Online petitions show support and opposition for IndyGo’s Red Line transit system

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 18, 2016) – Online petitions, growing by the minute are battling it out to see who can get more signatures. The petitions are for or against IndyGo’s plans to build a rapid transit line.

The $100 million first phase would run through 38th Street and College Avenue, where many neighbors are voicing their concerns. 80 percent of the project will be paid with a federal grant. The city did not secure a state fund that was expected to front the other 20 percent. DPW and Downtown TIF funds will now cover the other $20 million.

IndyGo Spokesperson Bryan Luellen said they have had many public hearings to gain input from members of the community. He said IndyGo has altered some of their plans based on concerns from neighbors. He issued the following statement:

“Over the last 7 months we have hosted meetings, met 1-1 with neighbors, business owners, attended community gatherings and shared detailed information on the plans for the Red Line. Through this public involvement process, we have been committed to addressing concerns and mitigating impacts wherever possible. Despite some opposition, the community is largely supportive of the project. We will continue to revise the plan wherever possible to build the best project we can.”

Some disagree with that statement, including Democratic City Council Member, Joe Simpson. He represents District 7.

“They wasn’t representing the real people here. They were representing the interest of the people who want the Red Line,” Simpson said.

His concern is not only for the lack of parking that will be available along College Avenue, but the people who would benefit from using a Red Line rapid transit. He said there needs to be a different model of public transportation considered the would help his constituents get to a job.

“We got people who can’t get out to the airport, can’t get out to the east side, can’t get people on the south side,” Simpson explained.

IndyGo said the new transit line would nearly double in the amount of riders already using the route. Luellen said that’s because the availability of buses would be increased from the current amount of 30 minutes.

Some who live along College Avenue have voiced opposition for the plans, citing the fact that the line will get rid of existing street parking. An online petition titled “Stop the Indianapolis Red Line Transit project,” had about 200 signatures.

There are some who live along College Avenue that support the project, even if it means giving up a parking spot. So far, more than 600 people have signed the online petition in favor of the project titled, “I support the innovative Red Line public transit line in Indy.”

“As much as it sucks to not have a parking space right out front like this, the more people who can get around to work, to other economic centers more easily, the more that will bolster businesses. In general, I’m in favor of more public transportation and I’m willing to give up my parking spot for it,” said one College Avenue resident.

For more on the Red Line Transit project, click here.

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