INDIANAPOLIS — Two days after a winter storm left a few inches of snow across Indianapolis, many parts of the Monon Trail remained icy Friday morning.
Folks who exercise or commute on the trail dealt with snow and slush Wednesday, followed by a refreeze and more icy and slick conditions Thursday and Friday mornings.
“Just really bumpy and slippery,” said Josiah Keller. “Just walking on here it felt dangerous.”
Keller bikes about a mile on the Monon most weekends between his home and where he works near 52nd St.
”Today, I had to take residential streets up instead of the Monon because it was still in bad condition this morning,” Keller said.
Keller took his concerns to Twitter – posting these photos of a snow-covered and icy Monon Trail between 52nd St. and 54th St.
Others shared Keller’s concerns. Indy has seen two winter storms so far this season, this past Wednesday and in late December. Keller said he hasn’t seen the Monon treated yet.
”I haven’t seen treatment this winter,” Keller said.
Walter Botich has ran on the Monon every day this week but said he has kept his bike on the rack.
“There is no way that I was going to take a road bike on either of those trails because with skinny tires I was destined to probably topple over and crash,” Botich said.
Botich said he also hasn’t seen any crews out working on the trail.
The Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works said crews did not start treating the trails until Friday morning.
”DPW crews prioritize clear main thoroughfares during any winter event, ensuring access to emergency routers and parking lot,” said Imani Keith, a spokesperson for Indy DPW.
Keith said the crews who treat roads and trails are one and the same. During a winter event, like the one Wednesday, all crews are on main thoroughfares until the event ends.
”This past winter event it ended at 11 p.m. last night, crews then transitioned to clear secondary areas throughout the city, for example, trails,” Keith said.
Keith said crews started clearing trails at 7 a.m. Friday.
We saw a DPW crew salting the Monon at 52nd street just after 11 a.m.
There is more help coming for Indy trails. For the first time ever, the 2023 city budget included money for a trail maintenance team.
The team will include six team members and a supervisor. Overall, it’s getting $600,000, $200,000 will go to supplies.
”That will be a year-long program that, once implemented, will handle illegal dumping, trash, mowing, cutbacks and, when necessary, plowing and salting trails,” Keith said.
DPW is currently in the process of creating this team.
Once it does start, Keith said this does not necessarily mean trails will get treated faster after winter weather.
For those hoping for quicker cleanups, DPW has this message.
”We just have to have patience understanding that there are only so many crew members that can address the entire city of Indianapolis,” Keith said.