Downtown redevelopment has been an issue on the books for the Town of Fishers since at least Jan. 24, 1992.
An open house that included a presentation on a master plan for downtown redevelopment, as well as a question and answer session, was held last Monday, continuing the discussion 20 years later and on the heels of major downtown developments like the recently-constructed amphitheater and planned multi-use development in front of Town Hall.
The Town of Fishers department of community development, led by Tom Dickey, as well as representatives from Land Design Consults and Context Landscape Architecture, conducted the open house.
The master plan calls for major changes to what downtown Fishers currently looks like. On the radar is a new “form-based code” for zoning in the downtown area.
The representatives spoke about “taming” 116th Street, which Dickey said moves 40,000 cars daily.
To do that, 116th Street could be widened to three lanes going each direction. During rush hour, the third lane would be open, but outside of the busiest times of the day, the third lane on each side would be metered parking.
In addition to changes on 116th Street, the master plan calls for two improved east and west arteries, one north of 116th Street, one south of it. Lantern Road would go straight through, letting Commercial Drive make another connection.
During the question and answer session, Dickey said a goal also was pedestrian-friendly areas north of 116th Street.
Light rail is a conversation people in the state are having now, and the representatives said the possibility was considered in the plans.
Residents had the opportunity to leave anonymous feedback on paper for the town.
Some of the concerns included parking, keeping green space, leaving space for city government buildings and making the ramps to I-69 on 116th Street safe to cross for bicyclists.
“There’s no question something needs to be done in downtown Fishers,” Fishers resident Tom Curry said. “Then the question is, hopefully it can retain the Fishers values and the character that Fishers has had, a unique character over the years.”