Yesterday, the Indy Star dropped one of the more enticing nuggets that I’ve seen in a while. A 50 mile long connected loop of a trail between the Monon, Midland Trace Trail, and Nickel Plate would at the very least help to provide an alternative to the traffic-clogged northeast corridor.
I’d encourage this trail development, and I would hope that they will still maintain the rail right-of-way. However, it must be noted that the Nickel Plate’s path is quite suburban in makeup. It would make more sense for the Monon Trail to be rail than for the Nickel Plate, but with the future Red Line BRT planned nearby on College Avenue, that is not very likely. I’ve basically given up on rail transit for Indy, for now. It’s just too expensive, and we don’t have the density to support it. However, we can still chip away at solving those problems, and building a new trail seems like it could be a good start. Here’s a map that I drew of the potential loop:
I know there are some that would counter that it’s kind of obnoxious that the north side once again stands to benefit from an amenity. And I agree to that. Let’s do this elsewhere, Indianapolis. But still: let’s do it here, as the plans are already in place in the suburbs, and it’s simply easier to go along with an already jump-started process.