Money made from electric scooters to pay for new bike paths in Indy

Data pix.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The City of Indianapolis is hoping its latest initiative will encourage people to ditch their cars and pick up a bike.

The city is using money collected from the scooter companies in town to pay for new bike paths called “neighborways”.

Freewheelin’ Community Bikes is just one of many bike organizations excited about the new pathways.

"If you imagine a highway, it’s designed to move people through an area and a neighborway helps people move in," said Jamey McPherson, Director of Innovation at Freewheelin’ Community Bikes.

The project is funded with more than $448,000 in revenue collected through the Shared Mobility Ordinance passed by the Indianapolis City-County Council in 2018.

The ordinance requires Indy’s licensed shared electronic scooter companies to pay $1 per day per deployed scooter, which is deposited in a multimodal infrastructure fund for the Department of Public Works.

These pathways encourage people to ride their bikes and scooters more, but it’s also making it safer for them to be on the road.

Freewheelin’ Community Bikes thinks neighborways will give people a chance to get to know their neighbor too.

"It lets people know that this a space that’s designated for neighbors to move around. When we do that and make eye contact with each other in an area where we are prepared for it helps us see each other as humans instead of objects in the way," McPherson said.

There are two meetings on August 19, at Broadway UMC, 609 E. 29th St., and on August 21, at Southeast Community Service Center, 901 Shelby St., for the public to view the proposed plans and share input. Both are from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A portion of the funds will also be allocated to three local groups to teach safe riding and the skills to repair bikes – Freewheelin’ Bikes, Bike Indianapolis and Biker Boyz and Girlz Shop.

Click here to learn where the proposed "neighborways" will be located.

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