Indianapolis trails now offering 24-hour access
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 21, 2015) – Joggers, cyclists and walkers now have 24-hour access to Indy Greenways. The change in trail hours went into effect Tuesday. The Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department made the decision to expand hours of usage last month.
“Extending trail hours will improve connectivity for those who commute via bicycle to and from work – especially for those who do not work 9-5 hours,” said John Williams, Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Director. “Greenway trails play a critical role in our city’s transit network, and increasing access to the trail system adds yet another transportation option for residents.”
Previously, people were allowed to use the trails from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. One man who often uses the trails to commute to work said the hour restrictions forced him to find alternate routes.
“I’ve been kicked off the Monon before at 9:09 and I hated every minute of it, said John Cook, who is a frequent trail user. “Sometimes we have events late, in the city, and you have to get home and it’s much easier to get up the Monon.”
Cook said he sees the hours as a big win for city residents.
“People will realize that we have this opportunity to use these trail,” Cook said. “I think it will bolster our ability to get people into the city, the workforce that we want to get into the city. ”
Biking groups like IndyCog petitioned the city for years to get 24-hour access. The group collected more than 1900 signatures of support for extended hours last fall, according to the IndyCog website.
But, there were some people who expressed concern about having more foot traffic on the trails very late at night or in the early morning hours, A request to extend trail hours for the Fourth of July in 2014 was denied after a man reported being robbed at gunpoint along the Monon Trail.
IMPD officer Kendale Adams said trail users are urged to be vigilant if they are out during the overnight hours. Adams recommends enabling the GPS on your smarthphone so you can track your location, bring a noisemaker to alert others if you run into trouble and wear reflective clothing.
So far this year, Indianapolis Metro Police say there are no reports of robberies along the Monon Trail between 16th Street and White River Trail.
No word on added police patrols due to the extended trail hours.