2 restaurants taking vacant buildings on College Avenue

July 28, 2010
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A new restaurant serving "gourmet Mexican street food" and a bar named to honor a fallen Iraq War veteran are in the works for two vacant buildings along College Avenue in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. Here are the details:

Calle 52 will serve ceviche, queso fundido, carne asada and pastel tres leche in the former Movie Gallery location at 5215 N. College Ave. Calle
                              52Plans for the restaurant, led by the proprietors of The Northside Social, call for 133 seats inside and 32 on a patio. Calle 52 will serve dinner only at first but may add lunch. It will be nonsmoking. The owners are Nicole Harlan-Oprisu and Tim Oprisu (who also own Old Pro's Table), Bill and Nancy Ficca and Jamie Browning (The Ficcas and Browning also own Usual Suspects in Broad Ripple). They plan to invest about $500,000 in the project. The building owner, Glendale Partners Inc., has applied for several variances to make way for the restaurant. The most controversial involves parking, a hot topic in part because patrons of businesses in the area have taken advantage of the parking spaces in front of the vacant video-rental store. The restaurant will open in four to six months. (Note: The owners reversed the rendering when they moved the patio dining to the south end of the property.)

The Sinking Ship will serve stuffed burgers, Chicago dogs, voodoo chili and Cajun corn fritters in part of the former home of Steck Plumbing at 4923 N. College Ave. Former Steck PlumbingThe bar and restaurant will take about 4,000 square feet of the 14,000-square-foot building, enjoying frontage on College Avenue just north of Recess. It will have seating for 90 people and is slated to open in November. The "dramatic, interesting space" will take advantage of the building's arched steel trusses, high ceilings and sky windows, said Architect Steve Logan. The proprietors, Andy Hamaker and Damon Lyden, also plan to invest about $500,000. They named the restaurant after a song written by their friend Jacob "Jackie" Blaylock, who committed suicide after returning home from Iraq. Blaylock had lost two friends that were riding in a Humvee hit by an explosive device.

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  • Great Corridor
    Wouldn't it be great to hop on a streetcar from either Downtown or Broad Ripple "proper" and stop here to eat? Alot of action in this area, especially if the Uptown project can get up and going.
    • Great News!
      Good news for this area, let's keep the momentum going and get the Uptown project off its feet! They already have retail vendors lined up, this could transform this entire area.
    • this looks great for our area!
      Meridian Kessler
    • more than just blogging
      REMEMBER TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR THIS!! Contact MKNA, HARMONI, CANDO and let them know how great this. If you're a hater move to the burbs and enjoy a sea of parking!! GO MIDTOWN BABY GO!!!
      • Mass Transit
        MassTransit - Great idea. I always wondered how different Indy would be if we had a subway / street car / light rail system.
      • Did somebody say street cars?
        I want a street car from Fountain Square to Broad Ripple! These restaurants look promising, can't wait to try 'em out.
      • Bold Name
        It takes guts to name your new venture "The Sinking Ship". Let's hope it's not a prophetic name!!
      • Parking Garage
        Sadly, word is Broad Ripple may be getting a parking garage, which could render potentially moot a trolly from downtown neighborhoods up to Broad Ripple. As a Broad Ripple resident, I have mixed feelings on the potential parking garage, but would definitely be for a trolly to get around a bit easier.

        Big props to these two restaurant ventures tho. I've been watching the construction and wondering what was going to be coming soon.
      • Cultural Shuttle
        I love the idea of some sort of mass transit (light rail trolley or even trolley-shaped buses like we used to have) connecting Broad Ripple to Fountain Square. They could even run down Mass. Ave. and past the City Market to really "connect the dots."
      • College Avenue corridor?
        Will College Avenue become the "Eat Street" of Indianapolis? I've always thought it had that potential more than anywhere else in the city.
      • Indonesian?
        Does anyone know if that Indonesian restaurant at 46th and College has opened yet? Garuda is the name. The last time I talked to the owner (way back in the winter), he just said he was slowed down by all the necessary permits required in Marion County, but I saw the interior and it looked very interesting.
      • Now...
        if they'd just tear down that Double 8 Foods the whole area on College from 46th to 54th would look much nicer! That place is traysh and a total eye sore.
        • And...
          Good idea, KJ... and that liquor store on the corner...
        • Double 8 is a tad historic
          KJ (and others)

          What's up with the trigger-finger demolition? Instead of advocating "tearing it down" why don't we promote its restoration? Or perhaps by "tear down" you actually mean "remove poor element."

