June 21, 2022

Got an idea to reuse Indy’s curbside EV charging stations? Tell the city

Got an idea to reuse Indy’s curbside EV charging stations? Tell the city

The city’s electric vehicle sharing program BlueIndy ended abruptly in 2019, freeing up dozens of street-side parking spaces dedicated to battery-powered cars.

Now, formal proposals on how to reuse 89 spaces can be submitted to the Department of Public Work as part of the Reimagining the Curb initiative. Details on the program are available here.

DPW Deputy Director of Policy and Planning Abbey Brands said the spots reach many communities.

“They span the county, they are in residential areas and commercial areas and urban areas, so I think we know going into this that there is not going to be a one size fits all solution,” Brands said.

Survey results from more than 1,200 residents last year found strong support was given to EV charging stations and placemaking options.  Placemaking could involve space for pop-up businesses, arts and culture or resource opportunities.

The City wants to encourage mobility options including e-scooter stations or space for shared transit options.

“Instead of being just five EV charging spots or one bike share location,” Brands said, “you might have a mix of all those modes of transportation.”

The existing underground infrastructure is valuable for both types of projects. DPW wants proposals that do not require additional public funding but says they will continue to partner with IndyGo and other transit partners.

A return to regular car parking is the least desired option for reuse.

In 2014 the City of Indianapolis and Marion County contributed $6 million to support the underground electrical infrastructure for BlueIndy.

Transformation for some of the sites could come this year.

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