There Is No "Parking Problem" in Irvington
That’s right, I said it. There is no parking problem in Irvington. Now, before you light up the fires and bring out the pitchforks, hear me out. What I say may have you think a little bit differently about this thriving neighborhood we all live in.
Irvington has two (arguably three to four) business districts that are in full use (or close to) with possible expansion through Bonna Ave. Supposedly, there is a bad parking problem here in Irvington that is caused by people outside the neighborhood and within trying to attend these districts. Obviously, I disagree and I would like to tackle the usual complaints with some answers of reason:
People are parking in MY spot on the street!
Unfortunately, you DO NOT own that spot on the street. It is owned and maintained by the city of Indianapolis. Unless they are blocking your driveway (if you have one) there is nothing you can do about it. Public streets am I right?
Too many people are parking on South Audubon and the road is too tight.
That is designed on purpose. We city planners love narrow streets to slow traffic naturally so pedestrians can walk safer around the neighborhood. Nobody wants speeders down their street!
There isn’t enough parking at the business district on Washington or Audubon!
Eh. I tend to agree and disagree at the same time. With Irvington now becoming a few hours on a weekend, a bunch of people from outside of Irvington are parking in the lots. Granted, that is exactly what these lots are for… If they have to park on the streets surrounding the business districts, they can. (See question 1). As of now, there is nowhere to put a new parking lot. It’s just better to get used to it than fight it.
These new restaurants and businesses are making my quiet suburban neighborhood go away with all these people.
This isn’t necessarily a parking complaint but I’m feeling feisty today. My answer to this: you live in the City of Indianapolis not the suburbs. This community is realistically for people who enjoy the urbanized lifestyle but in single-family homes. If you want the quiet, “don’t bother me” lifestyle, I don’t think Irvington is for you anymore. The Irvington neighborhood is an extremely sought after neighborhood (watch how fast homes sell after making them publicly available). People are moving here BECAUSE of the businesses, walk-ability, single-family homes, and the diverse community. Would you rather be living next to a business district that is under-performing or lacking? No. Having these businesses helps your property value so I encourage you to visit these places often.
Where am I supposed to park?
If you must, you can still park as close as you can. Nobody is stopping you. God forbid you have to walk a few houses away to get to your place. Although….The American Planning Association has been pushing their Plan4Health Initiative heavily the past few years so I would actually encourage you to walk more and not drive. For more information, click here.
What about the Blue Line and Blue-Indy projects?
Ah, now you’re speaking my language. As of now, the Blue Line will not be for some time but the bus service does come through Washington Street as well as both north and south Irvington. Blue-Indy will most likely be installing more stations in Irvington allowing easier and a healthier transit around the city. The more that these two transit options are being used, the less parking “issues” Irvington will have to endure. So I encourage not only people that live in Irvington to take advantage of these options, but to encourage your visitors. As always, don’t forget to bike!
I would also implore you to visit the IDO website (brand new by the way) and check out their parking study here.
This parking “problem” is all relative and individualized. If you are having trouble, get a FitBit or something to help count steps. Get used to walking around and supporting your local establishments often. Just WALK to them. We all live within a mile of these businesses and there is no excuse of not walking (unless you have a disability of course). Again, no I don’t see a problem with this and actually encourage more people to visit Irvington. The more desirable this community is, the better storefronts we can experience to fill the empty stores. I hear people all the time talk to me with a slightly jealous tone for living here. Growing pains are expected with a booming community but then again, maybe I’ll be renting my autonomous car to just drop me off and parking will NEVER BE A PROBLEM AGAIN!!!
These thoughts are my own and not a representation of the Irvington Community Council.