City to barricade Broad Ripple street to help curb violence

Indianapolis officials will close a two-block portion of Broad Ripple Avenue to motor vehicles on Friday and Saturday nights for the rest of the summer to reduce violence in the business and entertainment district.

Indianapolis police Lt. Chris Bailey says the midnight-4 a.m. closure between College and Guilford avenues could begin as soon as this weekend. Seven people were injured by gunfire there early on July 5, the result of a skirmish between two gun-toting pedestrians.

Only emergency vehicles and taxis would be allowed past blockades on the street. Officials say pedestrians won't be allowed to stand on the roadway, only to cross it. At this point, police anticipate erecting the barriers only through the summer, according to IBJ news-gathering partner Fox59.

Broad Ripple Village Association President Justin McKeand says the new policy should reduce the number of drivers who cruise the avenue. He says drivers sometimes park their cars simply to talk with people outside bars without going inside.

City-County Council Vice President John Barth said that the street closure was a good first step, but that more action was needed. That could include more active investigation of problem bars in the area.

Authorities also have installed cameras in the area to better monitor crowds.

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