Across the river from IUPUI and Riley Hospital sits River West, another portion of the Great Places 2020 initiative. Originally isolated from the city by the White River between, the Washington Street bridge connected the two areas building commerce and transportation benefits.
Time has passed since that initial bridge, and others, have been build. Again this area is in need of some love from the city of Indianapolis and its surrounding community anchors including Eskenazi Health, Roudebush VA, and the Hawthorne Center for Working Families along with others.
The main focus area of the River West surrounds the intersection of West Michigan and King Avenue. The area within a half mile of this community center already hosts an urban farm, library branch and several local restaurants. Assisting the area in opportunities, the initiative will leverage existing STEM programs to increase access to jobs. Kinney Group, a nearby IT firm and Goodwill Industries are heavily involved in job training and River West’s advancement.
Making River West both “walkable and bikeable” is a primary focus in developing a unique identity for this neighborhood. Additionally, the B & O Trail will connect River West to Speedway from W. Michigan & Warman Avenue to 10th Street. Transportation improvements extend to public transportation as well.
IndyGo bus stops will be assessed every 1/4 mile and Pacer’s Bike Share will build an additional station in the area. The existing sidewalks and streets will be repaired or rebuilt as needed while some traffic lanes will be redesigned to redirect heavy roadways away from walkable areas.
Reconnect Our Waterways, also known as ROW, maintains plans to promote the White River as a gateway of multiple uses for the community. Improving aesthetics and inviting public use at the river bank, as well as education and economics, are among the primary pillars of ROW’s plan. The White River just happens to be the largest waterway in all of Indiana making this re-connection all the more exciting and vast.
The plans for this Great Place are expansive and with community support and investment they appear to be unstoppable in growing success to bring economic advancement and attention to River West.
What progress have you enjoyed seeing near the River West area?