Businesses write letter to mayor to voice opposition to IndyGo’s Red Line plans for College Avenue

File photo.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Nearly 40 small businesses along North College Avenue wrote a letter to Mayor Joe Hogsett requesting a meeting to voice their opposition for the proposed Red Line mass transit system.

The College Corridor Business Association said building permanent bus lanes down College Avenue from Broad Ripple to 38th Street is impractical. They’re concerned it will eliminate curbside parking, lock Indianapolis into riding buses when ridesharing services are growing and make it difficult for emergency vehicles and trash trucks to get around.

IndyGo said the three-phase project would expand mass transit around Indianapolis and would be readily available to 100,000 people who would be within walking distance of the Red Line. The company estimated that 95-percent of existing parking spacing along the College Avenue corridor would be retained.

The businesses said their biggest concern is permanent bus lanes on College Avenue and advocated a redesign. They also questioned if the project has broad public support.

“Proponents tout how many voted for the income tax referendum last November: 191,000 of 700,000+ registered Marion County voters,” the coalition wrote in its letter. “More than 500,000 registered voters did not vote for being taxed or voted against it. This is hardly a mandate.”

The businesses predicted a backlash about the plan was imminent once people learned more.

“As the public learns the facts about the permanent lanes on College Ave. and Meridian St., no new bus routes in the highly touted ‘transit expansion’ and the city debt, public leaders will be questioned.”

President Donald Trump recently signed the federal budget, which included $50 million for the Red Line project.