Writer & Photographer / Stephanie Duncan
Colleen Fanning, one of our city councilors that represent District 2 of Indianapolis, is one of 25 members that make up the Indianapolis city council. She is also a Broad Ripple resident. Recently, there have been some major and exciting developments in Broad Ripple, and Fanning is here to make sure everyone gets up to speed.
“As a resident of Broad Ripple, I’m passionate about Broad Ripple since it’s my home neighborhood,” Fanning says when asked about what motivates her as a city council member. “It’s just such a unique cultural district in the city. A lot of people don’t know this, but Broad Ripple was actually the first cultural district in Indianapolis.”
There is much planned for the future of Broad Ripple, and there’s no one better to ask than Colleen Fanning.
“As an Indianapolis City Councillor, I represent District 2, which includes Broad Ripple, Nora, Greenbriar, Riverwood, Meridian-Kessler and Glendale,” Fanning says.
One of the biggest changes in Broad Ripple is the landscape in general. It seems like overnight the landscape of Broad Ripple has changed dramatically, and Fanning is optimistic about what all these new developments can bring to Broad Ripple. Firstly, there’s the addition of the new grocery store Fresh Thyme along with The Coil, new luxury apartments that are located along the Canal towpath on College Ave. The Coil isn’t easy to miss with it now being one of the tallest buildings in Broad Ripple.
“The Coil project is currently renting. They’re going to fill up, which is exciting because they are going to give us so much great foot traffic,” Fanning says. “That will support all the small businesses, restaurants and retail shops that we love and really add to the character of the village.”
She is also excited about the new Fresh Thyme grocery store.
“We already have a great natural food grocery at The Good Earth, and now we have Fresh Thyme, which has a little bit of everything,” she says.
One thing Colleen noticed about becoming the councilor for District 2 is how engaged everyone is.
“To be able to support our infrastructure and our businesses, we have to add people who will spend their money here,” Colleen says. “Broad Ripple Village is really one of the only places in Marion County where you can walk to your grocery store, your bank, your post office. And we are becoming increasingly bike and pedestrian friendly that it really is like living in a small village in the middle of a large city.”
Another exciting project in the preliminary stages is a Broad Ripple Avenue Beautification project that will go from College to the Monon Trail. Colleen hopes it will almost become like a mini Georgia Street, where Broad Ripple can host tent parties and festivals right in the heart of the district.
“We really see Broad Ripple as the vibrant center of the Northside and Midtown by connecting all these awesome neighborhoods,” Fanning says.
One way they plan to connect Broad Ripple and surrounding neighborhoods more is with a faster, more efficient transit system. The Redline, which will be a rapid transit system going up and down College, will be one of the three rapid transit systems that will be put into action soon.
“Transportation is so important to our communities, and it’s going to connect people to jobs, education, healthcare, it’s just going to give them another option,” Fanning says.
Along with a more efficient transit system, there are more plans to connect Broad Ripple with updated and new trails. With the addition of the Broad Ripple Canal Esplanade, which will be a part of the Indy Greenways system and connect Guilford Avenue and College Ave, there are also preliminary plans to make a river walk that will connect the Canal to the River with a bike and pedestrian friendly path. The path will connect Broad Ripple Park to the rest of Broad Ripple.
Colleen is excited for Broad Ripple’s future and encourages people to get involved.
“Everyone in this district is very opinionated,” Fanning says. “We’re the only 50/50 Democrat and Republican district, so that makes us very unique. We also have the highest voter turnout, which is great.”
If you’re a Broad Ripple resident, chances are you’ll probably run into Colleen Fanning walking her dog, Wile E. Coyote with her husband, visiting all her favorite local stops, like the Brewpub.
“It’s just a fantastic place to live, because there’s always something to do,” she says.
If you want to know more about what’s going on in Broad Ripple, visit ColleenFanning.com, which she keeps up to date with current events.