What is StreetSpark?
This collaboration between the City of Indianapolis, neighborhood leaders, and the artist-led placemaking nonprofit, Big Car Collaborative, works to reclaim streets, sidewalks, and adjacent public spaces as places for people. Two key outcomes will be a more sustainable city (helping do our part to address climate change) and healthier and safer residents.
A big part of our effort is to emphasize the difference between streets and roads. Streets should be designed and managed for human scale uses in neighborhood areas where people live, shop, relax, and socialize. Roads are main arterial routes made for moving people from place to place in vehicles. We don’t have a problem with roads, or traffic moving smoothly through the city.
But, in many areas, neighborhood streets are currently functioning like roads. And that leads to pockets of blight, isolated poverty, and disconnection from schools, parks, shopping, and our citywide bike and pedestrian trail system. In locations identified through a community engagement process, the Department of Public Works, Big Car, and other partners use art, design, and approaches learned through studying national and international best practices to test and implement projects that help make Indianapolis a healthier, safer, and more livable place for all.
WE’RE TEAMING UP TO:
• Test and install lighter, quicker, cheaper infrastructure changes (bike lanes, painted streets, bump outs, roundabouts) to calm traffic and make walking and bike riding more comfortable, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing for recreational use and travel to and from work, school, shopping, etc. This work — which includes a collaborative Street Mural and Creative Crosswalks program — is linked to neighborhood and City plans, including Plan 2020, Great Places 2020, VeloCity, and various quality of life plans. We’ll establish an ongoing program, instructional toolkits, and a collection of actual tools for neighborhoods and partners to use.
• Create, furnish, and program linger nodes where people spend time together in publicly accessible places (green spaces, bus stops, sidewalks, streets, alleys, etc.). This work includes establishing an official Parklet program that helps businesses and other partners install creative seating areas in spaces used by parking. This work may also include a partnership with IndyGo to create more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing bus stops.
• Manage a process for involving artists and arts organizations in a citywide creative bike rack program. We’ll also help navigate permitting and support installation and maintenance. This collaboration between the City of Indianapolis, neighborhood leaders, and the artist-led placemaking nonprofit Big Car Collaborative works to reclaim streets, sidewalks, and adjacent public spaces as places for people.