A group working to expand public transportation in central Indiana has refined a $1.3 billion proposal. Indy Connect has released additional information about potential route and stop locations for several rapid transit bus lines, as well as a train corridor that could use the Nickel Plate rail line in Hamilton and Marion counties. The organization is slated to hold a series of public meetings beginning next week, where it will unveil design details. Communities involved include Indianapolis, Greenwood, Noblesville and Carmel.

There are two additional lines proposed for Indianapolis, called orange and purple, that are in early stages of the process and will be discussed later.

July 31, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indy Connect studies of the Red and Blue Rapid Transit lines are on schedule for completion in December, with the Green Rapid Transit line completion set for the spring. The project teams are ready to share their preliminary recommendations on transit routes, station locations and roadway features. These specifics will be the subject of open house meetings in August, where the public will be encouraged to provide feedback for further plan refinement.

The preliminary recommendations are the result of previously gathered public input, best practices in other communities, and technical analysis, which takes into account many factors including traffic counts, population density and transit-oriented development potential.

Nine open house events will be held from Aug. 6 to Aug. 22 at host facilities located along the Red, Blue and Green Rapid Transit lines. The Indy Connect Open House events are designed for residents to view detailed, preliminary recommendations that outline the following:

-Streets on which bus rapid transit would run for the Red and Blue lines;

-The pros and cons of bus rapid transit and light rail on the Green Line;

-Streets on which the Green Line transit would run;

-Rapid transit station locations;

-Design options for stations, including shelter accommodations, signage and other amenities; and

-Street configurations, including whether bus rapid transit would run in dedicated lanes or with existing vehicular traffic, and which streets would have signal priority and on-street parking.

“We are at a pivotal point in the planning process where specific details will help provide context to residents on how the system will move people around the region,” said Anna Tyszkiewicz, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization. “At these open houses we will have more than 20 schematics that show detail of three rapid transit lines and how they work with an expanded bus system for a robust Central Indiana transit plan.”

Red Line preliminary recommendation:

The Red Line runs north and south, between Carmel and Greenwood through downtown Indianapolis. The 25-mile route is bookended on the north at City Center Drive in Carmel and Smith Valley Road in Greenwood.

Starting from the north, the route runs from Carmel City Center along City Center Drive to Pennsylvania Street. From there, options exist to connect to College Avenue via either Pennsylvania Parkway or Meridian Street. The route then runs south to 38th Street. Public comment and continued analysis will help solidify route recommendations south of 38th Street, which vary between using Meridian Street or the Capitol Avenue / Illinois Street pair to reach the Downtown Transit Center.

The transit route running south from the Downtown Transit Center to Smith Valley Road in Greenwood begins with an option of either Virginia Avenue or the Pennsylvania/Delaware streets pair, and from there primarily recommends a combination of Shelby Street and Madison Avenue, with an option to jog over to Emerson Avenue at Stop 11 Road to the Franciscan St. Francis hospital complex.

Recommendations call for 30-40 bus rapid transit stations along the entire route, with stops located north of 38th Street and south of South Street every mile and between 38th Street and South Street every half-mile. Bus rapid transit vehicles, which look, operate, and feel like a light rail vehicle and are essentially light rail without the tracks, is the recommended vehicle that would operate on the Red line.

Blue Line preliminary recommendation:

The 24-mile Blue Line will be a bus rapid transit service that runs east and west between Cumberland and the Indianapolis International Airport through downtown Indianapolis. The route primarily uses Washington Street, with 32 stations spaced approximately every half-mile to mile along the route.

Green Line preliminary recommendation:

The 23-mile Green Line runs from downtown Indianapolis to Noblesville using a variety of on-street rail or busway options in downtown Indianapolis to the existing rail bed that runs northeast to Noblesville. On-street routes considered involve either Fort Wayne Avenue or Massachusetts Avenue. Preliminary recommendations call for up to 17 stops, with five in Hamilton County and the remaining stops between 82th Street and downtown Indianapolis. Bus rapid transit and light rail are being considered for use in this corridor.

When fully implemented, the Indy Connect plan will add five rapid transit lines, double the current local bus service, and add express bus routes and community circulators. It would complement IndyGo's Downtown Transit Center, a project that will serve as a central downtown hub for destinations, boardings and transfers.

The Indy Connect plan will be shared and feedback gathered during the public open house events. Each meeting will follow the same format with guided tours starting every 15 minutes where the public can learn and provide feedback to planners. Residents can come to the open house events any time within the listed meeting hours, as guided tours will be continuous throughout the evening.

Following is a list of scheduled open houses, as well as the rapid transit line that will be highlighted. To take the IndyGo bus to the open house events, visit www.Indygo.net to plan your trip or call 317-635-3344. Bilingual support will be available at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, The Steeples on Washington Clubhouse and Washington Square Mall meetings. Sign language interpretation will be available at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, Noblesville City Hall, Washington Square Mall and North United Methodist Church meetings. Residents can call 317-327-5136 to request additional accommodations and services.

Date Time Location/ Line(s)

Tues., Aug. 6 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Indianapolis Artsgarden, above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets – Red, Blue, Green

Tues., Aug. 6 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful offices, 1029 Fletcher Ave., #100 – Red

Wed., Aug. 7 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Noblesville City Hall, 16 S. 10th St., Noblesville Green

Thurs., Aug. 8 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The Steeples on Washington Clubhouse, 2910 Steeples Dr. – Blue

Tues., Aug. 13 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Washington Square Mall, Center Court, 10202 E. Washington St. – Blue

Wed., Aug. 14 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The Monon Center, 1235 Central Park Dr. E., Carmel – Red

Thurs., Aug 15 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Martin University – Fine Arts Room, 2171 Avondale Place – Green

Tues., Aug. 20 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St., Greenwood – Red

Thurs., Aug. 22 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian St. – Red

Indy Connect is a partnership of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) and IndyGo. A fully implemented Indy Connect plan will connect more people to more places, easier than ever before.

For more information on the Indy Connect plan, visit us at www.indyconnect.org, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: Indy Connect

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