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College Avenue business owners launch Red Line initiative

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new initiative is underway to keep business booming on College Avenue as IndyGo Red Line construction changes the face of the area.

Love it or hate it, the Red Line is here to stay.

“This is only going to help our community having this form of transportation,” said Clarissa Morley, owner of Pots & Pans Pie Co. 

“It will hurt a lot of businesses, I don’t know if everyone will be, but I know a few that will be directly affected. They may not be able to stay in business,” said Red Key Tavern owner Jim Settle. 

While Morley and Settle have dueling views on Red Line construction, there’s one message they agree on: They don’t want you to forget about their businesses.

That’s exactly why Chelsea Marburger, the executive director of the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, had more than 2,000 blue pins made with the #CommittedToCollegeAve message to help raise awareness of businesses on College Avenue during construction.

“We wanted to change the narrative instead of having the same conversations over and over and over again about whether you love it, whether you hate it, what you feel about it. It’s happening. And we wanted to be able to kind of change that narrative in a positive way to be able to support our businesses,” said Marburger.

The pins are attached to a card that lists all 76 businesses on College Avenue impacted by Red Line construction from 38th to 66th streets.

“We want to remind people that just because you see orange barricades on the street doesn’t mean that business is closed. It doesn’t mean we need to revive that constant conversation about how we don’t like something, but how we want to do something positively to support those businesses,” said Marburger.

While both Settle and Morley’s businesses are open, they hope customers make the extra effort to keep it that way. 

“We don’t want people to forget about us. We’re still here. We’re still baking pies for you guys,” said Morley.

“I need the business. Just trying to stay in business. I knew it was going to be rough. But we’ll see. It’s still not over,” said Settle.

You pick up a free pin at any business along the College Avenue construction. 

The Red Line is expected to open in September.