INDIANAPOLIS — IndyGo has canceled a segment of the Blue Line which would have run from Washington Street and Holt Road to the airport. This also ends 50 million dollars of infrastructure improvements that came with the project - including stormwater drainage and new sidewalks.
City-county councilor Jared Evans represents the West Side where the segment was canceled.
"To see this unravel after seven, six years of people working together to see this once-in-a-lifetime investment was going to happen, is beyond anything that I'll say on TV," he said.
The project has already been delayed multiple times due to pushback from some local business owners and legislators in the state. After costs ballooned, IndyGO had to rethink the plan. The plan was originally estimated to cost $220 million. But with inflation, costs have jumped to more than half a billion dollars.
Rachel Hawkins owns a business on Washington and says the changes would have blocked traffic to her business.
"No left turns, one lane each way, it was going to be honestly disastrous," Hawkins said.
Without the Blue Line, she says the city now needs to figure out its own way to make the west side safer for pedestrians.
"I hope that now that we're past this, where we realize the Blue Line is not going to pay for those improvements, now the city can start focusing on how to get the sidewalks done," she said.
Debbie Parish also lives on the West Side and helped to revitalize Shelton Heights Park. She says the Blue Line would help make the park more accessible without a car.
"Everybody has a right to go out and walk, and if you can't do that because you're going to get hit, that's pretty bad," she said.
Now she wonders if the walkability improvements will ever happen in her neighborhood.
"Everybody's saying, well we don't need IndyGo, we can do it ourselves. We can't do it without money," she said. "I get why people were afraid of the Blue Line, because everyone's afraid of change, but what we're going to miss out on is huge, and it would've actually made this place much more vibrant."
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