Untold Indy’s Bike Map

Earlier this month, a new web magazine known as Untold Indy launched a bicycle map for Indianapolis.  This eye-catching map displayed the disparate routes around town that are known to have infrastructure that is geared toward cycling.

County Bike Map
Downtown Detail

I contacted Natalie Atwell and Racheal Thomas from Untold Indy to find out more information about the project.  Ms. Atwell responded back with answers, which are posted below.  I would like to thank them both for their time and work on this fascinating map.

How did the idea for this map come about?
When I was compiling ideas for bike month for Untold Indy, I knew that I wanted to create a useful map for people who bike downtown. Originally, I really wanted it to be a biker’s guide to downtown with more info on it such as bike parking and I wanted to mark the bike shops in addition to labeling bike lanes. I didn’t feel like this was a resource available in one nicely designed package. Unfortunately we ran short on time and so the extra info had to be cut. Hopefully we will be able to revise it in the future.

Rachael is our graphic designer and so I gave her the map as a project and she, being a bit of an anglophile, came up with the London Underground inspiration and ran with it. I loved the idea because I’m a minimalist at heart. She did a beautiful job with the time and resources available to her. She completed the map all on her own while finishing her last semester of college and interning at a downtown design firm.

Are there any other bicycle maps around that are built like a transit map?

Not to our knowledge.

Is this organization planning on adding updates in the future years as they come in?

We have realized that we were missing various bike lanes on the original map thanks to some helpful Untold Indy fans. We are currently revising those issues and should be able to republish the map within a couple weeks. We don’t currently have firm plans to update the map otherwise. Though, depending on popularity and demand we may eventually add the parking markers, etc to our downtown cutout to make it a true Biker’s Guide Map.

Will this map ever be printed or published in some way?

We have no current plans to print and distribute the map en masse at this time. We have, though, been in conversation with a couple downtown bike shops who are interested in printing wall-size versions for their shops. If a demand presents itself, we may print and sell poster-size versions of the map. The PDF is linked on our website and everyone is welcome to print a copy for their own use but we of course hold the copyright and do not allow others to copy or sell the maps without explicit permission, which we have not yet given to anyone.

Do you foresee public markers at some of the locations where the bike paths cross?

That would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? We believe all bikers deserve equal street signage as cars and would love to see signs like this. Some signs exist on the Greenways, but it would be great to see them elsewhere.

Comments 24

  • Keep an eye out for the forthcoming IndyCog bicycle map, to be published later this summer. This will include not only designated bike lanes/trails, but safe and efficient bike routes, bike shops, etc.

  • I ride in from 46th and Emerson everyday using the 46th St. bike lane, the fall creek trail and the monon trail. Seems strange that the NE side was basically ignored in this rendering.

    • I have contacted Untold Indy about the missing lanes, and sent them a link to the most current bikeways map from the city. They mentioned in the article that they will update the map soon.

  • While riding down the Capitol Ave. Bike Lane, I noticed a street sign that indicated a crossing with the Michigan Street Bike Lane. It is the only one I have noticed, but it was cool, though not pedestrian or cyclist in scale.

  • This looks beautiful.

    Quick edit to pass along: the Monon (last I knew) stretches all the way to 161st. I think it’s now up to 165th as of last summer, but I’ve not ridden to the north terminal recently to see how much farther it’s been extended.

  • It’s missing the fall creek trail entirely, isn’t it? And the spur between central and meridian? And, near future hint: they’re breaking ground to connect the fall creek trail where it intersects the monon, to connect the spur at Central, to be completed by the end of the year.

  • Rachael Thomas just sent me the updated version with all of the updated lanes that the previous version was missing, and I replaced the map with the most recent version. Excellent stuff.

  • /rant/ why on earth did they decide to use the narrow roads of Capitol and Illinois for the bike lanes running N/S from M/K BR, etc. Why did they not use Central and Blvd? The Illinois/Cap roads have been significantly used for cars for decades. I would like to know who is the person who made this brilliant decision? Those bike lanes are a mess, especially in the 38th and south to DTown portions. Do we just wait til we have a serious accident/death?

    On a “nicer” note, I am beginning to acclimate to the BRAVE bike lanes, although they make zero sense in the winter. I’ve been using them, and apparently many others have too. But can you fix Kessler now that traffic has doubled there?

    p.s., nice map.

    • I believe the plans provide for additional N/S pairs east of Meridian as well. The Cap and Ill lanes were funded partially with a private donation and thta is why they were placed prior to resurfacing. The markings are being reworked in certain areas and at leats Illinois is scheduled to be repaved this summer.

      • Thanks for that answer. At the school on 46th & Illinois there was a car that sideswiped 4-5 cars right as school was letting out for the day. Really dodged a bullet on that one. Not sure if the redidesign caused it or what.

        Also, watch the busses run right down the middle of both of those roads. Absolutely no way that those busses – or most larger trucks – fit into those lanes. so either eliminate the trucks and busses, or take the bike lanes out, no?

        Comments on that?

        • I’ve suggested removing parking in the right lane and combining the bike lane and “parking lane” into a wider bus/bike express lane. This would also allow for emergency vehicles to have room when traffic gets bad……….could be cool

          • Or they could move the street parking and curb out to the street and have the bike lane protected by the curb and parked cars. But I like your idea too.

          • That works. Makes you wonder how it all got approved in the first place. I mean is there a section of bike lanes Ballards boys have put down that HAVEN’T had to be redone?

            The people on this board could do a mic much better job…

            People in Indy will bike but they are not going to do it on unsafe bike lanes.

  • That’s more like it! Looks very good!

  • i guess there are no bikes on the westside. 🙂

    • They forgot to add the massive .81 mile bike lane on west 10th near Speedway……on a serious note, Main Street in Speedway has a great cycle track that is left out of here and I think little known to the community wide network.

      This map does show the extreme lack of infrastructure provided for westside riders…….my push to the city has yet to be realized.

      • Are you talking about out by 465 on 10th? I drove over there a week or two ago and saw some bike lanes out there by Eagle Creek. Unfortunately it isn’t connected all the way to downtown yet.
        Also, I ran on that bike track in Speedway for the Mini. Looked very nice and worked for me to avoid other runners for that part of the run.

        • You are correct. The entire stretch of 10th was to be marked with bike lanes form Speedway to Raceway/County Line when they repaved it, but the plan didn’t actually investigate existing road widths so they found out that the road wasn’t wide enough to support the bike lane plan. It was a crappy answer, but it’s what I got. I’ve been pushing for a 16th st connection form the Monon all the way to Speedway then connect into the bike track………

          I may have been riding in the bike track when you ran by….hope I didn’t get in your way.

          • I’ll take having to run around a bike in the bike track over all the idiots in corral A who decided to walk the Mini any day.

  • Great minimalist design for the county map and nice way to put car streets in the background on the downtown section. and a great logo too! Having worked on the Bicycle User Map in the 1980s, I’m glad to hear about the IndyCog update – long overdue. FYI: IUPUI Historic Indiana Maps collection has a 1899 bicycle and driving map of Indy. (Not minimalist!)
    would be interesting to compare and contrast bike-friendly streets in the 19th century w/ ones in the 21st century – tho it’s kinda hard to ride a hi-wheeler on all those streets w/ interurban/trolley tracks!

  • I heard that the city had plans to extend the White River Trail south of Washington to Raymond, but the contractor is balking.

  • I am currently learning routes for my convenience.

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