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Broad Ripple's On-Street Parking is Killing Bike and Pedestrian Activity in a Growing Cultural District

In Broad Ripple, pedestrians and cyclists compete with street parking, utility poles, and tight sidewalks to navigate Broad Ripple Ave.

Photo of Nicholas Badman
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Broad Ripple Avenue is a major hub of pedestrian and cyclist activity. It is the main drag of local shops, bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. The character of existing buildings facilitates a pedestrian experience. It is also connected to the Monon Trail which runs north and south of the village, and 62nd Street, which has existing bike lanes that end just short of Broad Ripple and connect the area to Keystone Avenue and further east. The main issue on Broad Ripple Avenue is street parking, which runs the entire length of Broad Ripple Avenue from College Ave to Winthrop Ave. There are roughly 70 on street parking spots that create very narrow sidewalks in the neighborhood that are then cluttered with scooters, power poles, fire hydrants, and street signs. They are also the reason the bike lanes end when coming into the village. I believe that creating a model where these parking spots can be shared to other large parking facilities that are not in use during peak hours, such as churches, grocery stores, and a shuttered high school, would allow the expansion of sidewalks to accommodate the high rates of pedestrian activity and extend bike lanes down to College Avenue. It also makes it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to reach the future Red Line station that will be going in at College and Broad Ripple.

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Photo of Alexander Hoffmann

Nicholas Badman I appreciate your use of the google images to emphasize your point. That is a fascinating thought as well. I've always seen Broad Ripple as the forefront of access, but this shows otherwise. I like the idea of sharing spaces, and there is likely more to develop in this space. How do you see this affecting the community if we were able to adjust to accommodate more space for pedestrians and cyclists?

Photo of Nicholas Badman

Local businesses may grumble at the idea of moving street parking to underutilized lots off of Broad Ripple Avenue, but it will make navigation easier for those that are blind or wheelchair-bound, provide a more navigable space for pedestrians, allow safer access for cyclists traveling west to Broad Ripple's businesses, and may allow for more street furniture like benches or art installations. It will also provide easier access for people travelling to the future BRT stop at College and Broad Ripple Ave and reduce the impact of scooter parking on the sidewalks.