City plans more bike lane construction

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Mayor Greg Ballard on Friday outlined plans for an additional 75 miles of trails and bike lanes to be built throughout the city by 2015.

The plan announced at a press conference is part of Ballard’s citywide connectivity initiative that includes bikeways, greenways and trails. Ballard was joined by community leaders, residents and trail users at Eagle Creek Park for the official opening of the 71st Street Connector Trail.

Ballard said the planned construction will connect with existing infrastructure, neighborhoods, commercial centers and destinations citywide, expanding Indianapolis’ current greenways and bikeways network by nearly two-thirds—and reaching a total of 200 miles by 2015.

The project will be funded by $20 million in RebuildIndy money, part of the proceeds of the city's sale of its water and sewer utilities to Citizens Energy Group.

“The 71st Street Connector Trail is a crucial segment of our long-term plan for a network of greenways, bikeways and trails that will enhance the connectivity of our neighborhoods, our city and even our region,” Ballard said. “The next 75 miles of infrastructure are planned with the same level of strategic connectivity in mind.”

The 0.8-mile-long 71st Street Connector Trail joins up Eagle Creek Park and its extensive trail system with the trail network on nearby Intech Park’s 200-acre grounds.

The Connector, Ballard said, allows pedestrians and cyclists to safely enter Eagle Creek Park from 71st Street and provides access to the nearly completed 13 miles of new bike lanes along Lafayette Road and White River Parkway, linking New York Street downtown to the county line.

Federal stimulus grants provided 85 percent of the funding for the Connector Trail, with the city spending roughly one dollar for every six dollars of grant funding applied, city officials said.

The trail incorporates five boardwalks built above wetlands, and features benches constructed from Indiana limestone.



  • Waste of Money
    I drive all day in this city. When I come upon these bike lanes I just have to [lace myself in the position of the person on the bike. I ask my self why would I expose myself the this traffic hazard.
    Can't these people in charge of this city find other ways to spend their money.....for example timing of the lights to make driving more efficient.
  • Great
    As a long time Indy bicycle commuter, I am tired of the fact that the administration puts no thought whatsoever into the safety of these bike lanes. Most are extremely poorly designed and make biking more dangerous not less. You don't put a bike lane next to parked cars for example. Most serious bikers eschew the bike lanes in favor of following safety procedures in regular traffic lanes. The bike lanes for the most part are a tremendous waste of money. Why can't the Ballard administration talk to regular bike commuters when making decisions about how these bike lanes are to be designed. Groups like IndyCog do not represent real bike commuters.
  • great use of funds
    I will not use them most likely but i am all for them. Cheaper than the Light rail that i would use, but most importantly it will give riders a place to ride and not in the street. I have seen way too many close calls with motorists who are aggrivated and cyclists. The Cyclist most of the time does have the right of way, but do not seem to care that a 2ton truck will leave nothing but greasey spot on the road.
    Drivers give the cyclists a brake, lets all take our time and get there in one piece.
  • Bike Lanes
    Bike lanes work just fine. Try using them sometime. With any biking situation, you must pay attention to certain issues especially when car/bike conflicts are possible. This includes bike lanes, sharrows, side trails and even greenways. If you are uncomfortable riding in a bike lane....then don't. They are a great investment and I have had the pleasure of witnessing more people riding bikes because of them.
    • Separation of...
      Bike lanes and driving lanes
      May they NEVER meet
      And if our city officials could get this through their thick skulls.....
    • Way to try to buy an election
      Let me start by asserting that I am a bigger proponent of pedestrian and bike infrastructure than most. I fully encourage it and will always push for more of it. My problem here is what it politically represents.

      We are coming up on an election very soon and Ballard is spending tons of money out of his privatization slush fund to make himself look better to progressives. Don't forget that that money will run out and it is supposed to last for DECADES. I love the improvements and gladly accept them but my vote cannot be bought.

      I can't wait for a mayor who is more than mediocre. Our city deserves much better, our city deserves Melina Kennedy.

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    1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

    2. Shouldn't this be a museum

    3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

    4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

    5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.