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A city upon a hill

Noblesville is a city designed with heart...and not much else

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A city upon a hill

The Three Musketeers of Urban Planning

The Three Musketeers of Urban Planning

The Three Musketeers of Urban Planning

The Three Musketeers of Urban Planning

Jack Wanninger, Staff Writer

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The City of Noblesville, like a classic Renaissance painting, is a fine piece of art. The roundabouts, the city square, and the bridges crossing the White River into downtown (all three of them), are like the exquisite motions of a paintbrush against a wide, empty canvas.

Someone once said that a camel is just a horse designed by committee. I concur, and camels are cooler than horses. And the Noblesville city government, just like the committee that brought us our wonderful humped friend, brought us the delightful urban sprawl that we’ve come to know as our hometown. And it’s fantastic.

Have you ever been at the stoplight at State Road 32 and Cumberland Road? Have you ever waited to turn left to get onto Cumberland, despite there being endless oncoming traffic and no left turn light? Have you ever been numbingly frustrated as only one car is able to squeeze through at the yellow light and turn left every five minutes, while a massive backlog of traffic builds up, further delaying the busy people of Noblesville from arriving at their destinations?

Turn left…if you dare

You see frustration. I see opportunity. Those twenty minutes waiting to turn left are a chance for you to relax and unwind. Maybe you have some homework to do. Maybe you have some tweets to check. All of these are optimal and non-distracting activities for a youthful motorist such as yourself. Maybe you can think about getting to school, getting your diploma, going to college, marrying the love of your life, having three beautiful children and adopting a handsome golden retriever?

Alternatively, you can go through the CVS parking lot and bypass the light altogether, which is totally not illegal. The genius of good city planning is giving you options. Like I said, you see frustration, and I see opportunity.

Almost two years ago, Noblesville inaugurated the exquisite new Federal Hill Commons, sandwiched between two of the busiest roads in Noblesville. I don’t know about you, but when I am going to a park on a cozy autumn afternoon, I enjoy the constant buzz of passing traffic on both sides. It definitely doesn’t distract from all the intimate moments that I could experience in the newly christened Commons, that is, if I could actually get in there.

Considering it is nicely built between those two busy roads, the only way to access the park is via said busy roads. So, unless you’re willing to squeeze through oncoming traffic just to park in the park, you’d best just wait with your turn signal blinking and contemplate your life. Naturally, these are all good things. After all, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey. And if you aren’t spending your precious youth in a turn lane, are you really living?

The wonder of good city planning isn’t just how the roads are drawn. The real heart of our city is the buildings around which our streets are haphazardly wrapped. A major motif of our edifices is that many follow the rule of three: so many of our buildings come in perfectly matching trios. For instance, Noblesville High School is neatly neighbored by both a cemetery and the county jail. That’s the Three Musketeers of urban planning if I’ve ever heard of it. Then, we have three Subway restaurants west of the White River, so you can Eat Fresh™ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, we have three CVS stores on State Road 32 throughout Noblesville, so you can go get… whatever you get at CVS. The only thing we’re missing is a third courthouse.

I think you get the point. People needlessly drag on the design of our town for reasons that are misguided. In reality, our town is designed with purpose. Every minute you waste complaining about the state of our city planning is a minute you could spend appreciating it’s beauty and history. Nothing is perfect. The creations of man should strive for perfection, but there is nothing wrong with accepting imperfections, especially if those imperfections cause us uncountable trouble and are easily fixable with the right people in charge.

Please join us next time where we finally figure out what’s going on with Conner Prairie. Are they a cult? Why are they so friendly? What are they hiding? Are they reenactors, or are they actually 19th-century people who were cryogenically frozen for over a hundred years, thawed out and placed there by some sort of shady and mysterious figure?

The City of Noblesville, like a classic Renaissance painting, is a fine piece of art. The roundabouts, the city square, and the bridges crossing the White River into downtown (all three of them), are like the exquisite motions of a paintbrush against a wide, empty canvas.

Someone once said that a camel is just a horse designed by committee. I concur, and camels are cooler than horses. And the Noblesville city government, just like the committee that brought us our wonderful humped friend, brought us the delightful urban sprawl that we’ve come to know as our hometown. And it’s fantastic.

Have you ever been at the stoplight at State Road 32 and Cumberland Road? Have you ever waited to turn left to get onto Cumberland, despite there being endless oncoming traffic and no left turn light? Have you ever been numbingly frustrated as only one car is able to squeeze through at the yellow light and turn left every five minutes, while a massive backlog of traffic builds up, further delaying the busy people of Noblesville from arriving at their destinations?

You see frustration. I see opportunity. Those twenty minutes waiting to turn left are a chance for you to relax and unwind. Maybe you have some homework to do. Maybe you have some tweets to check. All of these are optimal and non-distracting activities for a youthful motorist such as yourself. Maybe you can think about getting to school, getting your diploma, going to college, marrying the love of your life, having three beautiful children and adopting a handsome golden retriever?

Alternatively, you can go through the CVS parking lot and bypass the light altogether, which is totally not illegal. The genius of good city planning is giving you options. Like I said, you see frustration, and I see opportunity.

Almost two years ago, Noblesville inaugurated the exquisite new Federal Hill Commons, sandwiched between two of the busiest roads in Noblesville. I don’t know about you, but when I am going to a park on a cozy autumn afternoon, I enjoy the constant buzz of passing traffic on both sides. It definitely doesn’t distract from all the intimate moments that I could experience in the newly christened Commons, that is, if I could actually get in there.

Considering it is nicely built between those two busy roads, the only way to access the park is via said busy roads. So, unless you’re willing to squeeze through oncoming traffic just to park in the park, you’d best just wait with your turn signal blinking and contemplate your life. Naturally, these are all good things. After all, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey. And if you aren’t spending your precious youth in a turn lane, are you really living?

The wonder of good city planning isn’t just how the roads are drawn. The real heart of our city is the buildings around which our streets are haphazardly wrapped. A major motif of our edifices is that many follow the rule of three: so many of our buildings come in perfectly matching trios. For instance, Noblesville High School is neatly neighbored by both a cemetery and the county jail. That’s the Three Musketeers of urban planning if I’ve ever heard of it. Then, we have three Subway restaurants west of the White River, so you can Eat Fresh™ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, we have three CVS stores on State Road 32 throughout Noblesville, so you can go get… whatever you get at CVS. The only thing we’re missing is a third courthouse.

I think you get the point. People needlessly drag on the design of our town for reasons that are misguided. In reality, our town is designed with purpose. Every minute you waste complaining about the state of our city planning is a minute you could spend appreciating it’s beauty and history. Nothing is perfect. The creations of man should strive for perfection, but there is nothing wrong with accepting imperfections, especially if those imperfections cause us uncountable trouble and are easily fixable with the right people in charge.

Please join us next time where we finally figure out what’s going on with Conner Prairie. Are they a cult? Why are they so friendly? What are they hiding? Are they reenactors, or are they actually 19th-century people who were cryogenically frozen for over a hundred years, thawed out and placed there by some sort of shady and mysterious figure?

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A city upon a hill