Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's Up in Broad Ripple?

Lots of rumors flying around about the future of Broad Ripple Village and what things are going to look like once Brothers Bar and Grill opens in October. Restaurants along Westfield like Broad Ripple Steak House and Ambrosia are looking at options since parking rates are expected to rise drastically once the large capacity bar opens this fall on the corner of Guilford and Broad Ripple Avenue. Brugge Brasserie, on the other hand, is expanding into much needed new space upstairs. (They're taking over the Netheads space as the internet cafe moves north.) How do you think the face of Broad Ripple will change? Will you still go on a Friday or Saturday night for dinner? What does the village need most? A multi-story parking strucutre? Tighter controls on development? More bars? Fewer?


SK said...

What Broad Ripple needs most is a neighborhood association who's average age is less than 60. As a small business owner, I have seen first hand the damage that has been done by the short sighted BRVA. Probably the biggest issue with Broad Ripple as a whole is that they fear progress. For some reason the BRVA thinks that BR is hallowed ground and that its unique bungalows are charming and quaint. The reality is that Broad Ripple is in serious need of an overhaul and many homes are one step away from being shuttered. The only people that think Broad Ripple is quaint and should stay the way it is are the college kids, the partiers, and the people who are trying to keep the formerly mentioned groups out altogether. Wake up BRVA you were elected to represent the residents of Broad Ripple ( I am one by the way) not your own self interest.

CorrND said...

I don't even go to Broad Ripple on Friday or Saturday right now. It's insane. If I want to go eat in Broad Ripple, I do it on a weekday. Downtown is much more manageable if you want to go out on weekends.

Country Mouse City Mouse Indy said...

We have thought for a very long time that Broad Ripple needs a multilevel parking garage that charges $5 (or $10 on a weekend evening). It would be a goldmine for the BRVA once their palms were greased up a bit. The perfect spot would be behind the Vogue in that parking lot, or in the Kroger parking lot. We have lived in Broad Ripple for many years and wish a happy medium could be reached between the BRVA and the real residents (who are much younger than the assn.) I could go on an on about the changes this neighborhood needs, but won't. I'll just say, I hope they figure it out before I'm old enough to join.

Lord Peter said...

BR's bungalows *are* charming and quaint - and at least where I live not at all "close to being shuttered."

What BR needs is:

(1) Continued attention to development issues to keep bars, etc. on or north of BR Ave., as per the master plan.

(2) A focus on keeping BR pedestrian friendly, which, ironically, may require a parking garage - perhaps off of college.

(3) (Related to the other two) A commitment to preserving the mixed use (residential/retail) nature of BR.

Keith and Esther said...

I live in BR/MK. Is parking a little tight on weekends? Yes. Do we live in a city or a burb? A city. This isn't Carmel or Fishers people. There is plenty of parking around! You might just have to get your lazy butt out of the car and walk a few blocks!!! Or God forbid, take the bus in from downtown, carpool in with a designated driver or take a cab if you don't want to deal with parking. While I agree that the asc. is out of touch, I don't want my neighborhood to look like another strip mall in Carmel/Fishers.

Downtown is growing at a rapid pace. Soon, parking will also be an issue Downtown. Having returned to Indy 2 years ago, it still amazes me the Hoosier mentality that there should be a parking space big enough for EVERY giant SUV within 20 feet of all buildings.

Sorry for the rant.

Biscuitcleaver said...

Brugge is the only reason why I go to Broadripple these days.

It's nice to talk around on a saturday afternoon or so - but I never go to the bars. That's a mass ave thing for me.

I think broad ripple should focus on getting some more commercial development more north closer to where le'explorateur is.

CorrND said...

There will never be an issue with downtown parking on Fridays and Saturdays. Indydt.com says there are 66,000 public parking spaces available. That's probably a bit inflated, but think about it: downtown parking is designed to accommodate the downtown workforce. No matter what it might look like on the ground on a Friday or Saturday night, the number of people is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people that work in downtown every day. Event nights make things more expensive, but that doesn't mean there's an issue with availability.