          Did you know that particular Double 8 was the first drive-in store in Indianapolis (1931) and was designed by noted local architects Pierre and Wright? (They also designed Bush Stadium and the Indiana State Library, among others things.) It's definitely worth saving and the people of that neighborhood deserve to have a local grocer. It just needs a little TLC, that's all.

          History: http://bit.ly/caQDG9
          • Regional Tax
            To get your trolley it is going to take a regional 3/4 to 1% additional sales tax. Carmel is already planning a trolley system loop that will connect with whatever regional system comes about. Whether you like the burbs or not it is going to take everyone to make mass transit work,
          • trolleys are not user-friendly
            I wonder how people advocating for a trolley have ever actually used public transportation - esp a trolley or light rail - as their only source of transport? Trolleys are only good for tourists and short circular routes.
          • I think what they are meaning is a light rail situation, not necessarily a trolley. A great line would be a light rail that goes from Greenwood. Franklin, or Columbus as the southern terminus, follows 65 north through Southport, Garfield park area, Fountain Square into the east side of downtown. Then a nothern leg that runs from there up college or the old Nickel plate through the broad ripple area up into castleton and fishers. Then busses could spoke off from those stops to take people cross town.

          • sigh
            I can't speak for others, but I certainly did mean a streetcar/trolley up and down College Ave ( like the one that previously existed). Saying trolleys/streetcars are only good for tourists and short circular routes is ridiculous. (For example, the Toronto system has 11 lines and is 47 miles long.)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_streetcar_system

            Lots of general info on streetcars and light rail here:

            http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/transit/types/light-rail.html

            Also, yes, I have used public transit as my only means of transportation for years at a time. Most of my college years were spent on the 25 to and from Speedway.
          • a great future
            always nice to have cool new places to go for a bite or a drink. I like the idea for a streetcar connecting points and people along College too, but not sure how Ivo connects 'haters' with the suburbs?? A College Ave. streetcar should eventually link with Carmel too. Connect the region, not divide it!
          • 52& College
            Not enough parking. It would be gridlock trying to get in and out of the lot as planned. Nieghboring business and tenants would suffer. Either a much smaller restaurant or retail preferred. There was much opposition at the MKNA meeting.
          • Streetcars?
            Have you heard of the bus. Do you know why the Indy public transportation system is so bad? People don't use> no revenue> no justification for improvement. GET IT!!
          • parking
            "Neighboring business and tenants would suffer." Not suffer: rather, revert back to using THEIR parking facilities. It sounds as if the local retailers have been spoiled since the Movie Gallery moved out. That lot belongs to the building, and thus, this new restaurant. If they block the restaurant due to "lack of parking" what precedent will that establish for the proposed structure across the street? We are in an urban setting, folks. We obviously like it, because we're here - parking is tight and we all know it. I think the bottom line is that an occupied retail space (generating tax revenue) is better than an empty space (generating no revenue).
            • %2 and College
              What Structure across the street? You must be thinking about 49th and College. You needed to be at the meeting to understand the situation.
            • apples vs oranges
              Comparing Indy to Toronto is akin to apples & oranges. Toronto is a very dense city with wide streets, huge buildings, and people out and about. How many people do you think will be waiting at a trolley stop on College at 10:00pm? Indy residents are not comfortable with walking the city's streets - it's why parking lots are such a big issue.
            • College Ave.
              I share your love for a trolley, but it wouldn't be a quick enough regional connection. Indy is not Toronto, so we need fewer stops and a very fast system (BRT, possibly supported by a local trolley?). Everyone's making the logical leap here: stops on College at Carmel, 86, 62, 49, 38, 16, Mass Ave.

