A recent IndyStar article about a group of concerned citizens taking on a traffic study where the Monon Trail intersects 86th St., got me thinking about the disparities that riders experience when crossing the county line. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/transportation/2022/07/15/cyclist-death-indinapolis-monon-intersection-traffic-study-crashes-indiana/10017676002/
Riders in Hamilton County are offered beautifully designed tunnels and bridges where the Monon Trail intersects with busy roads. From the north beginning at SR 32, there is a well-designed bridge that allows riders safe passage over the busy state road. As riders head south, there is another bridge over 146th St., and then they are tunneled under US 31, 126th and 116th Streets. Southbound trail riders are again tunneled under I-465 as they enter Marion County and the City of Indianapolis.
The next 4-lane road that the trail user will encounter is the infamous crossing at 86th St. in Nora. At this location, 86th St. is a heavily travelled, divided 4-lane street, with numerous businesses on either side. Anyone who has experienced this crossing on a bicycle, or on foot, knows of the dangers. There are fast moving cars on 86th St., who are not expecting a large pedestrian crossing, and there are cars turning in and out of shopping centers on both sides of 86th St. Those drivers are often looking the other direction for cars, never looking to see if there might be a pedestrian trying to cross the street. I, myself, have seen numerous close calls at this crossing.
A similarly dangerous intersection that was recently enhanced with a beautiful pedestrian bridge was where the Monon Trail crosses 38th St. I am very familiar with this project, as it was just a mile or so from Goodin Abernathy LLP. The bridge allows trail users to safely pass over 38th St. without the risk of getting hit by a car. With the price of gas at all-time highs, and more people using the trails to commute to work, it is time to invest some of the Federal Government’s infrastructure money in to alternate forms of transportation. If the City of Indianapolis is going to encourage people to use the Monon, they need to make it safe for its users. Indianapolis is a world class city, and the Monon is a Hall of Fame trail. In honor of Indy cycling advocate, Frank Radaker, let’s make it safe.
As an avid cyclist and frequent bike commuter from his home in Carmel to our office at 301 E. 38th Street, Chip Clark has experience representing cyclists who have been injured by the negligence of others. If you or someone you know has been injured while cycling, call Chip for a free, no obligation, consultation.