Guide to Traffic and Parking in Downtown Indy

When we moved downtown, it’s rare we get visitors. Parking is intimidating. I get it. It was our choice to move here and I understand it can be a hassle to people.

Don’t Panic About Traffic

For one, many people avoid downtown thinking the traffic is nuts.

Not the case though.

Usually when people come downtown, it is for an event and traffic is crazy. It’s like that with anything, anywhere though. The other 90% of the time, traffic isn’t an issue at all. To be completely honest, one of the biggest things I love about living downtown is dealing with less traffic. We are smack in the middle of everything so it takes the same amount of time to get to any side of town. Plus when going to work, everyone is always coming in when we are going out (and vice versa).

Then for traffic in general, there really is not much. It gets busy during week days when people are here for work, and I really wish more people were here in the evenings. Being downtown really is not as busy as you would think.

If you are looking to come here for dinner or to go out, the south Meridian side of downtown gets busy on Friday and Saturday nights, so if you park a little out and walk in, you really won’t have to deal with traffic.

And sure–if there is a Pacer or Colts’ game, concert or other event, that area where the event is will be busy. But I’ll be honest. I sat in so much more traffic in the suburbs. Way more than I ever have downtown.

IMG_4792.JPGParking Isn’t That Difficult, I Promise!

When parking in Downtown Indy, it really isn’t too bad. If parallel parking doesn’t totally freak you out, prices aren’t bad at a meter. You just have to pay from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and you can park for a couple hours for about $2. On Sundays and national holidays, you don’t have to pay at meters at all. Plus if you get the Park Indy app, you can add more money to your meter without having to actually walk back to the meter. You have to add in your license plate number, so get the app before you park unless you aren’t in a time crunch after parking.

If it’s your first time using a meter, simply see what the number is for your parking spot (there are arrows that help you), then walk to the nearest pay station. Type in your number, put in your credit card or money and then voila. You are done. And if you get lucky, the person before you might have money left!

As far as garages go, the Circle Center parking garages have good pricing. You can park for couple hours for $2.50. Plus if you park in the mall, you can get to several places inside using the skywalk. Keep this in mind during the winter because even when the mall closes, you can still walk through it if you have parked in the garages. We have walked through the mall at like 12 a.m.

I would recommend if you are trying to park downtown, you can take advantage of great pricing at a meter or at the mall. If you go to some of the surrounding lots for events, you are looking at paying anywhere from $10-$20. This might be worth it if you plan on being somewhere for hours and hours, but it is pricey. Because keep in mind, you don’t have to pay for metered spots after 9 p.m.

Also, if you don’t mind walking, there are certain areas on the outer areas of downtown or in Fletcher Place where you don’t have to pay to park.

It might take  little patience and using your map on your phone to get where you are going, but I promise. It is not as intimidating as you think.

My Love for the City

When I say I live downtown, I get a mix of reactions. Some people think it’s so cool. Parents tell me they wished they lived downtown, but they have kids, so it isn’t an option. Other people snarl.

Let’s rewind about 25 years. I’m four or five years old. Out of our second story window in the front of our home I get a small glimpse of the Chase tower, which then, was the Bank One tower. I think.

Also that year, or around that year, was the first memory I have of watching the fireworks for the First of July. My mom had taken me at what was then a McDonald’s on Michigan or New York Street right before you pass I-65 into downtown.

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That was the year I ate a glowstick. I remember looking up and seeing particles of the glowstick all around me in the backseat of her red Dodge Lancer. It was on the red felt ceiling, door panels, seats, etc. There were many other downtown Fourth of July trips that didn’t include me eating things I shouldn’t have. We would always sit on the hood of the car, eating our soft serve ice cream cups from McDonald’s. We’d also pass through downtown the many times we went to the Tibb’s Drive In.

When I was in the third grade, Circle Center Mall opened. It was the newest thing downtown and we took a school field trip to tour the new mall. Shortly after, I went to my first concert in the third grade too. For my ninth birthday I went to see Celine Dion at the old Market Square Arena. It was the year Titanic came out, so you can only imagine how epic that was.

On an off growing up I’d always loved the city. I grew up just a few miles away on the east side at 10th and Emerson.

My love for downtown Indianapolis grew when I went to college at IUPUI. For those that don’t know the lingo, IUPUI stands for Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Basically, my degree says Indiana University but I didn’t pay as much as I would have if I would have gone to school in Bloomington.

