(This is a note from our Executive Director, Colleen Fanning, on behalf of our organization.)
The BRVA is disappointed with the current state of public safety concerns in Broad Ripple and is actively working with local agencies to curb this behavior.
The vehicle (primarily motorcycle) cruising and drag racing behavior started in late May. It has continued every night since and has ramped up since Broad Ripple Avenue reopened to vehicular traffic. The issue starts after the bars close and 30-50 motorcycles peal out of the Avenue. They use their own bikes to block intersections to other traffic (like Paxton and Carrollton or Guilford and Paxton, for instance). This allows the motorcycle parade to speed through the neighborhood without having to stop. Then they proceed all over the city, starting with College Avenue and working their way through interior residential streets. I have witnessed these processions first-hand many times in front of my house.
We have been strongly advocating that IMPD set speed traps and sobriety checks around the neighborhood, especially when the bars close on Broad Ripple Avenue. The behavior is not only loud and disruptive, but dangerous and aggressive. As challenging as it may be, IMPD has not been willing to take steps to curb this behavior. We will continue to insist on IMPD takes effective measures against this behavior.
Gunshots have also been an increasing issue in our neighborhood, especially on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in the early morning hours. The Kroger parking lot is typically the place where shots are fired, but we’ve seen this elsewhere as well. This seems to be related to the various bar promotions that happen on these nights and draw crowds that engage in gun violence. We are strongly encouraging Kroger and its landlords to hire private security, but that won’t fix the entire problem.
The crowds that are firing shots rarely patronize Broad Ripple establishments, instead using our streets to congregate, often blasting music. When I was on the Avenue Sat-Sun Sept 12-13, 2020 (11:30pm-12:30am) there was a rap video being filmed in the street. Due to the new COVID-19 regulations allowing bars to play music outside until close (instead of the noise ordinance mandating they shut their windows at 11pm), IMPD claims that it must allow anyone to play music in the street. Attached is a short video that I recorded on 09/12 11:51pm. Note, the music is not from a bar or a car, just from some guys walking around with a boombox filming a video.
We are also concerned that when these groups congregate, COVID-19 guidelines are not being followed. There is absolutely no enforcement of these guidelines. IMPD has publicly stated they won’t enforce these guidelines, and we are frustrated that neither Health & Hospital, nor the statewide COVID task force is able to prevent dangerous behavior or stop it when it is occurring. Nor are they holding businesses accountable when they are not following the rules that were put in place to keep everyone safe.
What are we doing about it? We are addressing the problematic promotions directly with IMPD and the Marion County Liquor Board. We are also contacting Health and Hospital and the Task Force to try and get some regular enforcement in Broad Ripple on the nights/mornings in questions.
Please encourage businesses to utilize COVID-safe practices. Please encourage our bar owners to stop promoting to groups of people who are regularly bringing gun violence into our neighborhood. Broad Ripple must be a vibrant, inclusive, safe, and welcoming pace for all residents, visitors, and employees. Our community needs to work together to demand that.
Broad Ripple Village Association
818 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indianapolis IN 46220
317 251 BRVA (2782)
Office Hours Tu 1-4p; Th 8-11a