The project included the construction of a bike/pedestrian bridge over Williams Creek and was funded partially by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant. Combined with INDOT’s U.S. 31 project, which provides full path connection across U.S. 31 at the new roundabout interchange, it will now be possible to travel from the east border of Carmel at White River (106th and Hazel Dell) across the city and into Boone County, connecting with downtown Zionsville.
“We have heard from many residents in the West Clay area and from our friends in Zionsville who have wanted the ability to ride their bikes across U.S. 31 to gain access to the Monon Trail and our City Center and Arts & Design District,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “The completion of this path project makes that possible and will hopefully spur other communities to think big when it comes to connecting bike trails across the Central Indiana region and beyond.”
Making new connections and improving existing ones is part of Carmel’s overall plan to improve its reputation as a bicycle-friend community. The city is currently recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly City with more than 180 miles of multi-use paths and trails along streets, corridors and greenways and hopes to build upon that in the future.
This year, the City began providing portable, pop-up bike racks at major events, along with free bagged chairs for use at outdoor concerts for those who traveled to these events by bike. The city also continues its efforts to expand local bike-sharing by encouraging businesses to add Zagster bike-sharing locations to improve connectivity for employees and customers who seek alternative modes of transportation.
“More than simply a way to increase recreational activity for residents, the City of Carmel views our reputation as a bike-friendly community as a vital tool in the larger economic development efforts designed to attract a high quality workforce,” said Mayor Brainard. “Unlike generations past, today’s workforce consists of both young and old who carefully choose where they want to live, work, play and raise a family before they actually accept employment. The more choices we can give them in regards to transportation, housing and employment, the more competitive we are for jobs and a good workforce.”