INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – A busy stretch of Broad Ripple Avenue could soon be turned into a river walk or boulevard with a new pedestrian-bicycle path linking to the Monon Trail.
It’s part of plans to connect Broad Ripple Village with nearby Broad Ripple Park, something the Broad Ripple Village Association has wanted to do for years.
BRVA executive director Colleen Fanning, who also serves on the Marion County City County Council, said it’s really about “connecting to and including Broad Ripple Park as an amenity everyone can enjoy when they come to the village.”
What’s paving the way is a matching grant from the city’s Department of Public Works. DPW has agreed to pay up to half the cost of the project, estimated to run between $1.7 and $3 million, using an infrastructure grant.
Plans call for redoing Broad Ripple Avenue from the Monon Trail to the entrance of the park at Primrose Avenue, by adding a 12-foot-wide path on the north side of the street with a tree-lined median down the middle.
To make room, the city will have to remove the bike lanes on both sides of the street and take out the center turn lane, though there would still be places where vehicles could turn left.
Fanning said turning the half-mile stretch into a boulevard would also improve safety. Currently, the sidewalks are right up against the street, which she said can be a deterrent to walking along Broad Ripple Avenue.
Tammy Terry who took her granddaughter to Broad Ripple Park Thursday said the changes would be “a lot safer for kids. I love the idea of a walkway. Broad Ripple (Avenue) is so busy and crazy.”
The BRVA has until year’s end to finish the design, come up with a final price tag and raise the matching funds.
“It’s challenging but we’ll be looking all avenues including grants and private investment options,” she said. “Optimally, we’ll get it done by the end of the year.”
If that happens, she said construction could begin next spring taking several months to finish. She said phase two includes ultimately connecting the path to a river walk planned for the park.