Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n23)
Paving Project Makes Broad Ripple More Pedestrian And Bicycle Friendly
posted: Dec. 03, 2010
The recently completed Broad Ripple Avenue paving project included several upgrades to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety: decorative crosswalks at intersections, bike racks, and sharrows. Sharrows are specially marked sections of road to remind drivers to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians.
"The connectivity improvements implemented in Broad Ripple as a part of this project are exactly what we want to see in all areas of our city," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "Adding bike racks, improving sidewalks and crosswalks all help to create a culture and a city that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly."
A coalition of volunteer community groups successfully lobbied to leverage the current repaving project to upgrade Broad Ripple Avenue and incorporate "Complete Streets" components. Complete streets are designed to enable safe access for all users. Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their orientation toward building primarily for cars. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. Places with complete streets policies are making sure that their streets and roads work for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children, and people with disabilities.
The primary goal of the Broad Ripple Avenue project was to make the avenue more pedestrian and bike friendly, incorporate current environmental standards and increase economic development in Broad Ripple Village.
The City of Indianapolis partnered with groups including the Broad Ripple Village association, the Broad Ripple Alliance for Progress, Green Broad Ripple and HARMONI. Ryan Vaughn, the City-County Council President and the councillor for the Broad Ripple area listened closely to residents' requests and collaborated with key stakeholders to make this possible.
The community groups spearheaded a fundraising effort entitled "Fortune Favors the BRAVE (Broad Ripple Avenue!)" to raise funds for the upgrade. With help from local businesses, residents and a grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the community was able to pay the 20% match of just over $15,000 for crosswalks, 18 bike racks and a bench.
Additionally, the community groups worked with the Office of Sustainability to include Broad Ripple Avenue, from Keystone Avenue to the Monon Trail, on the list of streets scheduled for bike lane striping in the next two years.
"None of this would have been possible without the donations from our members (both business owners and residents). We also appreciate Brian Payne at Central Indiana Community Foundation for his help in jumpstarting our fundraising efforts and Ryan Vaughn and the City of Indianapolis for being strong Broad Ripple Village advocates," said Elizabeth Marshall, President of the Broad Ripple Village Association. "The community partners have been encouraged by the support we received from local, state and federal officials. It has been a pleasure to work with them during this process."
Benefits to cyclists and pedestrians in Broad Ripple extend far beyond the amenities on the Avenue; businesses throughout Broad Ripple have added bicycle parking to encourage the patrons to leave their cars behind. All of this has had a positive effect on Indianapolis's unique Broad Ripple Village and bodes well for future projects along the Central Canal and the Monon Trail.