The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, an urban bicycle and pedestrian path that connects five of the six culture districts in Indianapolis, recently announced that they are bringing a bike-share program to Indianapolis in the spring of 2014. I recently attended a community forum where the Executive Director of the trail, Karen Haley, spoke briefly about the project and answered questions.
The Cultural Trail has chosen to operate the system through B Cycle, a company based out of Wisconsin that is well known for their existing bike-share systems in Boulder, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas; to name a few.
Like most other programs, Indy expects for the system to expand after the first year of operation. Starting with 300 bikes and roughly 25 stations in the downtown core, they hope to branch out to neighborhoods and popular destinations outside of the immediate downtown area in the next few years.
Large maps were displayed to show enlarged areas of downtown where potential bike stations could go. These sites were measured by an engineer according to a minimum standard of right of way for bike stations. Residents were asked to circle areas where they think a bike station would best fit, and cross out areas where a bike station should not go.
Indianapolis doesn’t quite have the bike culture that Minneapolis, Minnesota or Portland, Oregon has (yet). However, the amount of people that ride their bike as a main form of transportation is surprisingly large. The popularity of the trails in the area, including the Monon and the Cultural Trail, lead me to believe that the implementation of a bike-share program will benefit Indianapolis greatly. It will allow residents to rediscover the city they love in a sustainable and fun way. Additionally, tourists will have the opportunity to ditch their rental cars and explore the city on a smaller scale; hopefully leading to new and exciting discoveries that they would not have otherwise encountered.
In what ways do you think bike-share programs can enhance cities?
Credits: Images by Laura Granieri. Data linked to sources.