              The parking comment was ridiculous. Parking will always be tight on College, but we'll find a way to do it because we like the food and we want to eat locally. I ate at the Aristocrat last weekend and had to park on Park Street (hahaha). Nobody would suffer... we would walk. Novel concept.
            • Creating linear urban neighborhood along College Ave
              BrInDy,

              I'm not talking about supplanting the regional commuter line from the far northside to downtown with a streetcar. There are two different concepts here. In a perfect scenario, I'd love to have both. The regional line you're referring to is good for getting northsiders in and out of the city center efficiently, which is much needed. The appeal of a College Ave streetcar line is more the hop-on, hop-off approach - to create a linear urban neighborhood along College Ave. The bookends of Fountain Square and Broad Ripple create destinations on each end, and Mass Ave and other established neighborhoods help fill in the gaps, creating a dynamic urban corridor. College Ave has the most potential in the city because of the number of well established, urban-minded neighborhoods that straddle it, not to mention its proximity to downtown. The list of well-branded popular neighborhoods that touch College Ave is truly remarkable.

              Regine,

              It doesn't matter if Toronto is more dense, you said (and implied universally) that "Trolleys are only good for tourists and short circular routes. I used Toronto as an example that Streetcars/Trolleys do work as a long distance, citizen-used means of transport. (Not to mention, they're more dense because they have great transit and focus on building high-density structures, not parking lots.)

              The point of a multi-stop line on College Ave is to get people out and about walking in neighborhoods that are already supportive of that lifestyle. And yes, I believe a lot of people would use a well-designed trolley stop at 10pm. You're right, no one's going to walk, especially if there isn't decent mass transit + numerous people out and about to keep neighborhoods safe. We keep building parking lots and skimping on excellent transit and pedestrian friendly infrastructure and your opinion will be supported. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. If we don't start taking the first steps to create wonderful transit-oriented neighborhoods, things won't change.
            • doing sometime is better than status quo
              @ablerock, you are quite correct. doing something is much better than the status quo. if i was in charge, i'd place a moratorium on surface parking lots within the central city. they are ugly and discourage creative uses of space! why isn't a regional subway/light rail system on the table?
            • doing sometime is better than status quo
              @ablerock, you are quite correct. doing something is much better than the status quo. if i was in charge, i'd place a moratorium on surface parking lots within the central city. they are ugly and discourage creative uses of space! why isn't a regional subway/light rail system on the table?
            • parking
              There is more than enough parking in the area!
            • Comparing Indy to....
              Comparing Indy to Toronto is like comparing Susan Boyle to Eva Longoria. LOL!
            • sigh
              I wasn't comparing Indy to Toronto. Geez! :-)
              Toronto is known for an extensive streetcar network and I was refuting Regine's claim that trolleys were only good for short distances and tourists. Nothing to do with one city vs. another, Toronto was just an example.
            • two regines?
              Regine,

              www.indyconnect.org
            • no subway
              so why no subway? although it may cost more to build; it's a better system going forward. from what i can tell, this project seems more like a vanity project; the light/rail system doesn't serve the majority of the city very well.
            • -
              Why, pray tell, does it "seem like a vanity project?" A subway would be insanely expensive to build for a city that's just learning to re-embrace public transit. Keep in mind the current indyconnect plan isn't official yet or set in stone and is just a first step. I encourage you (and everyone) to fill out the questionnaires at indyconnect.org and express your opinions. :-)
            • northwest side of indy
              @ablerock, well the plan does nothing to address the transportation needs of the majority of the city; i.e. the entire northwest side of town. also most people living the suburbs do not work downtown, so their needs are not addressed. IUPUI & Clarian are very large employers - I see no incentative for these people to ride a streetcar/light rail. express buses usually run during rush-hour & given indygo's level of service how many people do you expect will be waiting for a bus in the dead of winter or summer?
            • it's a mindset
              too expensive is indicative of the mindset which has costs this state its best & brightest. the backbone of in-town transit in most cities is a subway system. subways allow for future growth - one can build on top as well as underground. rail on the other hand renders large tracts of land useless and can have devastating effects on the surrounding traffic patterns, esp tolley/streetcar systems. the monorail is a prime example.
            • Regional Solution
              It is obvious that mass transit will need a regional solution if it is going to be successful in Indy. I like the ubanophiles blog that highlighted what Bogota Columbia accomplished without traditional rail at a bargain basement price. http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cliff-kuang/design-innovation/home-worlds-most-advanced-bus-system-bogota
            • start small
              A streetcar line on college ave. is ambitious, so to get it started it would need to be short and sweet. Broad Ripple Ave. down to Mass. Ave should be the first line, and see what happens. See if anyone invests development money along this corridor. If a streetcar on College Ave. cannot spur economic investment, perhaps our city isn't ready for an extensive network.

