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College Avenue residents want more parking, removal of BlueIndy charging stations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city launched a public engagement campaign to gather community feedback on repurposing options for defunct vehicle-charging stations.

The top suggestion among College Avenue residents wasn’t included on city flyers outlining reuse ideas: parking spots.

Failed car share service BlueIndy ended in December, leaving Indianapolis with 89 electric-vehicle charging stations.

Each site occupies approximately 100 feet of curb space, enough room for five standard parking spots.

A city survey introduced Wednesday features four options that involve reusing underground power connections at the sites:

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  • Public vehicle charging for privately-owned electric vehicles.
  • E-scooter and e-bike charging.
  • Shared transit services that could create on-demand access to shared electric vehicles or facilitate short-term rental programs.
  • “Place-making” sites that could be used for outdoor dining areas, food trucks, art installations, community events or other activities.

Kaitlyn Yearwood, a College Avenue resident whose home is adjacent to a charging station, said none of the reuse options served her neighborhood’s most pressing needs.

Tapping into available power beneath the sites is less important to Yearwood than improving driver safety, increasing access to parking and easing traffic congestion.

“[These repurposing options don’t] seem like a good fix for what the actual Broad Ripple strip needs, which is more parking,” she said. “Especially since the Red Line came through and took away so much of the parking we had.”

Yearwood works at a College Avenue pie shop one block from her home. Drivers exiting their parking lot – shared by several businesses – often encounter people attempting to park in front of the former BlueIndy charging stations.

Confusion over the site’s parking rules disrupts traffic patterns and has contributed to several accidents, according to Yearwood.

Connie Zeigler, another Broad Ripple resident, also suggested removing the stations and converting the curb space into parking spots.

“Parking spaces shouldn’t be given up for something that’s not here anymore,” she said. “I’m all for public transportation but I think [the lack of parking] is really tough on small businesses.”

Indianapolis residents are encouraged to fill out the city’s survey online.

A fifth survey option allows residents to select additional parking (at some spaces) over charging station reuse ideas, a city spokesperson said Friday.

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