Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Broad Ripple Parking Garage Suggestions

Over at Urban Indy, Curtis Ailes post some designs of the proposed Broad Ripple parking garage and asks us to forget about the politics that led to this deal and focus on the structure itself. Okay, I'll take a shot.

As indicated in the parking meter deal, a parking garage constructed in Broad Ripple will also implement permit parking in the neighborhoods in Broad Ripple. This will make it harder for non-residents to park in the neighborhoods and, effectively, move those cars into the parking garage. So a chunk of the parking spots aren't so much adding parking, but more taking it from one area (BR neighborhoods) and moving it to another (parking garage).

The intersection of Winthrop/Broad Ripple Avenue and College Avenue is heavily used, and can get congested even outside of peak hours. What plans are there so traffic will continue to flow smoothly, or at least not get any worse?

Is this location REALLY the best that could be done? And I don't mean within Broad Ripple, but outside of Broad Ripple as well. The Glendale area, particularly the lot just east of the mall, has a huge surplus of parking. Offering some type of shuttle service during peak hours, particularly in the evenings and during special events, would remove cars completely from Broad Ripple. And when they leave that east Glendale lot, they hit a road that isn't heavily used. And I think this type of idea could apply to a few parts of Glendale if, for some reason, that lot isn't available for use.

What type of retail is this mixed-use facility aiming for? My concern is that the rent will be quite high, and will lead to another bank or some type of chain like Walgreens, while more local businesses won't be able to afford the rent.

In addition to free bike rack parking, has anyone considered doing this (bike)Park-By-Phone shindig? It looks pretty nifty.

How about throwing a bone to the residents of Broad Ripple and provide a nice, sheltered IndyGo bus stop?


  1. I too like some of the suggestions about the transit stop and the retail pricing. I also think that a "park & ride" if you will would not be as attractive at pulling in potential shoppers. Let me be clear about that, I would whole heartedly use it, but I do not believe that a majority of visitors would use it as the primary motivation for shopping. Let's be honest. As you have pointed out, there is plenty of parking most of the time in the village. People still complain about "lack of parking" when what really is happening is, "Im too lazy to walk a couple of blocks since I might sweat". The garage will address this issue. While I do not like it, over the next decade or two as the village attempts to increase the amount of people who live there, a garage will be needed. I grudgingly see this as prudent planning for the future. Parking and transit CAN co-exist and at least we are getting a retail outlet with this. It could have been much, much worse.

  2. Curt,

    We taxpayers are paying to build the thing and getting no ownership of or revenue off the building. It could hardly be any worse. The location is terrible, but again that's driven by ownership of the property. One of the partners of the deal owns one of the lots.

  3. Its the best location because thats where Keystone wanted it to be. That where they will make the most money and the best deal for them End of Story.Screw the people of Board Ripple, its all about Keystone and Ballards buddies

  4. Curt, I think you're giving Ballard too much credit. Not a single move in his administration has been about planning for the future.

    As for Broad Ripple and more people living there, I can easily see that happening in some of the southern portions of Broad Ripple. But short of demolishing a bunch of homes or places where businesses are and putting in condominiums or an apartment building, I don't see how that's going to happen closer to the main cultural center. I could be completely ignorant and I'd love to be proven wrong, but I don't see it working for the 30 seconds of thought I've given to it.

  5. Let me try this perspective. And let me be clear, I wouldnt have picked the location either, but its not neccesarily the worst spot. I dont believe relying on Glendale to provide parking for the village as a long term sustainable idea. How many times have you been somewhere that was considered a tourist area? How much parking did they require? Usually a lot since that is our country's chosen mode of dominant transport. Like it or not, we arent going to change everyone's thinking overnight. Believe me, Id rather see a light rail route going down the avenue and screw what people think about needing a garage. But for now, I think it will serve a purpose. As for property development, there are plenty of small parcels that could be used. Existing pay surface lots or excessive lots already owned that could be leased out for further development. Kevin over at Urban Indy posted a list of under-utilized (read: parking space) parcels a while back and there is A LOT of underused land in the village. Ive seen the future zoning direction for the village and it is headed upwards. Those small lots while perhaps seemingly useless, could be turned much more useful with vertical growth. If that happens, lower on-property parking will be required if there is a garage to justify it's non-inclusion. And lets be clear about something else. Parking is expensive. If a developer can get away with cutting costs, parking is a great way to do it. The way the BRVA is selling the garage, they will have a lot of pressure on developers to plan this way. Just some things to consider.

  6. As far as high density residential development, you really don't need to look much further than the stalled Kosene & Kosene project on Winthrop just south of BR Ave. along the monon. Great location, very close to the action, but the can't move their current inventory and the second phase construction has stalled. Too bad.

    For retail, the businesses along BR Ave. immediately east of College are always turning over and many storefronts are vacant. So won't how won't the new retail across the street further hurt this struggling commercial space? What if the struggling retail at that corner is really an indicator that that corner is not good for retail and even the new retail stays vacant? Of course, with the garage there will be more foot traffic, but there is a risk.

  7. Anon, I agree that the east corner of College Ave/Winthrop/BR Ave is not, currently, a good location for a business even if they stay open till 3 or 4am to cater to the bar crowd. Most of the people frequenting the Vogue, Crackers, and the handful of other College Ave businesses aren't also going to bar hop or get food elsewhere. They'll stay at the Vogue the entire night, or leave after a concert/comedy performance or dinner, and that's that. Whereas the bar hopping crowd has already spent a ton of money on drinks and food and will only pass that corner if they're headed back to their cars or, if residents, their homes. I remember Scholar's Inn Bakehouse tried some type of late night deal and stayed open till 3 or 4am early on after they first opened, and almost no one went in. Everyone just browsed by and chose something like Bagel Deli or Jimmy John's instead.

    You're right, the garage with more foot traffic could change that. But it'd have to be something that Broad Ripple patrons want to visit. They won't go out of their way to visit a Walgreens.


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