My mom literally took me all over the world starting when I was 14, and I was amazed by the widespread use of transit in other places. People can get everywhere at any time in Europe without owning a car. In New York City, mass transit is the most effective way to get around.
When my 17-year-old daughter and I visited the city recently, we rode the subway everywhere. She was amazed at how easy and convenient it was—and wondered why Indianapolis wasn’t digging up the streets to install something like it here.
Most people don’t realize that Indianapolis once had a very robust streetcar system. One line ran right in front of The Vogue when it opened in 1938. That was before my time—I’ve only owned it for 30 years— but when someone’s working on College Avenue and the road’s torn up, you can still see the tracks.
Unfortunately, the streetcars stopped running in the 1960s and the tracks were paved over. It’s really too bad. Reliable mass transit is so much more efficient than driving cars everywhere, especially in neighborhoods like Broad Ripple.
I think IndyGo’s planned Red Line improvements would help small businesses along the whole corridor. With more frequent service and shorter waits, more people will ride.
Without question, improved mass transit will benefit the Vogue and the rest of Broad Ripple by alleviating the number of cars in the area and the need for parking. I’d love to see a lot of younger people out walking the strip, going from place to place instead of coming to one business and then leaving. Many millennials say they don’t want to own a car. They use Uber or Blue Indy, or they ride their bikes, so this will just give them another option.
Really, it’s not just good for Broad Ripple. Once people see how it works, many more will try it. If I could get from my home in Nora to work and to Mass Ave, I would ride everywhere.