              As far as connecting the far northside and southside with downtown, I believe this should be separate from the College Ave. streetcar line. If Carmel eventually wants to link in, thats fine, but it should be later, when the mindset of the city changes after a few years of watching a successful College. Ave. line. It is time to get this going! College is the beginning. All efforts should be focused on connecting the "Destinations" of Broad Ripple Ave. and Mass. Ave.. This creates a corridor that will be used by both residents as well as those going to one of these "destinations".

              This discussion is great, and hopefully people get to thinking about how much this could help our city in terms of livability.
            • northwest side of indy is not carmel
              i'm not talking about carmel; i'm talking about 30th, 38th, 16th sts, lafayette rd, mlk, illinois ave or even keystone . . . these areas of the city need attention and investment . . . people will still need to drive to get to the streetcar to go the destination spots you mention. how many people are going to do this? not to mention, you are proposing to use up to 3 lanes for a rail line as well as stringing overhead electrical lines, what will become of college then?
            • start really small
              I agree with Mass Transit that this needs to start small, but I do think it needs to connect Fountain Square. This neighborhood is slowly becoming a destination as well and being connected to Broad Ripple and Mass. Ave. could spur this along even more. But I'm not sure we should go to the expense of laying rail line, etc. How about starting really small with a bus line that connects these spots. The buses could be marked (and marketed) differently than the rest of the IndyGo fleet so that people who don't normally ride on IndyGo would want to give it a try. This project could work in tandem with any larger regional solution. Maybe one of these days we could have this cultural "trolley" line connected to a bike depot at City Market and a rail line at Union Station.
            • All of College
              Mass Transit,

              Not connecting Fountain Square, Lockerbie, Flether Place, Cole-Noble and the other southern and eastern neighborhoods with a College line would be a huge wasted opportunity. Extending the line just a few blocks south of Mass Ave to College's terminus at Virginia Ave. would add another large urban-minded district to the line. Terminating at Mass Ave misses out on connecting most of downtown Indy to the line. That would just be silly, since going a few more blocks would add so many more riders. The majority of the cost will come from the miles between Broad Ripple and downtown. As you know, Mass Ave intersects College Ave and the Cultural Trail at the NE corner of the city, which is just down the street from the Monon's terminus. Think of how great it would be to have another intersection with the Cultural Trail along Virginia on the SE side. It would be true multi-modal connectivity!
            • -
              Regine,

              I totally agree, the current plan doesn't address the needs of the entire region. But it's just the first phase. We only have so much money. I encourage you to fill out the questionnaires and let them know you think the plan needs to be more robust. Indyconnect is asking for our opinion so they can shape the plan according to what citizens want and need. If enough people want to fund a full system right off the bat, that would be awesome! But if no one communicates that, it's not going to happen.

              Also, College Ave is what it is now because of streetcars. If you didn't know, like many of the roads in Indy, it used to have a trolley line. All of the little shopping areas at intersections exist because they were trolley stops. As a matter of fact, there's an extra lane because of the streetcars! (Indy used to have a great interurban system.) I'm not sure where you're getting the "using 3 lanes" for a streetcar system, that's certainly not necessary. Many beautiful neighborhoods in cities across the world have streetcar wires running through them. They're minimally intrusive and many find them charming. They're really barely noticeable and if the infrastructure is well-designed, quite beautiful and unique.