As for Broad Ripple, I agree keith and esther, it would be nice to get Hoosiers off their butts and walk a little. The thing that irritates me about parking is not that I'd have to walk to where I want to go, it's that the parking situation isn't definable. That is, I never know where there's going to be parking. Plus, I don't like that everybody has to park in front of people's houses. I know everybody does it and it's basically assumed policy around BR, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it. I'd gladly walk 5 or 10 blocks from a parking garage to my destination if I just knew I wouldn't have to waste time looking for a parking space.

All that being said, for me the whole Broad Ripple experience is just much more relaxed and enjoyable when I go on a weekday.

Anonymous said...

Things BR needs
1. Less Parking- make BR Ave all feet and bikes between the HS and College.
2. Denser development- Destroy the bungalows. The 4 blocks north of the Ave should be nothing but 3-4 story mixed use buildings.
3. A streetcar- College from Mass Ave
to BR Ave

Anonymous said...

All that would be great long term, but if I owned a restaurant -- not a bar -- in BR right now, I'd be pretty pissed off. There is a parking problem for customers on weekend evenings -- and while we can all say "Hoosiers need to walk more", if I'm a restaurant owner, all I know is that my patrons are choosing to going somewhere else.

Same problem wtih mixed use retail. Unless I'm just strolling around, I'm not going to seek out a shop with no parking. Customers are going to go somewhere else with less traffic and free or easier parking. And what little parking there is north of BR Ave swamped when the 400-seat Brothers opens.

I'm not sure where all this mystery parking is because the last time I tried to park on a Saturday evening, even the parking lot around Sunflower market was full. All the office lots are pay lots now. I never go into Broad Ripple to eat on weekend evenings now. (For dinner plans, we all just go downtown. I don't mind walking a few blocks. I just don't want to drive around looking for a spot for hours.)

Traffic on Broad Ripple Avenue is ridiculous (and the endless contstruction that's closed Westfield doesn't help.) I can't believe more business owners aren't furious.

braingirl said...

Just a data point, but cabs in Indianpaolis -- at least in my experience -- are a wholly unreliable option. When you call from a residence or restaurant, they can take 15 minutes to an hour to arrive and are priced far higher than similar services/distances in other cities. Unless the doorman at a BR bar is pouring you into one at 2 a.m. to take you back to campus, it's an unreliable option for the rest of us -- and more expensive than driving/paid parking.

Keith and Esther said...

We have used cabs 4 or 5 times in the last couple of months to go downtown and back from 58th and Broadway. Total cost each way is around $17. We call ahead for our pick up and return and have never waited more than 15 minutes, they have mostly been early.

Taxis are NOT more expensive here than in Chicago or NY (total cost of trip is .75 less in Chicago and NY is more expensive). Look it up on each city's Yellow Cab site.

Don't get me wrong, it is a pain in the butt that you can't flag down a taxi here, but they are not more expensive.

ryan_schloffel said...

How about a parking garage at the site of the Marathon gas station across from the Vogue, and maybe another where the empty Sunflower Market building now stands?

Phil Lavoie said...

I agree with the idea of making a pedestrian area on BR ave between Wintrop and college. Put a parking garage on either end and make that stretch a place similar to fanueil hall in Boston, or Pike's market in Seattle.

I would love to see street performers and small vendor carts.

Anonymous said...

AMEN sk!!!!

Anonymous said...

NIMBYs are destroying Broad Ripple. It is them, opposing all decent, dense devolopment, that is causing BR to become a bar ridden hell hole.

Neal said...

I only read the davinci code once. What's a nimby?

Anonymous said...

don't be a smart ass Neal.

Anonymous said...

That would be awesome if BR ave was a pedestrian street. It will never happen because of the need for an east-west road though. BR ave also really needs some major landscaping, cultural trail-esque.