Bicyclists excited about Swarm Street opening on Indy’s Cultural Trail

Swarm Street, Virgina Avenue Garage, Indianapolis (in-construction 2012) / Motion sensors, L.E.D.s; 15’ x 480’ x 20’ / Acconci Studio (V.A., Nathan DeGraaf, Jono Podborsek, Eduardo Marques, Ezio Blasetti)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – 24-Hour News 8 was the first to report about a troubled spot on Indy’s Cultural Trail back in May. The Swarm Street project has been under construction for three years, but not for much longer.

The project has blocked the portion of the trail that runs through the Virginia Avenue parking garage since the trail opened last May.

Mayor Ballard’s communication director Marc Lotter said on Thursday that the Swarm Street project is complete and will officially open to the public on Friday, July 4.

It’s welcomed news to hundreds of bikers that saw the area as not only an eyesore, but as a big accident waiting to happen.

“Oh, no way. I thought there would be some resolution by now,” said urban biker Bob Neeb when he spoke to 24-Hour News 8 on May 1.

His concern was this passageway was unwelcoming and dangerous. Just a few weeks ago, he found out first-hand just how unwelcoming it is.

“A bloody nose, a couple scrapes,” said Neeb.

Neeb has pictures that show the trail blocked off because of the project’s construction which forced him into the street. It was dark at the end of the tunnel and Neeb says he hit a pot hole that he couldn’t see.

“It was a terrible fall for me,” said Neeb.

That’s now a hazard of the past and on Thursday, bikers rejoiced.

“Hurray! Off I go!” said Jenny Kieffaber as she set off for her first adventure down the trail.

Although the trail will officially open Friday and all of the signs will be removed, it’s perfectly fine to navigate now.

It’s welcomed news that the trail is open, well-lit and makes the final neighborhood connection.

“Yeah, that makes us happy. Makes it easier to get to Fountain Square,” said Matt Rust.

After a year of unmet deadlines, 24-Hour News 8 was told May 1 that Swarm Street would be open in three weeks, at least by spring.

“Well, there were some technical challenges. Obviously when you have about 2,000 LED lights in the ceiling and in the ground and with moisture there were some technical issues to work out,” said Lotter.

The city promises Friday is the day.

“I am very excited to take my first trip through here,” said Kieffabber.

Finally, Hoosiers can experience the 2,000 led lights which sense your every move, lighting up under your feet and above your head as if being swarmed by fireflies.

‘This is a unique feature that we think people will want to come down and see,” said Lotter.

“Sure! Absolutely! I’m going to ride up and down there a bunch!” said Neeb.

Lotter says there will be some last minute cleanups on Monday, but otherwise, it’s all ready to go. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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