              The areas you mentioned need attention, but so does College Ave, especially between 49th and 16th. Bookending that struggling swath with more stable neighborhoods connected by transit can have a powerful transformative effect. The whole corridor could come alive with dense mixed-use development from Broad Ripple Ave. to Fletcher Place. We should focus on creating neighborhoods that can support a transit-oriented lifestyle and we need to invest our limited funds in areas that have the best chance to support that lifestyle. I think once we have a good, touchable example of the urban lifestyle in Indy, it will help developers and communities embrace the mindset and troubled areas you mentioned like Keystone and MLK will have a better chance of getting proper transit-oriented development.
            • step in the right direction
              I spent 6 years living in Fountain Square and recently moved to the far southern end of Meridian-Kessler, 2 blocks from St. Joan of Arc. I would LOVE to see a streetcar or trolley system along College Avenue. Hopping on at College & 38th and heading down to Fountain Square for drinks and dinner? Where do I sign up?
              • thanks for listening
                i will fill out the survey. but i beg to differ about the aesthetics of overhead electrical wires. i also know rail lines take up a lot of space - college now has four lanes for vehicular traffic plus on-street parking. at least three lanes will be needed to accommodate the tracks. i also know most streetcars/trolleys run on wide streets; i.e. amsterdam or toronto. college is an attractive street w/ decent bus service and good traffic flow. not to mention the monon already exists for bikers & pedestrians.

                the corridor you'll are targeting has received for the past 25 years the lion's share of redevelopment monies and energies - why not concentrate on other areas that have a greater need?

                or as i've mentioned work on garnering support for an underground rail system along college. a streetcar is going to displace a lot of residents and businesses. have you asked the people who live and work on college do they want a rail stop/station in front of their properties? plus people still need to park their cars to ride the streetcar!

                urban character comes from density. changing the current out-dated zoning regulations like on-site parking requirement for commercial business would allow for the urban feeling much faster than a streetcar/trolley on college.

                that being said, thanks for listening.

              • only 1 lane
                Sorry, regine, can't let false info get out there.

                Streetcars don't take up 3 lanes. The tracks only take one lane, which can also be used by automobiles, bicycles, etc. They often run on very narrow streets. The streetcars themselves can be narrower than most buses.

                Take Portland's popular trend-setting system, for example:

                http://www.flickr.com/photos/portlandstreetcar/4704807240/in/set-72157624284179120/

                There don't have to be "stations" in front of businesses. The streetcar stops, people get on and off, then it moves on, similar to a bus. It wouldn't displace any residents or businesses.

                Answering your question, I'd bet 100% of informed business owners would love having as many people as possible getting off of streetcars in front of their business, especially those with limited parking along College like the popular Taste Cafe, Kountry Kitchen, or Yats. Again, the retail intersections of north College Ave thrive because they were originally trolley stops. They were designed and built with the streetcar in mind. There are 3 lanes for vehicular traffic and 2 for parking. That 3rd lane is for streetcars.

                I envision a system along College where the people that live on College use the streetcar. The residents are who we should be focusing on. Hear this: This isn't a "come see the College Avenue streetcar" attraction. This a way for people already living on and near College Ave, which just happens to be a diverse plethora of people, to travel up and down the city with ease for business and pleasure. People already drive and congest Broad Ripple, Mass Ave, and Fountain Square with cars. Adding a streetcar system would help ease auto-related congestion if anything, not contribute to it.

