Slowing down traffic in residential areas makes sense. But when you employ the tactic in commercial areas it has adverse, even unexpected, effects.
One of the best examples of traffic calming is along Broad Ripple Avenue. It used to be that when you reached the Monon heading east, Broad Ripple Avenue opened up to four traffic lanes, two each way. A few years ago city leaders, supported by the Broad Ripple Village Association, the worst "neighborhood" association in the City, eliminated two traffic lanes in favor of bike lanes. A middle turn lane was also added.
As a result of the removal of the two traffic lanes along Broad Ripple Avenue it is now not unusual for traffic to back up so much so that drivers have to wait through multiple cycles of traffic lights to clear the intersection. Because of the traffic congestion, cars spend more time driving avenue using more gasoline and spewing more carbon monoxide into the air. The bicyclists and walkers end up breathing more of that pollution. Traffic calming is hardly good for the environment.
Then you add to that the fact that many people will avoid shopping in Broad Ripple because they don't want to deal with the congestion on Broad Ripple Avenue. In the world of the BRVA, this congestion will encourage people to get out of their cars at the edge of Broad Ripple and walk or ride a bike to do their shopping in the village. It's a ridiculous concept before you even take into consideration that there is this thing in the Midwest known as WINTER.
But here is another problem with the elimination of the traffic lanes along Broad Ripple Avenue...that traffic will divert to other streets. Drop a few blocks south of the avenue to 61st Street and you will find that drivers are now using that purely residential street, which is only broken up by the occasional stop sign, to go from one side of Broad Ripple to the other.
My guess is the residents around 61st Street do not appreciate the added vehicular traffic in their neighborhood. Not only does it endanger their safety and that of their children, it also lowers property values in their neighborhood.
As I've said before, the good people of Broad Ripple deserve better representation than the Broad Ripple Village Association. The village idiots are running that association.