I reviewed the draft documentation for the Carmel comprehensive plan and watched the “Talk of the Town” video sessions. I think the comprehensive plan should be rethought to answer the more fundamental and important question around targeted growth: How much growth is enough and how much growth is too much? We cannot create a useful map if we do not know the destination. I see no indication that residents are requesting the high levels of growth outlined in the plan.
Low congestion is one of the best aspects of Carmel. The high-density development along all of the major thoroughfares will greatly diminish this “just big enough” aspect. While the survey indicates that residents want the option to walk and bike to more destinations, there is nothing to indicate that this will account for a significant percentage of transportation. Cars will remain the default mode because they are faster, carry more people, carry more cargo and better combat the all-too-frequent inclement weather, not to mention transportation after dark.
There is also no indication that Carmel is ready to shift to public transit. The IndyGo Red Line buses were not allowed to extend their route from Indianapolis into Carmel, and we can barely find enough drivers for the school buses we already have.
I am opposed to the new comprehensive plan. Not because the plan is proposing change, but rather because it provides no basis or bounds for the growth targets outlined. I also see no viable mitigation plans for the resulting high congestion, because shifts to walking/biking/public transit as the default are unrealistic.
Carlton Bale, Carmel