Indy leaders invest $25M in trails, greenways to improve public safety

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Making the city of Indianapolis a safer place to live for its residents: That’s the goal of city officials as they announced a new trails and greenways initiative.

On Wednesday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to detail plans for Circle City Forward Phase Three, a $25 million investment in the construction and design of nine different trail and greenway projects.

“They will all connect to each other and they will all connect to the heart of our city and downtown by connecting to the cultural trail,” Indianapolis Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley said.

It’s a total of nine projects.

“It was clear to many of us that we should take this opportunity to frame the future of trails, greenways, and multi-mobile traffic lanes throughout the city of Indianapolis,” Hogsett said.

“We see this as a catalytic opportunity to connect really a 45-mile loop leading all the way from Westfield to Noblesville down through our districts to downtown,” Councillor Jason Larrison, a Democrat, added.

Councillor La Keisha Jackson, a Democrat, says the project will also provide equity and new opportunities for residents on the east side.

“Many times, residents on the far east side feel disconnected from their downtown residents and their neighbors and this provides that opportunity for connectivity and equity as well for inclusion,” Jackson said.

She says it also makes the city more competitive for economic development.

“When companies think about relocating or expanding, one of the things that’s on the top of their list for their families are what do the parks look like, what do the trailways and bike lanes look like,” Jackson said.

According to city officials, several projects will only have design costs funded through this initiative, but Public Works plans to leverage this funding to make trail projects more attractive to receive grant funding at the state and federal level.

Here’s a full list of trails receiving either design and/or construction funding:

  • Pleasant Run Trail extension – Design and construction
  • Pleasant Run Trail rehab – Design and construction
  • Pogue’s Run Trail – Design and construction
  • Pogue’s Run Trail/Monon Trail connector – Design
  • Nickel Plate Trail – Design
  • Eagle Creek Trail Phase 2 – Design
  • West 30th Street – Design
  • Grassy Creek Trail – Design
  • Interurban Trail – Design
  • 21st Street Trail via road diet – Design

Public Works Director Dan Parker says the project will help address some safety concerns.

“It was one of the original trails that were built and a lot of the things that we’re going to focus on with the Pleasant Run rebuild is the safety concerns with some of the crossings that there are with some of the intersections,” Parker said.

On Monday, there will be a City-County Council vote on the 2022 parks budget to fund the program.


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