CityBeat: Getting Around Indy Getting Easier, And Harder

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Expanded Bus Service, Electric Scooters, Highway Repairs, And A Sink Hole Impacting Downtown This Summer

 

If you haven’t noticed, the Circle City has had its fair share of transportation headlines (headaches?) these past two weeks.

Some have been in the planning stages for months, while others seemingly showed up overnight.

Let’s start with the positives.

Planning for Indy’s newest public transit option began years ago.  City leaders opted for a north/south line spanning from the University of Indianapolis campus on the city’s south side to Broad Ripple.  It’s called the Red Line, and IndyGo says the nearly 14-mile rapid transit bus will run for 20 hours/day, seven days per week.

Red Line BRT artist rendition - Credit IndyGo

Red Line BRT artist rendition – Credit IndyGo

 

It will increase current transit service by 70 percent when it’s complete in 2019. There aren’t expected to be any lane closures in the areas under construction, so it’s really a win for everyone in the city.  Especially if you consider much of the project was paid for by a $75 million federal grant.  If history shows us anything, we should expect future transit projects after its complete!

While the Red Line isn’t expected to cause lane closures, I-65 commuters weren’t quite so lucky.

Photo Credit: IndyStar

Photo Credit: IndyStar

INDOT says bridges need some major repairs, and it’s better to close it down.  They shut down the southbound lanes at the I-465. Downtown, they closed I-65 from 21st to Meridian streets displacing nearly 190,000 cars who travel that path daily.

Luckily commuters weren’t noticing significantly more traffic the 465 detour last week because of the July 4th holiday, but it could be worse in the coming weeks.

The closure isn’t expected to be lengthy, and things will likely be back to normal by early August.

Electric scooters have invaded the Circle City.  Bird scooters showed up first.  They began perching one evening and by daylight the city didn’t know what to do.  That’s because they were on public property.  The idea is for riders to download an app, pay for a session, and drop them off anywhere.

Not being tied to a docking station is part of the appeal, but some say it’s unsightly because the scooters can be scattered anywhere.  City leaders asked the companies to quit operating for 30 days while they figured out how to regulate them, but Bird declined.  Lime began operating in Indy on June 23–a week after Bird—said they’d pull their scooters and help the city craft guidelines.

“We have, and will continue to work collaboratively with the city towards crafting a common-sense regulatory solution that prioritizes rider safety and accessibility, while maintaining our scooters as an affordable transportation option for Indianapolis residents,” Lime’s Maggie Gendron said in a statement. City officials say Bird will face consequences and fines for keeping their scooters on the street.

Normal might not be the word to use for the newest mode of transportation available to downtown commuters.

 

 

Photo Credit: Fox59

Photo Credit: Fox59

 

Electric scooters have invaded the Circle City.  Bird scooters showed up first.  They began perching one evening and by daylight the city didn’t know what to do.  That’s because they were on public property.  The idea is for riders to download an app, pay for a session, and drop them off anywhere.

 

Not being tied to a docking station is part of the appeal, but some say it’s unsightly because the scooters can be scattered anywhere.  City leaders asked the companies to quit operating for 30 days while they figured out how to regulate them, but Bird declined.  Lime began operating in Indy on June 23–a week after Bird—said they’d pull their scooters and help the city craft guidelines.

 

“We have, and will continue to work collaboratively with the city towards crafting a common-sense regulatory solution that prioritizes rider safety and accessibility, while maintaining our scooters as an affordable transportation option for Indianapolis residents,” Lime’s Maggie Gendron said in a statement. City officials say Bird will face consequences and fines for keeping their scooters on the street.

Credit: IndyStar

Credit: IndyStar

If the week’s transportation news hasn’t gotten any weirder, a massive sinkhole is to blame for closing downtown streets.  Just another week in the Crossroads of America…