Regional Bikeways Plan Update

The Indy MPO has been working to create and update the regional bikeways plan for the Indianapolis area as part of the long range transportation plan through 2035. The proposal includes bike lanes, bike paths, greenways and other good times. It has been a large effort by limited staff to combine bike and pedestrian plans from surrounding jurisdictions as well as combining Indy’s various related plans through sustainindy, DPW and Indy parks. The current proposal is an effort to connect existing facilities with other planned bike facilities as well as to connect as much of the area as possible. The plan is, of course, constrained by funding. The phasing time periods are a result of anticipated funds to be made available through federal, state, local and other grants or funding mechanisms. This latest version is a result of scoring criteria changes encouraged by members of the committee. You can find the original release post here from Urban Indy.


Here is the most recent version of the plan: Regional Bikeways Plan Draft Nov 2011


MPO Regional Bikeways Plan for Marion County

With the attention focused on transit, it is important to remember that people need to be connected to transit options through pedestrian and bike facilities. While the plan is generally comprehensive, it appears to lack any serious connection for the entire East, West and Southwest sides of the city in the “near” future. From the overall plan and submitted information, Hamilton and Hendricks County are the second and third most active and prepared when it comes to bike planning, but again, where is the push for the West connection? As it stands, the forecasted funding for any connection west will not be until 2026-2035 at the earliest. That is 15-25 years away! It is not as if the B&O must be finished tomorrow, but a bike lane should come much sooner than that at the very least.






It is important to note that this plan, if adopted, only represents forecasted funding availability and priority corridors, but it seems all regions should have at least one priority corridor before others receive multiple offerings. Recently, Indianapolis combined there DPW plans with Indy Parks plans and released a “Connectivity Plan 2012-2015. This plan highlights $40 million in investment for bikeways including lanes and paths to total 75 miles in the time period. Investments like this are locally funded and are not accounted for on the MPO Regional Bikeways Plan. This, in effect, allows some of the MPO projects to move up in the phasing schedule and others to be completed without MPO money.








The Final version of the MPO Regional Bikeways Plan will have an online public comment period through 1/23/12 which can be found here: I encourage those interested to look into the plan and comment on any ideas or thoughts, good or bad.


Comments 17

  • Visited tons of cities in Europe and biking throughout Belgium, Amsterdam and Copenhagen blew my mind. It was freezing but the cyclists ruled the roads. Indy has a long way to go, if we want to go there. People, mainly just myself, gotta realize cars aren’t the end all be all. The end. Good post sir smokes

  • Does anyone know why the antiquated concept of BIKE ROUTES is being promoted in Marion County with the erection of new Bike Route signs? For example, two new Bike Route signs appeared recently at the intersection of Washington and Meridian. The City is not otherwise promoting these, as far as I can tell. Bike Routes are never mentioned in the many City bike press releases and events I remember Bike Route signs and maps from the 1970s, useless then and probably useless now. What city department or departments are promoting these? They are shown on this map; sorry for the very long link:

  • I can’t imagine there’s any rhyme or reason to the Bike Routes other than somebody must’ve gotten federal funding to install some signs. I defy anyone to actually follow one of those routes by observiing the signs. They are space so far apart I forget what one I saw last as I ride past the next one. But mainly I don’t pay them any mind at all. The streets they are on are no different from the streets that don’t have them.

  • If I remmeber correctly, the “Bike Route” signs were part of a plan conceived in the 70’s as a way of giving cyclists a way around the city on lesser frequented streets. Like you guys, I find no logic in it, nor any reason to maintain it. The recent focus on cycling is much more practical in it’s approach in that it serves to alert drivers that cyclists are using the roads and gives cyclists more visibility on corridors that have traditionally been auto oriented.
    Not saying that the old bike routes are bad, but I kinda like what the new focus is doing for the local cycling movement from a social perspective.

  • Maybe Indy is so far behind that we’re ahead of the curve:

    “Seattle Greenways Push Cycling to Side Streets”

    • I like how they are applying other concepts to manage environmental concerns along the bikeways

    • You might be right if Indy already had bike lanes on most non-freeway arterials. We were just in Seattle back in September and aside from I-5 and 99, there were pretty much no main roads that DIDN’T have bike lanes. Plus they have a ton of shared paths along many roads. When you get over the the eastside of Lake Washington, most of the roads there have 10′ shoulders specifically for biking on.
      I like that they are now taking the next step and making side streets to be dedicated bikeways. Really cool. It would be interesting to see the cost per commuter for a project like this vs widening an interstate or other auto-centric projects.

  • I can’t say I need a sign to tell me which is the less frequented streets. But it would have been nice for all those signs to have included the ‘share the road’ wording.

  • Without talking to whoever is currently promoting Bike Routes in City government, my feeling is that resources should not be wasted on them. There may be some big-picture logic behind the keeping them and spending $s and time on new signs and a map. IMO, the map above needs to be replaced as soon as possible with a modern, current bike map, like other cities have. I know that at least one group is working on this.

  • Really? A bike route sign at Meridian and Washington? That is where the Cultural Trail goes through. Are you sure it isn’t a sign for the Cultural Trail? I go by there all the time – I’ll have to take a look. I don’t remember seeing anything like that in all of the times I have gone by there recently – of course there has been plenty of construction going on.

  • These “bike routes” were developed many years ago (15?). My understanding is that they were routes that people rode and were signed as such so someone could but a safe ride together. Many of them are outdated, and I am 99.9% sure that new ones are not going up…at least I know the City is not putting them up. They were identified routes that someday might have bike lanes on them…but that is about it.

  • Jamison — there are two new signs on, I thnk, the SW and NE corners of Washington Meridian, for I think, route 54 or 55. They are for B Rs and not the C T. Someone, somewhere in City government is keeping this bad thing alive. (I know I saw the signs in the early 70s, so think 30+ years.)

  • I grew up just off Fall Creek Parkway and was born in 1964. I can recall Bike Route signs on FCP as long as I remember so let’s call it 70s.

    There are brand new Bike Route signs (Jan 2012) on 62nd Street East of Keystone Avenue where bike lanes were recently striped.

    The old signs were the “white” with black type, the ones I saw on 62nd Street have a school bus “yellow” background.

    I assume the old signs were intended that IF/WHEN someone chose to commute by bicycle, the Bike Route is the recommended route to take in order to avoid a concentration of automobiles, AND notify the automobile driver to expect bicycle traffic.

    Bicyclists are obviously smarter than the general public. Quite obvious by the choices we make:

    Environmentally Friendly
    Sustainable Transportation – The Original ‘Segway’


    Meaning that we not only care about our self, we also care about others and are “mindfully aware” that our personal consumption impacts others.

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