Broad Ripple outlines long-term plan

Published: .
Updated: .

Broad Ripple is one of the city's most popular destinations, yet it's also struggled with things like crime, traffic and parking.

A new master plan outlines how business leaders and residents envision the area developing over the next decade and beyond.

The master plan is 115 pages long and was four-and-a-half years in the works, with input from dozens of people.

It addresses nine areas, including improving the village's image.

Broad Ripple has long been known for its bars and nightlife, and as a place to party for twenty-somethings. Business leaders like Tom Healy want it to be known for much more.

"Certainly our hospitality industry is second to none. We also want to have other uses as well - art galleries, small businesses, entrepreneurial businesses," said Healy, who is with the Broad Ripple Village Association.

Long-time resident Rita Mascari says she'd love to see more businesses like Big Hat Books.

"More independent shop owners and more independent restaurant owners, maybe to compete with some of the bars to balance that out," she said.

The plan also addresses infrastructure issues like drainage problems following heavy rains. It calls for better transit and better parking, like a garage now under construction on College Ave.

It aims to make the village more walkable between the commercial district and Broad Ripple Park.

Linda Shikany, who's owned the Marigold clothing store for 25 years, also likes plans to enhance the Central Canal.

"For so long we turned out back to the canal and even our back to the river and I think those are such amazing assets that we have that we have to showcase those," she said.

While Broad Ripple dealt with a spike in crime this summer, the plan doesn't address that directly. But Healy says public safety is a key component.

"Part of how we address that is through density with what we call eyes in the street. If you have five shifts in Broad Ripple like we do, you've always got eyes in the street, that's gonna help public safety. But so are things like pedestrian-scale lighting and things like that," Healy said.

The master plan is a long-term "road map," not something that will happen overnight. @It goes to the Metropolitan Development Commission for approval November 7.@