King Park’s Cool Idea: Using The Monon Trail as a Public Street

In the latest release of the DMD’s Hearing Examiner’s report, an interesting rezoning case was listed on page 76. King Park Development wants this strip of land between 21st and 20th Street on the Monon Trail to be rezoned from I-3 (Industrial) to D-8 (traditional urban single family housing):

Given that this strip is actually not fronted by a public street, but is instead placed between an alley an the Monon Trail, any housing development here would have to be a little creative. The rezoning case provides such an option, where 16 houses would use the Monon Trail as the public street, and vehicle access would be provided down the alley:
This would automatically make this single block of Monon Trail be one of the safest blocks for riders and walkers, as these houses would have their potential front porches facing the popular trail. According to King Park CDC, it’s just an idea for now, but it’s a good one worth pursuing here.

Comments 27

  • Why not. Cultural trail has areas like this

  • Very intriguing.

  • I think this is a great idea! It reminds me a lot of Ouerbacker Court in Old Louisville.

  • Interesting idea. Maybe restrict the size of the homes. Have tiny homes on the Mormon.

  • This is very similar to a block long section of homes built along the B-Line Trail in Bloomington between Doods and Allen Streets – it works very well. Google Maps view:,-86.5361221,116m/data=!3m1!1e3

  • I like the idea.

  • Kudos to KPADC.

    Indy has other neighborhoods like this one. Washington Ct. is off the alley between Penn and Washington Blvd., between 32nd and 33rd Sts. And the Watermark townhome/condos between Senate, Canal, North, and Walnut/Cultural trail are similar.

  • — With all the empty lots around Indy, then I don’t know why they feel the need to cram a bunch of little homes into a spot that doesn’t even have a street. There are better suited places to build.

  • Lots of positive commentary from the choir. But will these (potential) homes actually sell…with an alley address? Will banks finance the construction/purchase? That’s the only real question…because there’s not enough hipster-bloggers with cash-on-hand willing to buy these houses. Great idea, but the viability will ultimately be determined by traditional lenders if KPADC (or their community-minded financing partners) don’t take the initial risk to prove the concept.

    • I’m 40, I’m now too old to be a hipster.

      Anyways, you are correct…it might be risky. It’s possible that they could rename the alley, so the address could be something like “2003 Monon Way” and the like.

      • Or perhaps they’ll petition DMD to allow “Monon Trail” as the addresses since that’s where the front doors face. Not an issue for emergency vehicles since fire trucks and ambulances are allowed to drive on the trail.

    • if you live in a townhome you basically have an alley address… most of what you see when you go home is a garage…

  • Very cool, but I don’t see how this is in any way groundbreaking… these homes still have access to private vehicles and a public “road” out front. I don’t get it.

  • Random, somewhat off topic, but I didn’t realize Google Streetview had imagery for the Monon and Fall Creek greenways. Neat!

  • Don’t see what makes it so safe with children’s toys scattered across the Monon.

    • I almost wrote above that high-speed bike commuters will probably not enjoy dodging tricycles and balls and dogs. It’s been a “bike interstate” through that section for a long, long time.

      • Of course, I mean safety as far as eyes on the street. Most of the Monon follows along garages, back alleys, abandoned industrial buildings, brownfields, etc.

      • It will be widened and just like anything the actual impact of the presence of more people is over stated. Sure there will be more people right there but it’s not going to resemble the front yard of a home daycare.

        I say this as someone who commutes by bike everyday on the Monon.

      • Of course it is high speed through there because there is nothing interesting to slow people down. Same as having an abandoned commercial corridor with an arterial running through. As soon as stuff starts going in and people are around, things slow down.

  • This is a pretty cool idea. And, as a former city letter carrier, as long as they install a NDCBU on 20th or 21st, I don’t think the Post Office will give a damn about what addresses the developers or city want to give these houses.

  • Thousands of people travel the Monon, tourists, suburbanites. If an attractive development is built right on the Monon it would make for an excellent advertisement for the neighborhood and hopefully serve as a catalyst for growth there. A Cottage Home style development would be very charming.

  • Those house will make the trail safer.

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