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News / 2012 / February / Office of Sustainability Update
February 1, 2012
Office of Sustainability Update
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2011 was a busy year for the City of Indianapolis' Bikeways program.We saw more than 30 miles of on street bike facilities striped, another successful Mayor's Bike Ride, Bike to Work Day and other positive bike-related news coming from the city. While the total number of bike lanes is increasing, it is important to also understand that they are not being striped arbitrarily, but are crucial links in the overall bikeaways network. This year we connected the southside with the Shelby/Madison project, the northwest side with the Lafayette Rd. project and gave commuters west of Meridian a north/south connector with the Illinois/Capitol project. Not only do these connect with the existing on-street facilities, but they also focus on connecting trails like the Pleasant Run Greenway, the Monon and the newest edition, The Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Mayor Ballard has made it a priority to provide people with transportation options outside of the automobile to get to work, school and anywhere else they need to go; so committed that he is already looking forward with the creation of the 2012-2015 Connectivity Plan. The plan is genuinely committed to creating a network that allows someone to get where they need to go on two wheels.

While 2011 saw an unprecedented amount of infrastructure installed, 2012 will be focused on creating a sustainable model for maintaining our current program, both on the infrastructure side and the programmatic one as well. Issues that we have received feedback on and will make priorities of this year include:

  • Education, outreach and encouragement-We will lead an ambitious campaign to reach as many residents as possible to make sure any remaining confusion about the current system is addressed. We will be partnering with organizations like INDYCOG to spread the word to both cyclists and drivers about the rules of the road. We will also be partnering in encouragement efforts through events like Bike to Work Day, the Indy and Mass Ave Crits and the Mayor's Bike Ride to get more people on bikes. While we have our traditional avenues to get out safety and education materials, we are always open to partnerships and ideas to better reach Indianapolis residents.
  • Developing standards unique to Indy- While all the facilities that have been installed, we have found that just as Indianapolis is unique as a city, we cannot use every approach that has worked in other cities and duplicate it here. Through feedback on projects like Broad Ripple Avenue and Illinois St., issues have come to our attention. In the spring we will make changes that will hopefully fit the needs of both bikers and drivers (See INDYCOG bike lane analysis). While we have learned a great deal from peer cities like Minneapolis, Louisville and Columbus, OH, we know that we have unique situations that can only be addressed with applications that are equally unique.
  • Programming- Now that we have more than one person dedicated to bike-related issues, we will have more time to address the above topics, as well as things like increased street sweeping on roads with bike facilities, attending more meetings and events to spread the word about our ever-growing bikeways program, oh, and to let Andy regain some much-needed sanity. This does not mean that there will not be any infrastructure projects, there will be. We are just going to make sure that our bikeways program covers all the bases and does not leave any area lacking in attention. With that said, we rely on partnerships with organizations like INDYCOG, CIBA and others to get the word out throughout their members/followers.

Stay tuned and safe pedaling.