Indianapolis Puts Design Ideas to the Test With Pedestrian-Friendly Pilot Project

As it works to gather the $60 million necessary to implement permanent changes to Monument Circle, Indianapolis is testing ideas for how to make the location more pedestrian friendly.

September 2, 2015, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Indianapolis is building public support for a major street redesign the same way DIYers and tactical urbanists do: by testing out temporary changes," according to an article by Tanya Snyder.

Snyder starts by detailing the changes at Monument Circle, which has implemented a "pre-design" of pedestrian-friendly design changes. According to Snyder, "[d]uring a 10-week pilot period called 'Spark,' the brick roadway has been narrowed from 40 feet to 22 feet, opening up space to widen both the inner and outer promenades of the circle." Moreover, "[i]n what used to be car space inside the circle, there are now four custom-built, temporary decks — parklets outfitted with moveable chairs, shade umbrellas, and picnic tables. These zones have been built by Big Car artists in collaboration with city officials. People can sit at those picnic tables to eat lunch from the food trucks that are catering to visitors during the pilot."

The article includes images of the "pre-designed" Monument Circle, as well as more details about why the demonstration project works in this example.

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