Connecting People to Parks: Grassy Creek Trail

One of the larger issues that suburban Indianapolis faces is lack of connectivity, especially for anyone not in a vehicle. One of the more interesting new efforts to change this is the recent addition of Grassy Creek Trail. It doesn’t look like much from the large scale view:

Image Source: MapIndy

A zoom in to the northern trail head shows something rather unique, at least for a suburban trail: there is only a one-car parking lot:

Image Credit: MapIndy

There are likely close to 500 people living in the subdivision and apartment complex to the north here. And the one thing that this style of development has in spades is a lot of on-street parking. So the new trail didn’t really need to include any.

The trail goes through a bird sanctuary, towards a park called Grassy Creek. The southern terminus is a typical regional park, but at least they included a crosswalk across 30th Street to the south, so the residents there can also safely connect to the trail:

Image Credit: MapIndy

Not every disconnected suburban megablock will be as fortunate as the Grassy Creek area is. The trail makes use of an abandoned rail ROW, and other city-owned land. And this one still could use some additional connections. An obvious miss is the north side of this cul-de-sac:

Image Credit: MapIndy

In fact, it doesn’t connect at all with this neighborhood to the north and west of it, except at the narrower sidewalk along 30th Street:

Image Credit: MapIndy

All of the parcels on the edges of this subdivision are privately held. Hopefully, someday there could be a small land acquisition within the subdivision to better connect this trail. That would help to make it more useful for a larger number of residents.

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