Bike News Roundup: Get ready to be jealous of bike infrastructure in … Indianapolis?

It’s time for the weekly Bike News Roundup! As always, this is an open thread.

First up, here’s video of a bike facility in Indianapolis that will make your jaw drop. Also, the effort was heavily supported by the city’s Republican mayor. Change is coming to the United States…

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: The Next-Gen in U.S. Protected Bike Lanes from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! And this is a long one. Here’s John Pucher’s entire two-hour talk from Tuesday evening, via Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:

National & Global News

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12 Responses to Bike News Roundup: Get ready to be jealous of bike infrastructure in … Indianapolis?

  1. A says:

    This story of indianapolis bike infrastructure being circulated this week keeps championing the Republican mayor of the city as though being Republican and the opinions of those who are is something to be championed, as though Our Lowly Opinion Is Finally Being Recognized By Those Who Count!

    Pathetic.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      That’s not at all how I see it. I think it’s great to see a Republican politician from the Midwest who has come to the same conclusion about cycling infrastructure. I’m not interested in making cycling a two-party politics issue. If both parties see the value, then that’s a great thing for cycling in the US.

      • Jon Brewer says:

        Indy resident here. Mayor Ballard is a huge cycling supporter, and attends just about every major cycling event in the city. I believe he waved the green flag at the IndyCrit event, and even leads our Polar Bear Pedal ride in the dead of winter.

        He actually listens to the cycling community and admits fault when needed. Just recently, a simple edge bike lane was converted to a buffered bike lane because of listening to bike commuters about being unsafe with traffic.

        I’ll be happy to field any questions about Indy’s bike infrastructure!

    • Gary says:

      I think his statement of having been a Marine in Iraq speaks to his stance on the future of our oil based economy more than his party affiliation. That and the recognition that he needs to build out his bicycling facilities to attract the employers and the employees his city needs to grow and sustain itself is very pragmatic.

  2. JAT says:

    Indianapolis – depending on philanthropy to create infrastructure – that’s a win in contemporary civic development, I guess. It’s cute but my jaw didn’t drop. I hope we can all agree that a two-way shared with pedestrians (in places), side by side senior citizens using walkers facility will not suit a lot of two-wheel users.

    To me it looks like a glorified sidewalk and transportation cyclists probably shouldn’t be on the sidewalk.

    • GaryBow says:

      The CT was not designed as a high volume “commuter” bikeway. This is a first of it’s kind bike trail in North America. It is an absolutely stunning piece of bike infrastructure. I moved to Indy 11 years ago. Indianapolis is an extremely progressive city and nothing like what I thought it was before moving here. Honestly, I can’t think of a more progressive city than Indy is now in the US. The city has very much impressed me.

    • Jon Brewer says:

      As Gary mentioned, it’s not designed to be a high-speed commuter route. This is primarily designed for people to move within the 1.5 mile square of “downtown” to shop, dine, and explore.

      For those, like me, who live a bit outside of downtown but commute in, it’s usually safer to stick to the streets when entering downtown as traffic doesn’t move much faster than a road bike anyways.

  3. Michael says:

    I lived in Indy from 2009-2011 before transplanting here to Seattle. What’s amazing about the Indy cultural trail is that they completed this project with an absolute lack of bicycle culture/community. The produced video paints a very rosy picture, but the truth in Indy is that separated bike trails are needed because drivers have a very aggressive attitude, bordering on resentment, toward bicyclists who try to bike on roads. This is an example of infrastructure preceding a strong demand for it…which is pretty great. Indy is still far from being a bicycling mecca but it’s impressive progress nonetheless.

    It’s strange to now be in Seattle, where there is a huge biking community and clear demand for more infrastructure, but progress is so slow and lacking. I like the idea of leveraging local investment from companies who have a clear vested interest in making the Seattle community more attractive to potential workers. Definitely a win-win.

    • Jon Brewer says:

      Michael, you are very much correct in that Indy had virtually no cycling support from the greater population until recently. However, just in the past couple of years, cycling has exploded all over town. Bike lanes are being utilized daily, I see more and more commuters joining me on my routes, and our LBS’s are seeing business boom (and service areas get very backlogged!).

      Definitely stop back sometime, and I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised! :)

  4. Gary says:

    “car free streets downtown” We couldn’t even keep one block car free in front of Westlake. And while the other place should be in front of the Pike Place market except for vendors to service their stores.

  5. Jon Korneliussen says:

    Also be jealous of Memphis. Mayor Wharton committed to building 15 miles of cycle track in the next two years.

    http://streetsblog.net/2013/05/23/memphis-to-add-15-miles-of-protected-bike-lanes/

  6. GaryBow says:

    Indy’s Mayor Ballard is getting way to much credit for this. Yes, he is somewhat of a “bike” guy . It wouldn’t be shocking to see him out riding. But, the CT was born and launched before anyone ever heard of Greg Ballard. He certainly supported and championed it as Mayor, but the driving forces behind the CT were not political or city government driven.

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