Downtown Indy construction sacrifices mobility for cyclists


Looking East on New York (click to enlarge)
Looking East on New York (click to enlarge)

I pledged this semester that I would not purchase a parking pass at IUPUI. I have thus far held up my end of the bargain. I’ve been using my wife’s bike which is a multi-speed Trek road bike variant of some sort which she graciously outfitted (recently) with a light on the front and back. Since my ride home takes place after dark, the lights help keep me safe.

In learning the rules of the road as a cyclists, I have also learned how frustration can easily boil to the surface, when a part of road is taken away from a cyclist. Also being as passionate as I am about pedestrian and cycling amenities in the transportation arena, I really zero in on the infringement of cyclists rights when they are taken.

Looking west on NY (click to enlarge, note truck parked in bike lane)
Looking west on NY (click to enlarge, note truck parked in bike lane)

It is that topic which lead me to create today’s second post. The two nights this week as I left IUPUI, I took New York across to Alabama so I could head north. There is some sort of construction taking place at the intersection of Meridian and New York. So what have crews done? They have put the construction signage you would normally see in place to keep drivers out of the construction zone. However in this case they have done so in a manner that really infringes on cyclist’s right of way. Let me tell you, after dark on NY, when IUPUI is letting out, any cyclists is smart to take any amount of space he/she can get. I was riding with 3 other guys on bikes Monday, and they diverted down Illinois the wrong way, against traffic, to get around this mess. I somehow navigated through, but it was still pretty messy. On top of that, the lanes are already screwy on New York through downtown. Put it all together and an accident is waiting to happen.

Ive attached photos of the mess for you to see. What bugs me more about this is that no concessions were given to cyclists. Fresh in my mind is a construction project in Portland this year where a bike lane was restriped where construction was taking place. Obviously, this was high on planner’s radars. Here, not so much. In that respect, we still have a lot to do for equal cyclist’s rights.

Comments 3

  • We actually just talked about this in this past week’s bike council. It’s something they’re putting in the city’s all-encompassing bike plan.

    Thanks for writing about this, Curt. I’m going to link it on INDYCOG when I get a free moment!

  • I try to avoid riding on the New York bike lanes regardless. Those things get criss-crossed by traffic at every other light. Not to mention the lane shifts are mostly ignored by cars that end up half-way in the bike lanes. There really needs to be a buffer between the moving cars and the bike lanes.

  • What I do is if the bike lane is blocked off, I pull my bike out in the the middle of the regular lane. We cyclists have every right to be on regular roads, and being out the the middle of the lane in a construction zone is probably safest, as cars won’t try to swing around you as you’re trying to hug orange barrels. They might get pissed, but I’d rather be yelled at than clipped.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *