Friday, June 27, 2008

Creative solutions for Traffic and neighborhood development

I wanted to talk a little bit about how one neighborhood dealt with traffic issues and with cooperation with the city were able to take a bad situation and change it for the better. The Cottage Home neighborhood is a small neighborhood just east of the Indaianapolis downtown. The area is home to an outstanding collection of Victorian era shotgun cottages and small homes built between the 1860's and 1900. Industrialization had crept to areas north and south and one of the streets which is relatively narrow to start with became a major "shortcut" for many workers in the industrial areas around it. This traffic really affected the quality of life.
An old bridge that went over a small creek that runs through the neighborhood, needed replacement. The neighorhood met with the city to discuss options on the traffic issues. A decision was made to close that section to vehicular traffic and put in its place a foot bridge with a turn around on the south side. Several Unbuildable lots were converted to green space that would allow access to the creek area and the turnaround is big enough that at some future date a fountain or art installation could take place in the center.

The property values have increased in the area and several vacant lots are now up for redevleopment for new single family houses. The neighborhood is close to a major bike trail and this project now creates an extension of the trail so to speak and draws people into the neighborhood. This is an example of how neighborhood groups and the city came up with a creative solution to solve a traffic issue.

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