I spent five years at IUPUI and love every single minute of it. Even the traffic going into it. It felt like home and I really enjoyed walking everywhere. I would intentionally spend hours I didn’t have to on campus just because I loved it. I loved being around the people and I just loved being in the city.

When I started dating my husband, he lived in Greenfield. Greenfield is about 30-45 minutes away from downtown Indianapolis on I-70. I moved in with him after we had been dating for about eight years. Greenfield is a lovely place. The people are nice and everything you need is there.

But it wasn’t me. It was a great place, but it wasn’t “home.”

However, never in a million years did I think my husband, then boyfriend, would go for living downtown. He wasn’t a big people person. We really hadn’t gone downtown together all that much.

After we traveled to New York City for the second time in 2012, things changed. I had always had a love for the city but hadn’t talked about it much with him. Shortly after those trips, he brought it up to move downtown. I was ecstatic. And with two incomes, it was doable.

The year we decided to move downtown, we really weighed our options. We looked at every option available and settled on The Block. It was connected to everything and is rich with history. It’s also just down the street from Monument Circle, which have some of the most gorgeous views of the entire city.


We’ve been here for over four years and downtown is home. It doesn’t even “feel” like home because it is home. I can’t explain the rush I get when driving into the city and seeing the beautiful styling with the Chase Tower and One America building.

In fact, when we got married, our goal was to find a place downtown and stumble home. We ended up choosing the Skyline Club in the One America Building because their pricing was incredible. I never thought I could get married in a place like that. We didn’t even need to decorate because the views were breathtaking on the 36th floor. And when the night concluded, we stumbled home with some of our closest friends and family.

I love living downtown because I can walk anywhere. On weeknights and weekends, I park the car and don’t use it again really unless I’m going to the grocery. This year we purchased passes to the Pacers Bikeshare which has enabled us to quickly get to the further ends of Mass Ave or Fountain Square. Also, I love the noise. It is not super loud here, but I love the sounds of the city. It makes me feel safe. I know, it’s weird.

Also, I love being around people. I had never lived in an apartment and love being in a place with people around me. We originally chose an apartment just because we wanted to make sure it was the right decision before we bought. Here we are, still renting four years later. It is backwards a bit but oh well. And for an apartment, sound isn’t an issue in this place, so I’ve never had to experience that. It also feels safe. We live off the ground, so going from a home where you had to worry about break-ins to living up high, it feels good knowing people can’t easily get into your home.

There is so much to explore around here. Downtown Indianapolis is super walkable. There are so many different districts and things to explore. I absolutely love it. You can often find yourself if certain areas in downtown that don’t feel like you’re in the heart of the city, which is super cool. I also enjoy seeing so many different people of different races and cultures. I’m inspired to learn a lot.


Living downtown has taught me a lot. I feel like growing up the right thing to do was find a husband, get married and have a family somewhere in the ‘burbs. I’m almost 30 and my husband is 34. Yes, I do want kids, but didn’t want to rush into it. We love city life. It is SO MUCH FUN to just walk to a restaurant, have a few drinks each and walk home. There is ALWAYS something to do and see. I absolutely love sitting on my couch and starring out my front (and only) set of windows at the Chase Tower. I love the history of the building I live in, and the buildings around me.

Downtown Indianapolis is home. The Eastside of Indianapolis and Irvington will also always be home to me, but this feels right. And when we do decide to have kids, I hope we stay. A lot of people give me funny looks when I tell them we live downtown. I get asked “what are you going to do when you have kids?” quite a bit.

A child!? IN THE CITY!?

Believe it or not, I see tons of parents here. There are quite a few in my building and a bunch all over downtown.

My husband and I just go with the flow. This might be strange for me because I plan a lot…. except for this. When we have kids, we’ll figure it out. That’s how we are. We just figure it out. Maybe when we have kids, downtown just won’t be right. But I’m not ruling it out. There are a ton of great schools around here, even if we have to drive a little bit. I’m not going to just throw in the towel and move to the ‘burbs because “it’s just what you do.”

What I love matters to me. I don’t settle for less. I just don’t and neither should you.


I recently made a difficult decision to change jobs just because the job wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to settle for an “okay” job. I had to move on to something that aligned with my career goals. Also, to be frank, I wanted to work downtown.

