“We had to create a new kind of Place” 1:30
“No local tax dollars” 1:50
“We knew the City did not have the money, and that if we had to wait for the City to come up with the money – this project would never happen” 2:10
“We were able to raise money because we did not talk about this as an infrastructure project, we talked about it as a Quality of Life and Economic Development project” 2:20
In May (2013), the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a protected bike & pedestrian trail connecting some of Indy’s most popular cultural institutions, had it’s long-awaited public coming out with a ribbon cutting and celebration. It could be the biggest bicycling infrastructure achievement in North America and yet it’s still practically a secret. Hopefully after experiencing our Streetfilm, that will change.
As you’ll see it runs eight fantastic miles through the heart of the downtown and features beautiful stone work, green landscaping and bioswales for containing stormwater runoff. There is great signage and design with an eye for maximum safety. In many places along the trail, parking and/or a car travel lane was converted to fit the lanes in. But most importantly, the trail features ample room for both cyclists and pedestrians (most of the time in separate environments) to move about in a major city whether they are commuting, exercising, running errands or just going for a afternoon jaunt.
It’s fun and very safe and people of all ages using it. It’s the kind of thing Gil Penalosa’s 8-80 Cities organization preaches to the world.
Across the U.S. we have cities such as NYC, Chicago and San Francisco doing tremendous work installing many innovative miles of protected lanes with inexpensive materials. Although the Cultural Trail cost quite a bit, it’s nice to imagine that in the near future we’ll want to make these lanes more permanent and rideable. And for that we need not look to Europe, we can go check out Indianapolis.
Note: Please don’t miss our associated Streetfilm on Indy Mayor Greg Ballard AND a short looking more in-depth at the bioswales and storm water management system along the Cultural Trail.