Group raises $27K for The Idle traffic-viewing area

(Provided Photo/Idle: A Point of View)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A bizarre idea to build a viewing area above the South Split is moving forward.

The group behind The Idle: A Point Of View is nearing their fundraising goal to get it built.

“People think I’m crazy,” said Tom Battista, one of the people behind the project. “They’ve done it my whole life.”

Battista says there’s a method to his madness, even if it’s turning the area above where Interstate 70 and I-65 meet into green space.

“The point is that when you’re sitting there watching all these cars, their blood pressure is going up, our blood pressure is going down as we sit and watch them,” said Battista.

They’re calling the area a viewing stand. It will be built on on Virginia Avenue between Fletcher Place and Fountain Square.

“It’s not like you can put this anywhere else. You had to have a place that you had something to do. And my idea was that you could sit and watch cars,” said Battista.

“You get to watch traffic anytime of day or night, the skyline, especially in the crossroads of America.  It’s the centerpiece of peace,” said Gregory Bolden, a supporter of the project.

“Beautify something that typically is just looked at as an urban necessity, the highway running through, but it really creates a community out of that environment,” said Daniel Herndon, while attending a fundraiser for the project.

The group has a crowdfunding campaign through Patronicity. The campaign is active through June 16.

They’ve already raised nearly two-thirds of the $41,000 needed for the project.

On Monday, the group held a fundraiser outside of Bluebeard restaurant in Fletcher Place — another project Battista brought to the city.

“We’ve always bought buildings in areas that were derelict or down, the buildings weren’t well taken care of or maintained,” said Battista.

His first project was 30 years ago on the 800 block of Mass Ave. Battista rehabbed the buildings that now house The Best Chocolate in Town and Mass Ave Wine Shop.

His family also installed the first bike racks on Mass Ave — this was before the Cultural Trail or the Pacers Bikeshare.

“The neighborhoods come back, and then they think I’m smart. At first they think I’m crazy. It’s basically just hard work,” said Battista.

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