So, flash forward from that four year old looking at the downtown Indianapolis skyline to today. I’m 29. I live in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. I work just a few miles away. Things are good. I absolutely love it here and wouldn’t have it any other way. I encourage you to do the same. Even if you have kids, if you want to live downtown, there are places with yards. I’m still learning about schools but you have options. You don’t have to throw in the towel. Live a little. I am.



Indiana Pacers Bikeshare: Quick Way to Get Around Downtown

Indiana Pacers Bikeshare

One of the biggest complaints I hear about any downtown is trying to find parking and getting around.

Since we live here and can park here, that is not an issue for us.

However, in the past three years we have lived here, depending on the weather, we can’t always walk far. Or sometimes it gets a little exhausting walking across town for a restaurant or whatnot.

We prefer to walk around and once we are home though and walk wherever we need to go.

Except now, we’ve made a change and recently got a membership to the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare.

De-Bunking the “Cons”

“But Tracey, why don’t you just buy a bike?”

Well, buying a bike would mean I would have to store one. And I have no where to put it.

“But Tracey, isn’t it annoying that you have to check it in every 30 minutes?”

Not really, actually. I was afraid of that too. When we tried it for the first time, we really enjoyed it to get us somewhere fast. So we aren’t necessarily in it to ride. It is really a means of getting from point A to point B. And there are so many docks all over the city, it really isn’t an issue at all. Plus, there is an app on your phone you can get so if you’re running close on your time, you can quickly find a station to go to all along the city’s Cultural Trail and beyond.

Indianapolis Canal

The downtown Indy canal is a great way to spend an afternoon on bikes!

The Basics

The Indiana Pacers Bikeshare was pretty simple to use. You can pay $8 for a 24 hour period or $80 for an annual membership.

Every half hour you have to check your bike in. You don’t have to re-dock it, but just stop by a kiosk and hit a few buttons. If you go over your 30 minutes without checking in (up to one hour), it’s an extra $2. Then it is $4 for each additional 30 minutes after that.

So, end of the day, just check the bike in. You’ll be by a station anyway, it really wasn’t a hassle.

It’s easy to get the bikes out and dock them back in.

You can check out bikes from 5 a.m. to 3 .m. (so if you’re looking to get yourself home on a bike after the bars close, don’t bank on the bikeshare in this instance).

Just by all means make sure you dock the bike. It’s all on your credit card, so if you leave the bike somewhere for hours, you are paying for it. We once saw a bike chained to a pole for DAYS once. That is not a fun credit card bill to get. So just make sure you get it back safe and sound.

More Info & Final Thoughts

All in all, this is a good option for us, but not for everyone. If you are into long term bike riding–stick to your own bike. But if you are looking for a fun way to quickly get across the city, then the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare is something to consider. Yeah, it costs money. So if you are into spending it, great. And if not, then don’t.

It never even crossed my mind until we tried it on a whim a little while back. We hadn’t gone to Fountain Square and wanted to check something out, and got there so fast. Then later that day we also went to the far end of Mass Ave, which we also normally never do.

So thanks to some generous birthday money I received, we decided this would be a great use for it.

For more info on the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, check out their website.


Ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges (to the blog)

Change is a good thing. Difficult at times, yes. But without change, there is no growth.

After some thought, I’ve decided to change the direction of this blog.

I’ve really enjoyed using my blog as a platform for my weight loss journey and beauty tips, but I wanted a new direction. Especially one I can blog about fast because my free time is limited these days, but no matter how busy I get, I want to keep my blog.

Hence, I’m switching the focus to concentrate on a topic I know quite a bit about: Downtown Indianapolis.

I’ve been a resident for three years and before I lived here I spent a lot of time here. The city gets a bad rep. In many ways, I understand how much of a hassle it can be if you don’t live here. But I hate that sometime it gets judged on ridiculous untrue things. Plus, there is so much to do and see here. Our downtown is incredibly walkable and we have a ton of good restaurants.

So all of this being said, I hope you’ll join my journey of change. This transition will be a soft one, and all content will still be saved in the archives.

I look forward to sharing an insider’s look of city living with you whether you are considering a move here yourself or are just looking for something fun to do this weekend.

Also, if you have any questions about downtown, don’t hesitate to reach out! Email me at