Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
Meridian~Kessler Neighborhood
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MK Plan Meeting Minutes, February 24

Monon Trail Corridor between 54th Street and 42nd Street.

The Monon Trail was completed in 2003 during the time when abandoned railways were being converted to greenways for recreation and commuter use nationwide  It uses a portion of the Chicago-Indianapolis main line of the former Monon Railroad (built in 1847) that was abandoned between Indianapolis and Delphi, Indiana in 1987.  It is approximately 10.4 miles from 10th Street to 96th Street, where it connects with the 5.2-mile Monon Greenway in Carmel.  It also has direct connections to the Fall Creek Greenway and the Central Canal Towpath, which leads to the White River Wapahani Trail to form a trail network that reaches to the west side of the downtown district.

In 2005, the Monon Trail was used more than 1.2 million times, making this urban greenway perhaps one of the busiest in the nation.  The Monon Trail links commercial districts, schools, parks, the state fairgrounds and a dozen residential neighborhoods.

Monon Trail between 54th and 52nd Streets

The north side of 54th Street is zoned D-5 on the west side of the Monon Trail and C-3 on the east side of the Monon Trail where a small market is operating.  Properties along the south side of 54th Street and the Monon Trail are zoned C-4 on the west which is home to an Italian restaurant.  Land use along the eastern edge of the trail is a mix of businesses that serve the neighborhood and zoned I-4-U, which is the most intense industrial zoning district.

The land along the Monon Trail north of 52nd Street is zoned I-4-U on the west side and I-2-U on the east side of the Monon Trail and occupied with industrial uses.  The south side of 52nd Street on either side of the Monon Trail is zoned D-5, but is developed commercially along 52nd Street.

Recommendations

▪ Form-based zoning overlay should be utilized to minimize the impact of the industrial zoned properties upon the surrounding residential community.

▪ As the area is redeveloped, consideration should be given to burying overhead utility lines.

▪ Mixed use along the Monon Trail would be appropriate and might include incubator space for start-up businesses, professional offices, art center, and residential uses.

▪ A boutique hotel in this area could provide accommodations for those visiting Butler University.

▪ East/west pedestrian connections to the Monon Trail from College Avenue and continuing east beyond the trail should be installed to improve community access.

▪ Redevelopment should support a balance of neighborhood needs/services and family-oriented commercial uses.

▪ Conduct a traffic study that would incorporate Complete Streets principles and identify appropriate locations for permit parking for residences, travel lanes, bikes lanes, and parking spaces.

▪ Provide an access point to the Monon Trail at 53rd Street.

▪ Improve the pedestrian experience along Winthrop Avenue that would also provide a buffer from commercial/industrial uses to the east, adjacent to the Monon Trail.

▪ Capitalize upon the Monon Trail to develop adjoining green space, pocket parks, and community gardens.

§ Infrastructure upgrades, coordinated with other City Departments and Utilities, along Winthrop including possible storm and sanitary sewer upgrades, burying utility lines, new sidewalks and curbs, street repaving, low level pedestrian lighting, striped curb-side rather than nose-in parking, and fiber optic cable upgrade.

§ Extend similar renovation work to alleys between 52nd and 54th Streets and between Winthrop and College

§ Local area Monon Trail upgrades i.e. trail lighting-49th to 54th Streets and security cameras needed

Monon Trail / 49th Street

The west side of this intersection on either side of 49th Street is zoned C-7 which is a high intensity commercial zoning.  On the south east corner, the property is zoned SU-18 which provides for a light or power substation.  The northeast corner is zoned D-5 (residential).  This residential zoning classification also extends north along the trail between 49th Street and 52nd Street.

Recommendations

▪ Continue to support Indy Hostel as an appropriate use for the neighborhood.

▪ Develop a pocket park at 50th Street and the Monon Trail.

▪ The property, zoned SU-18, should be visually improved.

▪ Install sidewalks in this area for pedestrian safety, comfort, and connectivity.

Monon Trail / 46th Street

Property along the west side of the Monon Trail in this area is zoned D-5.  Industrial zoning (I-3-U) exists along the east side of this trail.  Currently, there are a number of storage facilities in this area.

Recommendations

▪ Storage buildings should be maintained and cleaned up.

▪ These properties should be landscaped to visually improve the appearance.

▪ Develop a program that would establish relationships with property owners and assistance to improve the appearance of their properties.

Monon Trail / between 44th / 42nd Street

Property along the west side of the Monon Trail in this area is zoned D-5.  The State School for the Deaf property lies along the eastern edge of the Monon Trail and is zoned SU-2.  The State Fair grounds is adjacent to the south and is zoned SU-9.  Properties along the western edge of the trail at 42nd Street are zoned (C-7)

Recommendations

▪ Storage buildings should be maintained and cleaned up.

▪ These properties should be landscaped to visually improve the appearance.

▪ Establish relationships with the State School for the Deaf and the State Fair Grounds to facilitate improvements along the Monon Trail corridor.

Neighborhood Quality of Life

●          Transit, accompanied with density, should be an integral part of future plans.

●          Improve the overall public realm, or “streetscape” to include, but not limited to, traffic calming, alleys, lighting, and green infrastructure.

●          A quality pedestrian system of connectivity is critical to a vibrant community.

●          Install landscaping along the corridor in those areas where plantings are sparse.

●          East / west pedestrian connections along the Monon Trail corridor should be installed to improve access to and use of the trail.

●          Community gardens should be developed and made available to the residents within the neighborhood.

●          Abandoned vehicles and houses should be reported to the Department of Code Enforcement and Marion County Health Department.

●          Alleys should be improved to provide for multi-use.

●          A strong connection between Arsenal Park and the Monon Trail should be created.

●          Increase the amount of green space and pocket parks along the Monon Trail similar to Canterbury Park that would serve the residential areas.

Design Guidelines

●          Landscaping guidelines should be established and implemented along the Monon Trail corridor.

●          Pedestrian-scaled lighting, landscaping, street furniture, and sidewalks along Winthrop Avenue should be installed.

●          Design sidewalks that would accommodate all users.

●          Provide appropriate buffers between commercial and residential uses to minimize the impact of noise, lighting, and trash.

●          Height of new buildings should be limited to three stories, with a visual presence toward the Monon Trail; as the height is increased, the upper stories should “step back” in order to avoid a tunnel effect along the corridor.

●          A parking study should be undertaken to determine the most appropriate way to address the parking shortage.

●          Increase access points to the Monon Trail for the convenience of the users.

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