Opinion: Putting resources into older communities smart for the city


Commentary by Larry Lannan

There is no question Fishers is growing on its east side, but Mayor Scott Fadness made it clear in his recent State of the City address that the older neighborhoods, along  96th Street and the west end of Fishers, will be getting some attention from city government.

The 96th Street corridor will be getting a face lift and added lanes to the east of Lantern Road.  This will be made possible with the injection of $10 million in federal funds. Fishers Director of Engineering Jeff Hill was instrumental in obtaining the federal cash.

Mayor Fadness said the money will be used to install new roundabouts on 96th Street. The city will also be constructing new pavement and streetscape along the roadway that provides Fishers’ southern border with Marion County.

The older neighborhoods to the west will be receiving badly needed repairs.  The city crews will be primarily focused on crumbling pavement and sidewalks in need of upgrading.

I moved to Fishers in 1991 and lived in what is now described as one of the older neighborhoods on the west end of Fishers. My family later moved to the east end of the city.

It is heartening to hear the mayor explain plans to pay attention to the older areas of Fishers. The city began its major growth along 96th Street and the Allisonville Road areas.

Anyone living in Fishers should be excited about the growth prospects in the eastern part of the city. Flat Fork Creek Park, now under construction at 101st Street and Cyntheanne Road (originally called Cyntheanne Park), promises to be one of the premier park facilities in the area.

But I enjoy going back to Holland Park in the Sunblest subdivision. It brings back fond memories of taking my twin daughters there when they were much younger. That park’s playground underwent an upgrade that was finished in the fall of 2014.

Neighborhoods like Sunblest need to continue the vitality that started when Fishers began its first growth spurts in the 1980s. It is good to see the mayor and other city officials put maintenance work in these neighborhoods on their priority list.

Mayor Fadness talked about many things at the State of the City address, emphasizing his vision of a smart, vibrant and entrepreneurial community. Putting resources into the older neighborhoods of Fishers, in my view, keeps those areas vibrant. It is also the smart thing to do.