Indianapolis asked for more public comment to help prioritize its 16 different public transportation projects.
The city kicked off the Indy Moves initiative Wednesday night to ask for resident feedback on public transportation needs ranging from accessible sidewalks to public transit to bike safety. It was launched in August, and since then city officials have been studying existing conditions.
The findings were highlighted during a public kickoff event on Indianapolis's east side. Of note:
- Eighty-five percent of Indianapolis commuters drive to work alone. The highest rate compared to Nashville, Tennessee; Denver, Colorado; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Just 1 percent of people bike to work.
- Despite the lack of carpooling, Indy residents spend the least amount of time in traffic at 18 hours per year. Minneapolis commuters spend 40 hours in traffic each year.
The event was the first of three "key public input points" in the process. Residents had the chance share thoughts on transportation and mobility issues in their communities before a presentation by city planning officials.
City consultant, Jennifer Wieland from Nelson/Nygaard, laid out a list of priorities.
“Transportation is about access to opportunity," Wieland says. "It’s about access to jobs, to housing, to school, to getting fresh food. Transportation is a lifeline for people. You can’t do anything if you can’t get to the places that you need to and want to go.”
Residents are encouraged to leave comments through activities before the city's presentation. pic.twitter.com/fZVHFF3EhY— Lauren Chapman (@laurenechapman_) October 18, 2017
Wieland says the early public comment is a way to get a handle on the public's ideas about transportation, which she says is intergal to prioritizing these projects.
“What’s working for you in terms of walking, biking, driving, and taking public transit in Indianapolis? Where do we have opportunities to improve?” Wieland says.
After the presentation, each speaker took questions and comments individually from attendees. Resident Andy Arenson says he’s encouraged by the plan, but appreciates it’s a huge undertaking.
“We have a very large city, right? Because it’s the entire county. How do you make anything that makes sense across such a wide area?” Arenson says.
The city is also encouraging residents to fill out an online survey, which will be available for several weeks.
The survey is available for the next month. As one Holy Cross resident said, "If you don't show up, you get no voice."— Lauren Chapman (@laurenechapman_) October 18, 2017
This story has been updated. WFYI News' Doug Jaggers contributed to this reporting.