Indianapolis plans to upgrade trails

Indianapolis to spend $25 million to repair bike paths, walking trails

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis bicyclist Sean Murphy relies on the the Monon Trail to get to work every day, even in the snow.

“I’ve got studded tires and I ride,” Murphy said.

Murphy rides about 15 miles a day and knows the Monon Trail like the back of his hand. He took one of News 8’s cameras down the last section of the Monon from 38th Street to the trailhead at 10th Street. He knows where the cracks in the pavement are by heart.

The Department of Public Works and the Indianapolis Parks Department recognize the need to realign Indy’s transportation system to meet changing connectivity needs while improving safety and mobility. The Neighbor Ways programming, introduced last summer, was designed to link neighborhoods to neighborhoods. It is also meant to connect neighborhoods to schools, business and urban areas.

“I have been following the projects for years, watching them go through bids, trying to see when they are going to repair these trails. Got a lot of roots. Got a lot of inconsistent sections. Finally, they will be getting patched,” Murphy said.

When done, the city will have a bridge across 38th Street, expand the width of the trail a few feet and put down new asphalt. Eventually, the city will connect many of the trails to one another. Murphy moved to Indianapolis, in part, because of the bike trails.

“There are a lot of areas that need connections right now and that could be useful, if better lacking infrastructure that has been in need for over 10 years because the projects have been stalled,” Murphy said.

The city is planning on expanding the Central Canal Towpath, which Murphy says is well-maintained. He is part of a community of people who depend on the functionality and connectivity of these paths in the same way cars and buses depend on the roads.

“There are other factors there that Indianapolis has a warmer climate that makes it such a great area for bicyclist and bicycle commuting right now.”


“The Indianapolis Department of Public Works capital improvement plan for 2020 and beyond includes funds to improve and expand bike infrastructure in the city beginning in 2020. The plan follows initiatives laid out in the Indy Moves plan to create a transportation system that helps improve safety and mobility for everyone, with a focus on pedestrian and multi-modal transportation. Many of the projects below are projected to bid and begin construction in 2020 while others, including Neighbor way programming and projects from the Indy Neighborhood Infrastructure Partnership, are still in development.”

Indianapolis government

Connectivity projects expected to be bid or enter construction in 2020

  • Canal Towpath extension from 30th Street to Burdsal Parkway
  • Fall Creek Greenway resurface Keystone to 56th Street
  • Fall Creek Greenway connection at 38th Street
  • Fall Creek Greenway extension from 25th Street to Burdsal
  • Pennsy Trail from Shortridge Road to Post Road
  • Pennsy Trail from Post Road to German Church Road
  • Monon Widening and Resurface from 10th to 96th streets
  • Monon Bridge over 38th Street
  • Pleasant Run Greenways enhancements
  • Buffered bike lane on Allisonville Road from 46th to 56th streets
  • Johnson Road multi-use path connecting Skiles Test to 71st Street trail
  • 22nd Avenue 2-way cycle track from Capitol to AJ Brown Avenue
  • FC Greenway extension from Burdsal to 10th Street – delayed to 2021