After more than 30 public events and meetings and over 1,500 ideas submitted by residents and students, Fishers leaders Monday unveiled the Nickel Plate Trail Master Plan 2040. The stretch from 96th Street to 146th Street in Hamilton County will feature five segments: the Makers Space and Innovation Zone, Nature Park Zone, Downtown Active Core Zone, Wellness Zone and Park and Education Zone. Launch Fishers founder John Wechsler, who is on the planning committee, says a comprehensive plan like this is "what happens when a city acts more like a startup."
During interviews with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness and Amanda Welu with DELV Design talked about the process and potential for the trail.
The city says, since announcing the rail-to-trail project in 2017, companies and organizations have announced more than $250 million in private investment along the trail. That includes the planned $14 million Hub and Spoke design center and makerspace and $157 million plans by Indianapolis-based Browning Investments for a development featuring a boutique hotel and anchored by Fishers-based First Internet Bancorp (Nasdaq: INBK).
The planning process included input and ideas from more than 200 students, ranging from elementary to high school. Organizers say almost every idea from students at New Britton Elementary, Harrison Parkway Elementary and Fishers High School "found its way into the plan in some form."
Features of the planned trail include LED paving, a "drone zone," pavement warming markers, maker and innovation spaces, public art and large hammock areas.
The city says it will take public input on the draft master plan through March. Construction is expected to begin this fall, with the first phase to focus on downtown Fishers from 106th Street to 126th Street and include a pedestrian tunnel under 116th Street.
You can see the master plan and provide feedback by clicking here.