December 6, 2023

Community-driven infrastructure gets a chance for city funding

City leaders announce the latest round of INIP opportunities. - (Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

City leaders announce the latest round of INIP opportunities.

(Jill Sheridan/WFYI)

A program that helps communities build their infrastructure dream projects has reopened, and targeted sidewalks, trails, and roads can benefit from matching city funds.

The Indianapolis Neighborhood Infrastructure Partnership, INIP, is open for applications from local organizations. The announcement was made on the near northside this week as city leaders celebrated the start of construction for a new multi-use path that will connect existing trails with the new IU Health campus.

The infrastructure idea was presented by IU Health and the Near North Development Corporation. The groups will partner with the city for a 50-50 match to pay for the new trail, which is priced at $2.3 million.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the initiative will again receive funding in 2024.

“Maintaining this 50-50 funding method, these new efforts will champion equitable access to our safer streets. That's because the city of Indianapolis is committed to a safer, smoother infrastructure for every size of road and in every Indianapolis neighborhood,” Hogsett said.

The Hogsett administration started the program in 2017. Nearly $13 million in project funding has been awarded since INIP’s launch.

Department of Public Works Director Brandon Herget said chosen projects are also fast-tracked through the effort.

“Last year alone, we saw 13 projects take shape that otherwise might not have gone to construction nearly as quickly as they did,” Herget said.

The initiative is part of the city’s Community Powered Infrastructure, CPI, program. City-County Councilor Zach Adamson said one part of the CPI program allows groups to think more creatively about infrastructure.

“Tactical urbanism is a program that allows communities to test infrastructure changes in their neighborhood through low-cost, temporary projects,” Adamson said. “The community will work with the city to develop a hypothesis that collects data, both pre and post implementation, to see whether these proposed changes would be effective solutions to the issues that they're facing.”

Pilot urbanism projects this year included an effort to slow traffic along 10th Street on the east side.

Community proposals for tactical urbanism projects and another program called Art in the Right of Way, which supports public art in public right of way spaces, will open in the spring of 2024.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org.

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