The Central Indiana Community Foundation has received a $25 million grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. that will be used to expand and improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in Marion County. The project is part of the Connected Communities Initiative, and will include construction of on-street and off-street protected pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, such as multi-use paths and greenways.
The foundation says plans include a total of more than seven miles of new greenways, as well as four miles of on-street protected bicycle infrastructure. The grant also includes $5.3 million in matching funds that will be available to leverage an additional $18.8 million in state and federal dollars to construct an additional 25 miles of new greenways.
“Indianapolis spans a large land area, which can make it challenging to navigate for residents who are dependent on alternatives to cars,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “We are pleased to support the Connected Communities Initiative, which will provide residents with greater access to trails, greenways and other destinations and foster stronger connections between neighborhoods.”
The foundation says the projects include construction of five miles of new B&O Trail, which will complete a 16.65-mile corridor connecting the Near Westside neighborhoods of Haughville, Hawthorne, and Fairfax to Speedway and Brownsburg to the west, and to the planned Michigan Street protected bike lane into downtown Indianapolis to the east.
Other projects include planning, design, and construction of improved pedestrian and bicycle connectivity in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood, improving access to the Monon Trail from the east and Pogue’s Run from the north.
“This investment will help close gaps to increase equitable access to job opportunities, education, healthcare, healthy food, recreation, and social and cultural destinations for previously underappreciated neighborhoods,” said Brian Payne, chief executive officer of CICF and president of The Indianapolis Foundation.
The foundation says it plans to partner with Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, Bike Indianapolis, and Greenways Partnership, among other organizations, to increase visibility and accessibility to the greenways, trails and bike paths.
You can view a full list of projects by clicking here.