Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Development(s) in Broad Ripple, including whether we should have a system of residential parking permits.

   When I lived in Chicago, just off Fullerton and Clark on Arlington Place, no one I knew who lived in the neighborhood owned a car. If one owned a car, there was the problem of where to park. To park on the street was a crap shoot as (1) spaces were rare and (2) if one left anything of value in plain view---a paperback book on a front seat, for example, there was the risk a wino would smash in a window to sell the paperback for a quarter. (Such is the price one pays for existence within a bus ride of the Art Institute or a walk of Wrigley Field, the center of the baseball universe). If one rented in a four-over-one (four floors of apartments over one floor of parking spaces) rent of a place to park was included in the overall rent. Rental of garage space almost was as costly as rent for an apartment. We occasionally borrowed a car, and temporarily dealt with the problems of where to park. Otherwise, we took the bus or trains.

   Indianapolis does not have an efficient mass transit system. We are ranked always (it seems) around 146th in the country for public transit. The cross-town service on 82nd/86th Street recently begun is progress toward a more rational system.

   In the meantime, we are hooked on automobiles. As I wrote last week, a system of residential parking permits is under consideration for Broad Ripple. A questionnaire will go out at some point to determine whether such a system should be instituted here. The concept would be that people who live in areas in which side streets are congested by people who park there to visit Broad Ripple businesses---usually the bars and usually during evening hours---would pay a fee for a parking permit and a couple of temporary guest passes to ensure they could park on or near their block. The "overspill" people would have to park in metered parking, a private parking lot (and they are on an unofficial endangered list), or in the new parking garage on North College.

   I commiserate with those who live near Broad Ripple Avenue and Winthrop, Guilford, and Carrollton. We experience difficulties with people who park, bumper-to-bumper and sometimes rear-end of car over our driveway, during the Art Fair, brew fest, jazz fest, wine fest, and any other "fest" being run here in NorBro (if that is what our area of Warfleigh could be called). I am hesitant to support a system of permits, however. After all, the "overspill" people are taxpayers whose tax dollars have gone to pay for streets.

   On Saturday we shall discuss latest developments in Broad Ripple, including changes to the proposed structure envisioned for North College. One of our guest panelists will be Dan Sockrider, who has been active with "Say No to TIFs in Broad Ripple." Dan is a web and marketing department manager by day, and by night a community organizer who focuses on sustainability, community empowerment, and local resilience. We shall shoot at Good Earth, located on Guilford immediately north of the canal. We shoot from 11 am to 1 pm.

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