Broad Ripple Ave. to be shut down late weekend nights

The Vogue Theatre posts 'Stop the Violence' on it's marqee on Saturday, July 5, 2014.
The Vogue Theatre posts 'Stop the Violence' on it's marqee on Saturday, July 5, 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – City leaders plan on shutting down Broad Ripple Avenue on weekends in an effort to make the area safer.

The section that would be closed off stretches from College Avenue to Guilford Avenue. It would be from midnight to 4 a.m.

The idea came up during a meeting between the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA), mayor’s office and city council members today.

Only police vehicles and taxis would be allowed on the road. Also, people wouldn’t be allowed to stand on the roadway, only cross it.

Lt. Chris Bailey with IMPD said the closure could start as soon as this weekend.

Justin McKeand, BRVA president, said it should cut down on drivers who “cruise” up and down the strip without actually visiting businesses. He added that sometimes people park their cars simply to talk with people outside bars but never even go inside.

The change comes nearly a week after a shooting happened along Broad Ripple Avenue early Saturday morning. Police said two men bumped into each other on the sidewalk and an argument started. Police said one of them pulled a gun and started shooting. Seven bystanders were shot.

Other changes that have happened since the shooting include the Indiana Department of Homeland Security putting two mobile surveillance cameras in the area. One was set up where Westfield Boulevard meets College Avenue. Another was placed at the intersection of Broad Ripple Avenue and Winthrop Avenue.

McKeand said there were several more ideas that were discussed during the meeting Thursday morning. He said the city agreed to actively enforce minor violations. That means writing more tickets for noise and moving violations, as well as public intoxication. McKeand couldn’t confirm if that would start this coming weekend.

Another idea he said was discussed was making sure on-duty IMPD officers that patrol Broad Ripple Avenue have a more clear line of communication with off-duty officers who work security at restaurants and bars. He said both sides need to understand who handles certain situations that happen in the area.

Lastly, McKeand said IMPD and excise police would look into whether or not certain bars or nightclubs have enough security to handle the crowds on busy nights.

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