rate, we're going to rip through Indianapolis Development News 4 in less than 2 months.
 

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CorrND said:
An interesting aside:

Indianapolis Development News was active from 7/15/04 to 9/30/05, ~14.5 months.

Indianapolis Development News 2 was active from 9/30/05 to 1/27/06, ~4 months.

Indianapolis Development News 3 was active from 1/27/06 to 4/19/06, ~2.5 months.

At this rate, we're going to rip through Indianapolis Development News 4 in less than 2 months.
Interesting indeed! You guys are almost as prolific as us Milwaukeeans as of late. :)
 

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Here's an article about a new water park in the works:

Water wonderland
$65M indoor park-hotel complex planned for Fishers
By Bruce C. Smith
[email protected]
April 20, 2006


They go by the names Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Wet 'n' Wild. Some are as big as shopping malls. Combined, they attract tens of millions of visitors a year.
Water parks are among the hottest segments of the recreation industry -- especially those built in or alongside resort hotels.
Now, developers are planning a resort in Fishers called Paradise Bay, which they say will become Indiana's largest indoor water park, hotel and conference center.
The $65 million park is to be part of the 131st Street Marketplace of retailing, restaurants and offices on a 104-acre site at 131st Street and Ind. 37. The location is the former Britton Golf Course.
The park will join several others in the state: Caribbean Cove opened as an expansion of the Holiday Inn Select on Indianapolis' Northwestside. And last year, Plainfield opened Splash Island indoor and outdoor water park in a town park.
Other water parks are being proposed for Kent and Shipshewana in Northern Indiana.
Although expensive to construct -- often $85 million to $100 million or more -- indoor water parks are a booming segment of the recreation and travel industry.
The World Waterpark Association and its consultants estimated about 100 indoor water parks in the U.S. in 2004. Up to 141 will be open or under construction by the end of this year.
Mortgage and apartment company operator Kenneth R. Puller, associate Angela Wilson and businessman Bob Peterson are partners in the company proposing the 216-room resort and 80,000-square-foot family water park in Fishers. Peterson said Wednesday that park could open by 2008.
Among the planned features are a 500,000-gallon wave pool and a relaxing lazy river for floating. The facility is to include a restaurant and large arcade.
Some are comparing the new development to the water parks of the Wisconsin Dells, near Milwaukee, which bills itself as "Water Park Capital of the World."
Indianapolis land developers Skjodt Thomas Associates will prepare the land for construction. The firm also is involved in developing another large water park, resort and retail complex in the Iowa farm fields east of Des Moines.
So far, Fishers planning authorities have approved the site for hundreds of thousands of square feet of offices, restaurants and retailing.
Some companies credit the water park boom to a growing demand for quick, accessible family fun without requiring a long plane ride.
"What really drives this trend is time," said John Emery, president of Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Resorts, a publicly traded company in the entertainment water park business. It has eight sites in Midwestern and Eastern states.
"People are so pressed for time that the idea of a two-hour drive to an upscale vacation is very appealing," he said. "Time pressures and economics, that's it."
Great Wolf opened a park in Canada last week. And the company's next resort under construction is in Mason, Ohio, near Kings Island, the closest major amusement park to Indianapolis.
Emery said the company is scouting constantly for new locations, but has no plans to build in Indianapolis.
Many of the new developments are in the Midwest and Eastern states, and where indoor parks can operate year-round.
 

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I think I have actually, i think it has been mentioned on here bfore, or maybe I saw it on emporis one day when scrolling around. It says the developer plans to see 12-24 floors, I just hope it is 24 and not 12! :)
 

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The Stutz is a pipe dream! It might happen one day, but don't think it is coming anytime soon. This is more a "vision" than anything.
 

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NaptownBoy said:
Are there any new developments with rail and whatnot? Also I would like you guys to continue posting pics, I would really appreciate that.
The alternative alignments from the Northeast have been narrowed down to two - one along downtown city streets, the other along existing above-grade tracks. I'm not sure about the timeframe for a final announcement.
 

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GT said:
the belt-way/beltline: so it currently exists but is unused? what is around the right of way? could it be transformed into trails/medium-dense housing, etc? can someone post an aerial.

union station: how much of the space is vacant? i thought a lot of the space was converted into office space?

thehoss, surely you asked why union station was not considered while you were there? if so, what was the answer?
The beltway is and has been in use for the last 100+ years. Beltway is in yellow, Amtrak in Purple:



I'm not sure how much of Union Station is vacant, but most of it is rented. It appears the City is only interested in generating enough rent to pay the bills.
 
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