With the first phase of the Indy Bikeways plan now visible downtown and along stretches of 73rd Street, cyclists have something to get behind that is not a begrudging motorist. The new bike lanes have encouraged a collective of Broad Ripple residents and business owners, called the BRAVE Project, that has been lobbying for the same stripes along Broad Ripple Avenue between College Avenue and Keystone Avenue for months now.
"Representatives from Harmoni, Inc., Green Broad Ripple, Inc., Broad Ripple Village Association and the Department of Metropolitan Development have been meeting once a month since last spring to investigate the future of our village," writes Brenda Rising-Moore, the treasurer of Green Broad Ripple, Inc., who is spearheading the BRAVE Project.
Planning started back in 2002 to revamp the stretch of Broad Ripple Avenue, and construction was put up to bid this year. The current plans left no room for bike lanes or improved pedestrian ways to be included in the particularly crowded and dangerous stretch of street through Broad Ripple, a major stop for cyclists and pedestrians along the Monon Trail.
Members of the BRAVE Project began meeting with city planners and petitioning to halt the bid process and re-evaluate the current plans to include "complete streets," a concept of urban transportation that puts pedestrian and alternative transportation needs ahead of the automobile. They collected almost a thousand signatures between paper and online petitions in just a few months and presented them to Councilor Ryan Vaughn, who filed them with the city.
Currently, the bidding process has been postponed to January while the city takes the time to hear public opinion and re-evaluate the current plans. Rising-Moore had good news concerning plans for bike lanes east from the Monon Trail to Keystone Avenue, but the fight continues for the inclusion of bike lanes west from the Monon to College Avenue.
The petitions have been closed and presented to the city, but supporters of the bike lanes can still be heard by contacting Councilor Ryan Vaughn or their local City Council members. There is also a meeting for Envision Broad Ripple on Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the library of the Indianapolis Arts Center, 820 E. 67th St. The public is encouraged to come out in support of the bike lanes.
More info: http://indybikeways.org/.