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IndyGo Purple Line moves to next phase- some neighbors for it, others against

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 18:17:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS — IndyGo’s Purple Line is preparing to enter a new phase of construction, and not everyone in the community is happy about it.

Community members gathered at New Direction Church Thursday to learn more about Purple Line while also voicing their concerns regarding the construction plans.

Purple Line will be the newest addition of bus transit lines running 15 miles to connect downtown Indianapolis to the City of Lawrence. It will run through several neighborhoods, past major employers and healthcare and educational facilities.

“This is an area that has long been overlooked and forgotten about,” Jordan Patterson, Special Programs Manager for IndyGo, said. “It’s really exciting to see the attention and investment that is coming from this $188 million project.”

This is an area of Indianapolis that has struggled with a lack of public transportation for a while, making it difficult for both the residents and businesses nearby.

“We’ve been hurting for transportation in our area,” James Logan said. “You have to go to point C and D, a roundabout way, to get to where you need to go. Places are now going ghost because (people) can’t get to the place. Once the Purple Line is done, you’ll be able to get to where you need to go a lot easier and a lot safer.”

The next road closure for Purple Line will last 130-days westbound on 38th Street between Emerson and Shadeland Avenues for roadway and drainage improvements. One eastbound lane will remain open.

Motorists driving west can detour using Shadeland Avenue, 46th Street and Emerson Avenue. The previous closure on 38th Street between Keystone and Emerson Avenues will open to two-way traffic prior to the new closure.

“We want to prepare the community as much as possible. We don’t want anyone to be blind sighted by the impacts that they could experience because of construction,” Patterson said.

Route 39 will detour using Shadeland Avenue, 34th Street and Emerson Avenue. IndyGo will implement safe temporary stops while construction is under way.

While some residents are optimistic for the future Purple Line will bring, others are worried about the construction headache that comes first.

“The color of the line is irrelevant,” Shawnique Johnson said. “You put these lines that go directly through neighborhoods where there are people whose homes are facing these lines that now have to go down the street three or four blocks and do a U-turn just to get home. No one wants to do that at the end of the day.”

Purple Line will also bring 10 miles of sidewalk and 350 ADA curb ramps along East 38th Street and Post Road. There will be new street paving, storm sewer separation and a multi-use path.

“Eventually once it’s all set up and done, it’s going to be a lot easier to get on the bus. The area where you transfer from one bus to the other will be a lot more accessible,” Logan said.

IndyGo will be holding a Food Pantry Drive-thru on Feb. 18 to spread more awareness and hold more meaningful discussions about what Purple Line means to the community.

Purple Line is scheduled to open for service in 2024. To find out more information visit the IndyGo site.