College Avenue served as a major public transit route used by the interurban from 1904 to 1938. Portions of tracks are visible today in some areas. College Avenue remains a heavily traveled street. College Avenue connects north central Marion County and points north to downtown Indianapolis. Currently IndyGo operates two of its 30 routes along College Avenue.
Properties along College Avenue are primarily residential, with commercial uses around the intersections of Kessler Boulevard East Drive, 54th Street, 52nd Street, 49th Street, 46th Street and 42nd Street. These commercial nodes were developed in response to the public transportation route and trolley stops along College Avenue that served the surrounding neighborhoods.
Land Use and Design Recommendations for the College Avenue corridor:
- Residential uses should be protected along this corridor by maintaining commercial uses at their present locations.
- Transit oriented development (TOD) should be encouraged at each of the commercial nodes along College Avenue.
- Foster a sense of community and uniqueness by attracting a diversity of local businesses to the area.
- Create destinations within the corridor by consolidating or combining a diversified group of small local businesses (specialty stores) that would provide a unique “one-stop shopping”
- Heights of new buildings should maintain a 2:1 ratio (two feet of right-of-way for one foot building height – e. 60’ right-of-way/30’-40’ tall building) to create a level of comfort and a sense of openness and interaction for pedestrians.
- Provide appropriate buffer between commercial and residential uses to minimize the impact of noise, lighting, and trash.
- Conduct a parking study to determine how best to address parking issues along the College Avenue corridor.
- Improve alleys throughout the corridor, including lighting, to provide additional parking, pedestrian access, and service access to businesses.
- Crosswalks should be clearly identified throughout the corridor to improve safety of and encourage use by pedestrians.
- Install bicycle lanes and racks, where appropriate, to accommodate multi-modal means of travel.
- Electronic variable message signs should not be permitted along the corridor due to proximity of the surrounding residential use.
- Encourage the development of green space along the corridor that could be as simple as trees, landscaping, benches, or bicycle racks.
- Parking lots should be screened to minimize impact upon adjacent land owners.