MKNA is Committed to College Avenue

Showing their committment to College Ave. businesses, MKNA volunteers helped transplant perennials at the Aristocrat in advance of Red Line construction work.

One in a series of posts in support of #Committed to College Ave.

Long-overdue expansion of the city’s transit system includes improvements to drainage, curbs, sidewalks, and streetscape. While celebrating these upgrades, it is also worth recognizing that Red Line construction creates hardships for adjacent properties.

Chelsea Marburger, executive director of the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association (MKNA), came up with a way to support businesses in the corridor: the Committed to College Avenue pin.

“We have the power of the purse,” she said recently. “If you want to see your local businesses succeed, then continue to patronize them.”

She reached out to other neighborhood leaders at the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA) and Midtown Indy, who agreed to help support the initiative. “We decided to include businesses from 38th to 66th streets that are affected by construction,” Marburger said, since construction is likely to hurt foot traffic or visibility.

The effort includes the social media campaign #CommittedToCollegeAve as well as pin-back buttons people can wear to show support. The buttons come affixed to a card that lists more than 75 College Avenue businesses. “You can wear the button and then put the list on the fridge and make a more College-centric choice,” Marburger said.

The list is presented in a format that groups businesses in geographic proximity. She said the goal is to encourage residents to be aware of which businesses are nearby and utilize delivery services, too.

Marburger said there’s a short game and a long game. “For now it’s to get through the construction phase. Once construction is done the cards and buttons will be repurposed. You can commit to College Avenue by taking the Red Line to visit these businesses.”

—Thomas P. Healy