City announces 30+ miles of new bike lanes 

The mayor's office announced Monday details for the highly anticipated construction of bike lanes throughout Indianapolis. Crews will start work on eight bike lane projects in May, which will more than double the number of bike lane miles in the city.

Mayor Greg Ballard's RebuildIndy has primarily tackled renovations to the city's infrastructure, but January brought the incorporation of the Green Checklist, which required staff and contractors to evaluate each project for possible sustainable elements. These can include rain gardens, sidewalks, green spaces or, in this case, bike lanes.

Bike culture was in a sorry state in 2008, when the city had less than a mile of lanes designated for green-minded cyclists. Later that year, 2.41 miles of lanes were constructed. In 2009, 20.36 miles were added, with another 7.86 miles added in 2010. This year's projects, the most aggressive yet, will add 32.52 miles.

Among the bike lane projects scheduled for 2011:

-Lafayette Rd. from White River Pkwy. West to 71st St.
-Shelby St. from the Cultural Trail to Madison Ave., and Madison Ave. south to County Line Rd.
-Illinois St. from 16th St. to Westfield Blvd.
-Capitol Ave. from New York St. to Westfield Blvd.
-46th St. from College Ave. to Keystone Ave.
-46th St. from Keystone Ave. to Emerson Ave.
-W. 10th St. from I-465 to Lynhurst Dr.
-52nd St. from Meridian St. to College Ave.

In a press release Monday:

“At the end of the 2011 construction season, bike lanes will run from county line to county line with more than 63 miles of bike lanes installed since I became Mayor in 2008,” said Mayor Ballard. “We have made great strides in our efforts to become a more bike-able city, and the construction of additional bike lanes in 2011 will provide a tremendous resource for those who bike Indianapolis and is another step toward a better quality of life for our residents.”

For more on Indy's bike scene, see our coverage in next week's issue of NUVO.

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