Indiana studying feasibility of statewide bike path

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) We’re a step closer to connecting Indiana’s bicycle paths. It is something the state’s Bicycle Trails Task Force started working on earlier this year.

Evan Ballard walks the Monon trail at least twice a week.

“I like it more than the sidewalk just because it’s a bit more peaceful, especially up across the river, and through the woods,” He said.

Indiana has more than 1,500 miles of bicycle path, but much of it isn’t connected.

That is why the Bicycle Trails Task force met Wednesday. It is their job to think of ways to connect the state’s paths and figure out how to pay for it.
So, they created 2 subcommittees. One focuses on trail safety, including how to prevent cars from hitting bicyclists on the trails that run near roads. The other subcommittee has to do with funding the connection of the trails.

Kyle Hannon, the Task Force Chairman said “How do you pay for these trails? Nobody has bags of cash sitting around to pay for more trails.”

State Representative Wes Culver (R ) District 49 said the task force has no money, and they get no state funding. So one of the big question is where does the money come from to connect Indiana’s trails?

“There’s a lot of private ways we can look at funding,” State Rep. Culver explained. “Whether people sponsor a mile, whether it’s a hospital or a financial institution. We’re looking at creative ways that it doesn’t have to depend on government financing.”

Ballard likes the idea, however, we asked him if he would be willing to pay to connect Indiana’s trails, as a taxpayer.

“Not with the way taxes are currently going,” He explained.

We asked others on the trail how they feel about being connected statewide.

Simon Hunter, who also uses the trial said “I think the concept is awesome, but I would have to know how much it’s going to cost to do that.”

The next meeting is March 21.

How much could connecting the trails cost? That is another question the task force is trying to answer. As it stands today, each individual community is responsible for taking care of their own bike trails. So, it is still too early to know a firm, or even ball-park cost to connect the trails.

To learn more about the Bicycle Trails Task Force, click here
To learn more about what the Bicycle Trails Task Force does, click here