Jamison Hutchins, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator explains, “Indy has made huge strides in becoming more bicycle friendly in the last five years.”
We’ve seen more than 80 miles of new bike lanes and new trails including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail which continues to receive international attention, and Pacers Bikeshare is incredibly popular. What’s next for Indy when it comes to bicycles?
Indy is part of the Green Lane Project 2.0, which is a national collaboration between six U.S. cities to add protected bike lanes. They use planters, curbs, parked cars or posts to separate bike and auto traffic on busy streets. Protected bike lanes make riding a bike more pleasant and practical for many more people, including families with young children.
A protected bike lane in Indy is what we call the Shelby Street “cycle track”. If you visit Fountain Square, you’ve seen the bike lanes along Shelby Street that are separated by posts. Fountain Square was an ideal place for the City to install a protected bike lanes because we have two major trails, the Cultural Trail and the Pleasant Run Trail very close by so a protected bike lanes was the perfect way to connect those two popular trails. The cycle track has about 3,000 users each month, so it’s been a very popular addition to the City’s bikeways network.
The City is planning to add protected bike lanes on Michigan Street and New York Street east of Downtown. Currently, there are traditional bike lanes in place on both streets; in fact these were the first bike lanes the City installed as part of RebuildIndy.
Riding a bike for transportation is one of the most effective steps a person can take to improve air quality. Cars are a major contributor to air pollution so if we can get more people to ride a back to and from work or riding to run errands that can make a big difference toward improving Indy’s air quality.
With that said, the goal of adding more bike lanes and more trails is to make it safer and more convenient for people to use bikes. Bike lanes, trails and the IndyGo system all work together to provide people choices for getting around town without having to drive a car.