INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IndyGo’s Blue Line Rapid Transit System will run from the east side to the airport in the future, but business owners along the West Washington Street route are pushing for changes to the proposed plans.
The project is expected to have a designated lane for the bus, much like the Red Line. West Washington Street will go from four lanes to two, but store owners fear the Blue Line will negatively impact their businesses.
Many told News 8 the road isn’t efficiently designed for an exclusive bus lane and will create more congestion.
“It’s hard for us to get trucks in and out of here as we do get a lot of freight in and trying to bring obviously motorcycles in and cars in to park in front of the building which is what we really want,” said Mike Dreyer, owner of Dreyer Honda.
“Instead of people using this main road they’ll divert off onto the residential side streets which causes traffic problems for the residents,” said Rachel Hawkins, owner of Markin Sales.
IndyGo plans to build bus stations in the middle of Washington Street and remove some designated turning lanes. Some business owners feel that could steer potential customers away.
“It’s gonna be easier for someone to just continue west and find the next local shop or business that they’re looking for rather than turning back around and making it an inconvenience for themselves,” Roy Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Body Shop said.
Business owners believe the new line could also affect store profit along West Washington Street.
“As a business owner at that point it affects you and then it trickles down to possibly employees losing jobs,” added Reynolds.
According to a study posted on Indy Connect Central Indiana’s Regional Transit Initiative, “it is not realistic to expect ridership increase under even the most favorable conditions to approach the thresholds for exclusive lanes.”Business owners suggest IndyGo keep the existing way riders are picked up and dropped off.
Business owners suggest IndyGo keep the existing way riders are picked up and dropped off.
“This to me is the major artery in and out of town and to give up 60% of the road for 20% ridership doesn’t make sense to me,” Dreyer mentioned.
There is no word on when the project will begin, but store owners said it is several years away.
A meeting about the Blue Line projects is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Township Government Center.
IndyGo officials are expected to be at the meeting.