Strong Public Support of Marion County Transit Plan

Map shows strong support for transit among central and north Indianapolis voters.

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2016
Public Support for Transit Overwhelming;
Council Urged to Vote for Full Funding of Marion County Transit Plan

INDIANAPOLIS — Today, certified Election Board results show that voters overwhelmingly voted to fund The Marion County Transit Plan with nearly 60 percent support countywide. A majority of voters supported it in 79 percent of precincts as well. Constituents approved the plan in 19 of the 25 City-County Council districts and AARP of Indiana, the Indy Chamber and the MIBOR REALTOR® Association call on the Indianapolis City-County Council to promptly pass full funding for the Marion County Transit Plan.

“The Marion County Transit Plan will create greater connectivity to jobs and educational opportunities for residents across Indianapolis,” said Mark Fisher, chief policy officer for the Indy Chamber. “Voters have acted in support. It is time now for the City-County Council to respond accordingly and vote for the 0.25% increase to fully fund the plan so our city can benefit from improved transit access as soon as possible.”

“The Marion County Transit Plan not only increases home and property values, but assures an improved quality of life for our residents and our neighborhoods,” said Chris Pryor, vice president of government and community relations with MIBOR REALTOR® Association. “We want our communities to thrive and grow. The City-County Council has overwhelming approval of its constituents and must enact the increase at the full amount and help keep Indianapolis and our region moving forward.”

The Marion County Transit Plan will provide
• 70% increase in the frequency of bus service, offering every route on every day;
• later evenings and weekend service; and
• 3 bus rapid transit lines.

“Reliable bus service means that our friends and neighbors can get to their jobs, that our parents and grandparents can get to appointments and the grocery store, and that members of the community can access shopping and businesses, said Sarah Waddle, state director for AARP Indiana. “A better connected Indianapolis is essential to building a livable community for people of all ages. We ask that the City-County Council moves forward to enact the full plan and help make that a reality.”

Transit supporters are urged to contact their councillor by phone, email, and social media to express support for fully funding the Marion County Transit Plan and keep Indianapolis moving forward.
The final vote count by City-County Council district appears below.

Council District Yes Count Yes Percentage No Count No Percentage
1 9964 65.60% 5232 34.40%
2 12581 63.60% 7185 36.40%
3 11196 63.50% 6441 36.50%
4 9412 61.60% 5870 38.40%
5 9534 57.60% 7011 42.40%
6 7678 57.80% 5608 42.20%
7 10444 68.50% 4794 31.50%
8 9451 67.80% 4496 32.20%
9 10959 70.10% 4671 29.90%
10 6035 65.00% 3244 35.00%
11 9221 72.40% 3511 27.60%
12 7361 63.60% 4206 36.40%
13 6941 64.60% 3801 35.40%
14 6145 66.10% 3156 33.90%
15 5979 57.30% 4459 42.70%
16 4451 58.60% 3139 41.40%
17 8113 71.30% 3266 28.70%
18 5799 46.20% 6765 53.80%
19 6840 56.70% 5217 43.30%
20 5339 40.40% 7867 59.60%
21 5154 53.80% 4429 46.20%
22 4379 48.40% 4671 51.60%
23 6189 48.80% 6505 51.20%
24 5774 46.90% 6543 53.10%
25 7050 43.00% 9339 57.00%
TOTAL 191989 59.40% 131426 40.60%

Indy’s Most Needed Pedestrian Walkways

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Walkable cities contribute to people’s overall health, safety, and quality of life. This study prioritizes missing pedestrian walkways to help identify where investment should be focused in Indianapolis.

Although it has some very walkable areas of town, overall Indy ranks low in nationwide surveys of walkability (Walkscore.com). Recent efforts are underway in Indianapolis to enhance walkability, as demonstrated by its recently adopted Complete Streets Ordinance and the Health By Design et.al. Indy WalkWays initiative. A large land area and limited budget require the City find tools and strategies to efficiently and effectively develop and maintain its infrastructure. This includes finding ways to prioritize the types of pedestrian infrastructure needed to enhance walkability, and the location of that infrastructure.

The map shows the results from a study of Indy’s missing pedestrian infrastructure (i.e., sidewalks and multi-use paths). It reveals the gaps in pedestrian walkways and prioritizes them based on proximity to destinations, population density, and demographic factors that may contribute to an area’s particular transit needs.

Three basic assumptions are followed:

  1. You don’t have walkability without destinations.
  2. Walkways should go where people are (i.e., population density).
  3. Certain social factors, such as age, income and education, may limit people’s transportation options thus making walkways a higher need (and that need should be a factor in prioritizing pedestrian infrastructure).

High ranking walkway segments (red and orange) would be considered among Indy’s most needed walkways.

About the Map

“Missing Walkways” are shown as lines on the map where there are gaps in the existing pedestrian network. These are mapped along primary and secondary arterial roads, and collector streets hosting major bus routes, using 2014 data of Indianapolis’ existing pedestrian network* as a reference. The missing walkway segments are ranked and color-coded low (yellow) to high (red) based on their proximity to destinations combined with proximity to areas of highest population density and concentration of people who may have limited transportation options (Net Social Index). For example, segments shown in red (high priority) touch areas containing both high net population density and high scores for social indicators representing potential pedestrian infrastructure need, such as income, minority status, education, linguistic isolation, and age (2010 Census; 2013 ACS).

Missing walkway segments received scores for their proximity to 5- or 10-minute walk radius around destinations. Destinations include public libraries, college campuses, primary schools, secondary schools, vocational schools, museums, supermarkets, recreation facilities, greenways, parks, future Red Line bus rapid transit (BRT) stops, and city bus stops.

The scores for each segment are tallied and the results are used to rank the missing walkway segments from low to high in terms of their priority for future development. High ranking walkway segments (red and orange) would be considered among Indy’s most needed walkways.

Limitations

The map of “Missing Walkways” does not distinguish places where sidewalks may exist along only one side of a road, or where existing sidewalks may switch back and forth between different side of the road, nor the quality of existing sidewalks. It also does not evaluate the existence of crosswalks (another essential component to the pedestrian infrastructure). The data are not field verified. Sidewalks within neighborhood subdivisions and along minor collector streets are not considered by this study.

For Further Study

This study shows one way that pedestrian infrastructure gaps can be prioritized for future investment, which is just one aspect of pedestrian infrastructure planning and management. Further areas of interest include: Where are crosswalks and what is their importance in the pedestrian network? What is the role of speed limit control in designing the pedestrian network? What additional prioritization should be considered for Safe Routes to Schools initiatives? How do accident reports factor into identifying priorities? Should we rate short segments of missing walkways higher where pedestrian infrastructure otherwise exists (e.g., prioritizing small gaps)? Where are we investing today versus where priorities have been identified? How do we balance the maintenance of existing infrastructure with the development of new pedestrian infrastructure?

Data Sources

City of Indianapolis GIS; IndianaMap; Indiana Department of Education; Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) Property Tax Management System; The Polis Center; US Census American Community Survey 2013 5-year Estimates; 2010 Census; 2015 Federal Poverty Level; US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EJ SCREEN.

* Special thanks to Kevin Kastner for providing the pedestrian network GIS data used in this study and for posting on Urban Indy. See Prioritizing Missing Pedestrian Infrastructure, Saligoe-Simmel (PDF) for detailed methodology and documentation of data used in the study.
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