The national conversation that has surrounded the most recent gas price jumps has been predictably frustrating. A whole lot of finger-pointing, but little self-analysis. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect about this conversation is the lack of creative and constructive solutions for people who wish to inoculate themselves from price spikes. We usually hear the primal urges (drill baby drill) as well as the technological advances (alternative fuels). However, the simplest solution that the public can act on is to live in a neighborhood that has transportation options.
These neighborhoods are in short supply and high demand in Indianapolis. This is why it is critical for Indianapolis to continue to see new infill developments. Urban Indy blogger Chris Corr has estimated that there are approximately 4,000 apartment units in Center township in the following four categories: completed since 2010, currently under construction, proposed/approved and proposed/unapproved. Many of these are close enough to the downtown core that they can add density without too much negative impact, as long as the developments cater to pedestrians and cyclists. If the city can ever get its transit act together, watch out.
Living in a city means that our family doesn’t have to pile in a car for every small trip. It means that we can save money on gas and car maintenance, and have more to spend on things we actually want to buy. Having these options will only become more attractive over time for the younger generation, which doesn’t seem to want to buy cars. It is critical for our city continue to attract new people, while improving on the infrastructure for current residents.