INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Business owners along College Avenue in Broad Ripple say construction on the Red Line public transit project is hurting their bottom line.
Business owners say new parking restrictions put in place this week from 38th to 66th Street along College Avenue is stemming the tide of customers. The restrictions were put in place on Monday as part of an accelerated Red Line construction timetable by IndyGo. The accelerated schedule is proposed to cut the construction schedule by four months.
“It has made a difference because the foot traffic has been a little worse,” Owner of A Bit of Whimsy Linda Birch said.
“We’re in the hospitality business so making it harder to get in, get out, and get here is not a good thing,” said Chuck Mack, owner of Moe and Johnny’s.
Mack added that he is particularly miffed about the project because it will force him to lose 30 percent of his parking lot space to make way for one of the line’s stations.
He also believes that the Red Line will increase congestion in the area. IndyGo officials maintain the project will help to relieve congestion.
“When it’s all said and done, they’re going to leave a level of congestion that is substantially greater or worse than it is right now,” he said.
IndyGo spokesperson Lauren Day admits the construction is a headache for local stakeholders and business owners but says the agency is working with business owners and the community to make sure that any negative effects are mitigated.
“It’s really important to our contractors and to our team to keep access to those businesses open, safe crossings, sidewalks, that kind of thing,” Day said.
“Hold in there! It’s a temporary inconvenience for a long-term significant benefit to the city,” she added.
The construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of May.