The city is spending millions of dollars to upgrade Pleasant St. as a way to bypass downtown and move traffic more quickly for cars and trucks that want to avoid the cross traffic and congestion. I understand the rationale but I don’t understand why the city insists on taking a route that involves cross traffic and congestion rather than a more rural route that would emphasize speed.
I go into detail on my objections to the city’s current proposal on my Better Noblesville website. In a nutshell, the city wants to take an urban route that involves bulldozing some two dozen homes on both sides of the river while doing little to improve the urban landscape along Pleasant St.
My biggest concern is the integrity of the Southwest Quad neighborhood, which would be bisected in the interests of gaining a minute or two to cross town. You can imagine how you would feel if the city proposed building a bypass through your neighborhood. The homes in the southwest quad are some of the most affordable in town, and the people who live there won’t be able to find replacements at the same price they will get from the city for those houses. That’s a problem for a community that struggles to maintain affordable housing stock.
I could understand the city’s unwillingness to consider other options if there were none, but there are a number of alternative routes that wouldn’t involve destroying any houses, could have higher speed limits, and would open new land for development as a bonus. But the city won’t consider them.
I’m especially dismayed about this project because I see so much potential for the southwest quad neighborhood to compliment the city’s new cultural arts district. We have one of only seven designated districts in the state, and the district is meant to highlight our commitment to nurturing the arts. A cultural arts district needs artists and the starving artist is more than just an amusing stereotype. It’s a fact of life in most arts communities, which is why affordable housing is so important. These modest homes in the southwest quad are great raw material for an artist’s touch, and the neighborhood would make a terrific artist’s housing district. That we want to destroy it for the sake of a road is a darn shame.
I will do something about that.