                All that being said, I agree changing zoning is a great idea as well. Like you, I also want to see the entire region connected with mass transit and see all the blighted, ignored areas of the city redeemed. Talking about a streetcar line on College doesn't mean I don't support these other ideas or care about College Ave more than anyplace else. In my eyes, it simply has the most potential of any corridor in the city to explode with proper urban development with a little push, to get the most transit bang for the buck, if you will.
              • +
                Exactly Jill, exactly. I'd love to travel by streetcar from my home in FS to Broad Ripple, go grocery shopping, check out Luna Music north, then stop on Mass Ave for some Yogurt and Sushi and then head home without touching a steering wheel.
              • a vanity project
                Unless the streetcar plans to travel one way only there needs to be two rail tracks which will take up at least 2 lanes of traffic plus at least a lane or half a lane as a spacer. Also what about the current parking lanes. I doubt most residents on college want to give up their on-street parking for a streetcar. also given the rough indy weather, covered stations are going to be needed. streetcars are notoriously slow. pls don't whitewash the reality - this is a vanity project for an area which already has seen millions in investment at the expense of the rest of the city.
              • fs to broadripple - indygo
                @ablerock you can do all you want along college - indygo bus is operational . . .
              • no whitewashing :-)
                Regine,

                There is no direct line on College from Fountain Square, as College is one way north from Fletcher Place to Mass Ave. I'd have to take a bus downtown from Fountain Square, wait forever for a transfer just to go a few blocks over, then ride the rest of the way. A trip to Mass Ave on College from FS, which takes about 5 mins in a car, and maybe 15 on a bike, would take upwards of an hour on Indygo. As a very experienced rider, Indygo is beyond inefficient, to say the least, especially for cross-town trips.

                As far as the general merits of Bus vs Rail, there are studies supporting both. But Indygo as it currently stands is as poor a service as public transit can get. Thankfully, Indyconnect also proposes expanding and redesigning bus service, so perhaps in a few years a convenient, usable College Ave bus line will happen. That would be great as well.

                I don't agree, this is not simply a vanity project. It would be a wise investment in a corridor that's populated by rich and poor, and extremely multi-racial, and would have positive repercussions for a major thoroughfare that still needs a lot of TLC. College Ave south of 49th is extremely neglected. This isn't an elite upper class project in a small isolated area at the expense of the poor. I'm not sure what the "millions in investment at the the expense of the rest of the city" you're referring to are. The reality that I see driving on College every day is quite different. It's no beacon of city investment. (If we were talking about the Wholesale District downtown, you'd have a point.) Also, again, just because I'm supportive of this idea for this particular corridor, it doesn't mean I'm against investment in the rest of the city.

                Regarding infrastructure, transit shelters don't have to be intrusive. Cities integrate them into existing ROW all the time for busses and trains. The streetcar doesn't have to take up 3 lanes and would affect little parking, if any. There are plenty of low-impact design solutions to provide 2-way traffic on one set of rails with minimal intrusion to existing infrastructure with reasonable vehicle headways. I can't make you believe that, but it's true.
              • college below 49th is not blighted
                no, you can't make me believe the streetcar/trolley systems will not destroy one of the most pleasant major streets in indy. college is a success story; the traffic flows well, pedestrians use the sidewalks, and people live close to the streets creating a sense of place.

                i've used mass transit for work, play & sightseeing in most of the cities in the world. unless you are planning hour-long trolley rides there is no way not to lay two sets of tracks along college. streetcars & especially trolleys are notoriously slow especially in inclement weather.

                college south of 49th street is not blighted! i'm sure people living along college would agree w/ me. yes, more commercial business would be good but it is a vibrant area. also a bus lane could easily be dedicated to provide bus service along college below fall creek without spending precious transportation dollars that could be plowed into other areas of the city, especially the northwest side.

                a commuter rail from fishers could easily use the current rail lines with stops along the way. or a streetcar/trolley system to link the eastside of downtown with the westside. or traveling the length of 38th st. i could support a such a plan.
              • -
                The word blighted was never used, although in some intersections of College Ave, it's certainly appropriate.

                Character and good community of the people who live there aside, College Avenue is obviously struggling financially in midtown from 49th to Mass Ave, plenty of boarded-up buildings and litter-filled empty lots to prove it. (The prosperity of Broad Ripple is starting to spread south, which is great.) I've lived along College, and I'll tell you that. (For crying out loud, there are prostitutes in the stretch between Fall Creek and 16th.)

                I've also used public transit in major international and American cities, since we're thumping chests.

                The successful place-making infrastructure you've described along College Ave is the direct result of the streetcar line that previously existed.

                The plan you just "supported" is the plan outlined by indyconnect which is the plan you complained about in earlier posts. Which tells me something.

