The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Business

September 19, 2013

Leaders: Exit 226 is city's front door

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. —

A representative from INDOT's Greenfield facility noted that the state agency allows for development of interstates to include public art such as three exits between downtown Indianapolis and Indianapolis International Airport.

A design could be as simple as lighting that changes as drivers work their way from the interstate to other sites, Jesse Wilkerson, local architect, said. "What if we changed our whole gateway system so we have multiple gateways," he asked.

In the informal survey, about 73 percent thought gateways were "front doors" to a community. A handful thought the state should address the issue since the five entryways are all on state-maintained routes.

"Everyone here seems to recognize there's got to be a partnership between the city, the business, the chamber and the community at large," said state Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson. "The fact is INDOT's busy, so to a degree we have to, as to that partnership, we have to show that leadership. We have to be the squeaky wheels to be sure we're getting the attention when it comes time to do something about our gateways."

Chuck Staley, CEO of the Flagship Enterprise Center, urged all the breakfast participants to take pride in Anderson. "Our most important market is ourselves. ... When we have a positive image of ourselves, I think it will be reflected throughout the community."

In the anonymous polling, participants were asked if they would financially support an initiative to improve gateways. Of those responding, 39 percent said "absolutely yes." Eighteen percent said they probably would support improvements; 12 percent said they probably would not; 2 percent said they absolutely would not, and 29 percent weren't sure.

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