Thursday, April 20, 2017

Indy Star Columnist Praises Broad Ripple "Improvements" While Ignoring Challenges Residents Face

Generally once a week I make the trip to Broad Ripple to visit my friend and local attorney Mark Small. These occasions often, okay "always", involve tossing back a few beers while we discuss life and politics. Even though Mark is a whacked out liberal, we do share the same opinion on Broad Ripple, where he has lived for several years, i.e.  the new development and resulting congestion in the "Village" has cause it to lose its charm.

Indianapolis Star Matthew Tully doesn't agree.  In today's column he sings the praises of Broad Ripple development.
Broad Ripple looks a little different these days. 
You can perhaps see that best from the patio of Three Sisters CafĂ© on Guilford Avenue. As I sat there the other day, I looked north toward the heart of the village, at a strip of colorful bars, restaurants and stores on Broad Ripple Avenue. Behind them stood a brand new development —  a sprawling grocery store and high-end apartment complex that recently opened. That taller development doesn’t just stand behind the heart of the village, it seems to hover over it. 
Matthew Tully
You can see a lot of other change throughout Broad Ripple, from the much-debated parking garage that popped up a few years ago on College Avenue, to so many small businesses that have come or gone, to the bustling area that south Broad Ripple has become. And then there is the change to come: A tortured redevelopment project at College and Kessler and, of course, the red line transit expansion.
Anyone who has followed Tully's writing career knows he has never once written in opposition to corporate welfare. He is perfectly fine with taxpayer money being diverted from such things as roads and schools to the pockets of developers.. Not once did Tully utter a negative word about the Broad Ripple parking garage at the intersection of College and Broad Ripple Avenue, a structure built with tax dollars then simply given away to one of former Mayor Greg Ballard's biggest contributors.

 Of course if you drive by the structure now you discover what was going on.  The building contains a number of business establishments with parking only a secondary thought.  Bottom line is that we taxpayers built a commercial building for a politically-connected developer.  That's what it was about.
And yet to this day Tully cannot bring himself to say a negative word about how taxpayers were mislead and ripped off about the purpose of the structure.

In Tully's column he doesn't make the slightest effort to talk to any of the long time residents of Broad Ripple, people like Mark Small.  If he did, he would find a different story.  People in Broad Ripple are unhappy with the congestion which has added considerable time to any commute.  They are unhappy about the high rise buildings that have caused Broad Ripple to lose its "village" feel.  As far as the red line transit expansion going up congested College Avenue, resulting in the loss of desperately needed traffic lanes, pretty much any Broad Ripple resident will tell you that mistake.

Of course, Tully doesn't live in the Broad Ripple Village area any more.  A few years ago, he moved to Carmel.


True Republican said...

Nice to see you chomping at Matt Tully! Recently the gang and I tore into Tully for being such a hack!

Anonymous said...

Great, great piece, Paul. I agree with you and Mr. Small: Broad Ripple has definitely and forever lost its charm. I also agree that Matt Tully has never crafted a piece in favor of hard working taxpayers who bear the burden of political pay to play crony development.

We here in Carmel, who many may joylessly find themselves 'neighbors' to Matthew and Valerie Tully, learn through a recent story that our seemingly for-life Emperor Mayor's newest project underpinned by Carmel taxpayers will be the reduction of Rangeline Road lanes to a two street "boulevard" that is "more pedestrian friendly". I guess multi-millionaire attorney Jim Brainard is probably saying, in effect: Let's just shut down all the vehicular traffic on that stretch of Rangeline Road, ruin all the businesses along that roadway, make it near-impossible for vehicle drivers to easily get from Point A to Point B, and celebrate a "new urbanism" where foot traffic is king.

Geez. All these city planners and these new urban proponents are nothing more than land thieves. They use tax payer money to fund their dreams of what they want to develop and what they believe should be developed. Fairly new Carmelite Matt Tully probably in seventh heaven.

Indianapolis is not the only city burdened with the worst and most useless City Councilors in the entire world; the feckless, rubber stamp, blind as bats Carmel City Council will again be asleep at the wheel allowing all the Emperor Mayor For Life’s development corruption and graft to continue.

The country as founded under the Constitution is gone. Sadly, there appear to be few indications it will return anytime soon.

leon dixon said...

Surely crimes were committed in that empty garage business, economic ones if not actual, in my opinion. Tar and feathers should be made available for the perps. But, in the matter of the Red Line, that Community voted for it. They voted for either Kip Tew or the winner...some lady. Both of these non entities were in favor of the Red Line and made no bones about it. The Libertarian was very much against it. Sam Goldstein.

Anonymous said...

No one with a pair of eyes that works could fail to see that The Coil looks like an ugly tumor on the landscape. It is completely out of place. It doesn't fit in size-wise, color-wise, design-wise or otherwise in the area. Anyone with a brain who is familiar with Broad Ripple knows that the charm of Broad Ripple Village is the throw-back small town ambience. The Coil is the antithesis of what made Broad Ripple special. It is a modern-design building constructed of cheap materials and is too tall, too ugly and out of place. Ask the real people who live nearby what they think about this as well as removing one full lane of traffic to put in a useless bus system no one wants, either.