                Again, there are unobtrusive ways to build single track 2-way systems with decent vehicle headways (easy to find online) that will perform well in bad weather. That's what I can't make you believe, though you can research it for yourself.

                Peace.
              • Chinese Inspiration
                We could always just follow the Chinese and build busses that drive over cars! (Coming end of 2010)

                http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/02/china-to-build-ginormous-buses-that-cars-can-drive-under-video/
              • woo hoo Gourmet Ghetto!
                so glad to see more restaurant options that don't specialize in chicken wings. Mexican street food is simple, but tough to do right, pues voy a comer en Calle 52 tan pronto!
              • Agree with ablerock
                I agree with ablerock 100% on the issue of the streetcar. regine, I can respect your argument and you do bring some good points to light, but the fact of the matter is that modern streetcar systems can integrate into the existing traffic, and due to their static nature draw people into them. Sure the inital plat may not solve all the problem, but over time, it will drive a change in the neighborhood which you may call social engineering of sorts, but these are the types of living that urban areas thrive in. If you are concerned with their not being enough space to drive in, I suggest staying outside of 465 where there is more area for the sort of lifestyle you are talking about.

                As for people and businesses being displaced, that is not going to happen. Maybe put out a little during contruction, but that passes with time. And there are ways of dealing with construction while it is going on through smart planning ahead of time.

                Do not let poor decisions be guided by ignorance
              • Not Letting Great Get in the Way of Good
                I think regine does make some good points about the added difficulty in changing the infrastructure along College to accommodate a true trolley or light rail system. While it's definitely a possibility (and grand possibility at that), it might just be too big of a bite for our city to take at this time. Why not start with an improved bus route between the high profile destinations outlined above? I do think that a route like this needs to be marketed differently than other IndyGo routes. IndyGo is not an easy system for the casual user to understand. Simply adding a route that looks and feels like all of the other routes might get used by experienced IndyGo users, but I doubt it would encourage new users, and that's really what our transit system needs to do - serve those who already use the system while encouraging usage from those who aren't currently users.
              • response
                The Double 8 serves the community. They recently painted and fixed up the outside.
                • not a zero-sum game
                  @ablerock this is not a zero-sum discussion. i am not against public transportation; i just don't support a streetcar/trolley line on college for the reasons i've stated.

                  from my experience i would wager the people who live on college have not been consulted. also i seriously doubt a trolley system is going to rid the streets of prostitution. if fact, it may bring in more prositutes since they would be able to go to work on the trolley! lol

                  @curt in this day and time, cars are reality even in cities w/ great public transportation options. it's not something you can change. it's not about "having more room to drive"; it's about how feasible is placing two lines of rail tracks on a rather narrow residential street that "works". stations will need to be built; more parking will be needed - people will still drive to ride the trolley/streetcar. what's wrong with a bus? there's seem to be a fixation on trolleys/streetcars? why?

                  no i don't look at this as a project of the elite because the elite in this city will never ride public transportation on a consistent basis.

                  keystone, 86th, 38th or mlk are a better choices than college if one's goal is to support economic growth within the city.

                  ps. most cities have municipal parking located in major commercial districts. one can talk all day, everyday about the benefits of public transportation but when the temperature is below 25 deg or above 85 not to mention ice/snow/sleet people are not going to use a trolley/streetcar to shop or dine on college. that's why i consider this project a vanity project.
                • cars yes...
                  Yes, there are cars. A lot of cars here. Continuing to cater policy to cars is going down a bad path to unsustainable trends. Our future depends on things that can be utilized by many, that require less resources to do it. Trolleys are attractive, progressive, they show that our city is wliling to make big choice to improve and they have been shown to drive economic development, something that we can ALL get on board with (read: JOBS). I dont think you are seeing the positives in this enough. Yes, they will need stations. A typical streetcar "station" if you will, is basically a bumped out sidewalk which acts as a dual purpose anyway since they slow traffic down. College is almost a borderline surface highway between stop lights so it could use a bit of traffic calming anyway. There are so many wins that college ave could enjoy with a streetcar. I also agree that an improved bus system would help. Every 15 minutes instead of every 30 minutes would be a TREMENDOUS improvement and drive ridership increases alone.
                • Silly
                  It is an error to say that transit would take up that much space on College. Agree or disagree with its merits, that is just a false claim.

