Canal playground violates public trust

Keywords Opinion

Regarding Indy Parks’ recent ribbon-cutting on the destructive, intrusive canal playground boondoggle, it looks like the Hogsett administration has even named it after the Colts—the “Colts Canal Playspace.”

We might have expected this kind of thing from [former Mayor] Greg Ballard’s trademark inside-game administration, but not from a Democratic administration—one which so emphatically portrays itself as equitable and populist.

One might well exclaim: what a bunch of downtown/political pukes, pushovers, and patsies! It’s unfathomable that they would be willing to allow the corporatization of this publicly-owned, formerly idyllic, public gathering space. It’s difficult to understand how a company would be so brazen and opportunizing with a key, sensitive public property.

This is a terrible example of public policy and hopefully will not be a precedent which opens the door. The Indianapolis Water Co. donated the canal property to the city of Indianapolis for public recreation—not for what is primarily corporate branding masquerading as a playground. Indy Parks and Downtown Indy should be ashamed. It’s a violation of the public trust.

This is the second big PR show for this boondoggle. In September, Indy Parks showcased it to a big national conference of parks officials. Apparently, they feel they need to rehash their self-congratulatory spiel. Your tax dollars at work.

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Clarke Kahlo

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