Why would Tully only interview a cheerleader for the developer community who ignores what her constituents want for purposes of writing this little stink piece in the fist place? I was at the MDC meeting when she strolled in and stumped for Milhaus's equally hideous and out of place development proposed for the corner of College and Kessler, now on hold due to litigation. Yes, residents had to hire lawyers and go to Court because their own CC Council representative wouldn't advocate for them.

What I plan to do and encourage others to do is boycott Broad Ripple altogether--not just the Fresh Thyme. I want to use whatever economic leverage I possess to help it to fail, if possible, as testament to the lack of vision of the BRVA and Fanning and in response to their refusal to honor the wishes of residents of the area. It's not like we don't have plenty of other choices nearby.

RhondaLeeBaby69 said...

You're not seeing the big picture re: the Red Line. It is going to greatly decrease the motor vehicle traffic in the area as Broad Ripple residents will no longer need to use their personal vehicles to get to work downtown.

Anonymous said...

No, Rhonda, it won't. According to IndyGo, only 4% of Indianapolis residents ride a bus, and that is city-wide. Red Line won't change that equation. I live on College, and most College buses, except at rush hour, are empty or mostly empty. What causes you to assume that Broad Ripple residents work downtown in sufficient numbers to make a difference, or that their jobs don't involve using their cars for things like calling on customers, delivering things, taking the kids to daycare, and the like? What makes you think Broad Ripple residents wouldn't need their cars to run errands on their lunch hour or before or after work, or to pick up the kids from school or daycare? There is nothing to support any claim of a "great decrease" in motor vehicle traffic. Just another IndyGo lie.

Steve O'Neil said...

It is very interesting that Tully did not go and talk to the residents of Broad Ripple. He spent an inordinate amount of time quoting Colleen Fanning, who many people think sold out the residents of MK and BR.
Why is it that someone such as Tully is so in the bag with developers?
I thought bleeding hearts were supposed to be anti-corporate.
Is his Carmel living showing his true colors or are the roundabouts addling his thinking?
It is clear that the developers have turned their attentions to Broad Ripple and MK.
Large buildings does not equal progress necessarily.
Here's to hoping the Trump budget squelches the Red Line, a bad idea just looking for money.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Broad Ripple for 20 years, it is no surprise that the issues that preceded my arrival are still there, writ large - crime, street lighting, parking and excessive merriment. And here I'm not referring to a good time, but trash, graffiti and a general fly-blown look that simply doesn't go away. There was no money to adequately light the streets, but there was plenty to effectively narrow the avenue to 2 lanes. This is called "traffic calming" here, in other parts of the country, it's called a "traffic jam". Try going east-west through Broad Ripple at 5:15, write me when you get home.
I don't think giant development was the answer, and I'm pretty sure no one's prepared for what comes next - when 1000s of additional residents want to hit the streets with their car at the same time. The street widths are pretty much set - what I see happening down the road is a good percentage of the public avoiding Broad Ripple the way we used to avoid Castleton during Christmas (which is obviously no longer an issue).
Unfortunately, I, too, am exiled in Carmel now with Mayor Roundabout and his cronies. And who needs democrats when you have republicans who can spend money they don't have?

Anonymous said...

Well done sir! I reached for my barf bag while reading Tullys column. He is nothing but a paid mouthpiece for the well connected, working hard to keep the sheeple of Indy thinking everything is A-okay and people like Fanning are wonderful leaders.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20 makes excellent points. I too am a Carmel resident. I am not at all pleased with Jim Brainard's governing (I use the term very loosely). I cast only one ballot for Brainard until I realized what he was truly all about. Still, I would much rather live in Carmel than to ever return to Indianapolis, having fled the increased crime and increasingly failing infrastructure. You know you are in Indianapolis soon as you cross any of the county lines contiguous to Marion County because it is Indianapolis roads that are quilts of pothole patched asphalt and broken concrete street surfaces and crumbling sidewalks.

As for the street calming in Broad Ripple, the forever loss of the charm and attraction of the Broad Ripple Village, the rarely used bicycle lanes throughout Marion County curtailing motor traffic, the loss of free parking to illegal schemes like Blue Indy, idiotic cricket fields and the embarrassment that is the ROC... Indianapolis can thank Her City County Council for the damage to the citizens' mobility and damage to Indianapolis residents and visitors quality of life experience under corrupt "Republican" ex-mayor Greg Ballard. There really was not a City County Council finger lifted in any meaninful and effective way and the corruption is all still there for everyone to see. To hear useless Councilors, they just had no way to stop the corrupt ex-soldier other than to wave their limp wrists in despair. Why Indianapolis or Carmel have City Councils is just beyond me. They only thing Councilors are good for is collecting perks, payola, and privilege and cashing the chits the public is forced to pay. Oh, and demanding that their pay be raised because they do so much for the public "for free".

Anonymous said...

Let me -- as a long time (circa 1989) Butler Tarkington resident -- offer another perspective. Regardless of who is paying the freight, I am glad to see the recent changes to Broad Ripple. Its long-term survival as a destination and place of interest in Indy depended on providing more parking and greater population density. The old "village" model was dying, in my view. Long live the new and improved Broad Ripple. You naysayers are just old and over-the-hill. Some of you already left for Carmel; soon the rest will be moving to American Village retirement home. They didn't build it to please you; they built it for your kids, who are gonna love it.