                  38th Street just had a major investment in car travel and I would be curious to see the economic development that this drove.

                  Cities don't build an entire regional transit system at once - usually not even a full line. They start with a segment of a line and go from there. I think where to start is a good question.

                  The NE route and College are not similar ideas. One is a regional commuter line based around getting suburban residents to their jobs downtown and then back again. The other is a hub to hub shorter distance route based around getting to and from "places".

                  Both pass through significantly large areas of high-income residents, as would any line that reaches the suburbs - of course, to varying degrees.

                  Whichever line gets chosen, it is important that the line goes to places where people actually want to go. Having a line that just coincides with high concentrations of cars doesn't guarantee success, because those cars end up turning at some point. Most people driving on 38th didn't start at the east end of 38th just to drive to the west end of 38th.
                • a whitewash
                  @josh i drove from 54th & college to 34th & college the other day. currently there are 5 traffic lanes with 2 lanes being used as parking and two northbound lanes. unless the plan is to run 1 train i don't understand how at least 3 lanes will be needed for rail lines. unless the plan is to appropriate the sidewalk and use the city's setbacks?

                  also my questions about if the residents have been consulted and the effect on on-street parking were never answered.
                • reason
                  Regine,

                  No one could say for sure because it isn't a real project - its just talk on blogs and such, but the college line, one could presume would be like any other recent light rail project (whether it's shuttle or not)

                  I really doubt if any neighbors have been talked to since its just hypothetical talk about where a line could go.
                • consulting
                  Indy Connect has been working for months to get input from residents about the future of our public transportation. What more needs to be done? You don't have to go door-to-door? Anyone who wants to give input has had ample opportunity.

                  Residents likely have a range of opinions. Even those so opposed to a fixed line that they would move if it were built would benefit by the line since it is very probable that many people will want to live along a fixed line; thus property values along College will nudge upward. I don't know any resident who wouldn't happily surrender a lane (or 2 or 3) of cars for a fixed line, but obviously they exist.

                  Anyhow, the wishes of College St. residents is only one factor to consider.

                  My guess is the businesses would almost universally support the idea so long as there was a stop within reasonable distance of their store and parking was not materially hampered. Not hard.

                  People who don't live right on College who would use the route also have a big say. There seems to be a lot of them out there.

                  Then there are the 'future residents.' If the line is built, College will fill up with people who move there because of it. They, obviously, will be 100% in support of the line.

                  All the last cities I've lived in (Nashville TN, Portland, Seattle, SLC, Phoenix) have been at this same debate. All ended up building something. All have plans to expand what they built and ridership on all has exceeds projections (except SLC, which had overly optimistic projections; although TRAX is very popular and continues to expand). The idea that nobody will ride the thing or won't ride when it is hot, cold, or rainy is simply wrong. The same people who say that then say, "We just need better buses," which are the very vehicles that few people ride. If the only justification for a fixed line is that people ride them more, then Boom! Dynamite!
                • thanks
                  @josh thanks for bringing a sense of realism to this debate.
                • really?
                  you have to be joking. that double 8 is a building that needs demolished.
                • Architects of Double 8
                  I would love for the Double 8 store to be restored, not torn down. You are correct - it was designed by noted Indianapolis architects Pierre & Wright, who also designed the state library and the facade of Bush Stadium (The "Pierre" is my grandfather). The original building is truly a gem - if someone would step up to the plate and restore it. Any takers?
                • Another Restaurant Opening in Area
                  Garuda Indonesian Restaurant is also opening in the same building as Taste at 52nd & College Ave.
                  Currently they re hosting a series of soft openings nd looking for a Grand Opening in mid March to Early April 2011.
                  653 E. 52nd Street Indpls, In. 46205
                  317-920-8121

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                1. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

                2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

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                5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

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