Bridge or Tunnel Comment: Time-Sensitive 3/17

The IndyMPO recently publicized a listing of recommended projects for 2027 and although the City of Indianapolis applied for funding for a bridge at Monon & 86th St., it was not recommended for funding. Public comment is open 3/18/24 until 5 pm.

Details below on how to provide public comment. 

Suggested talking points:

1. Monon & 86th is one of the busiest intersections along the entire greenway system with 35K motor vehicles/day and more than 1 million trail users a year. 

3. A non-at-grade crossing (bridge or tunnel) is needed as soon as possible so more people don’t get hit/injured/killed. 

4. A citizen-led traffic study found the following when analyzing 5 hours of non-overlapping video: 

40 Crosswalk Encroachment (vehicles blocking crosswalk)

86 Right Turn on Red / 1 Left Turn on Red
11 Red Light Running
21 Multiple people using crosswalk simultaneously
2 gridlock in intersection
6 Other incidents including one near-collision of two cars

5. The 86th Street and Monon Trailway intersection continues to be a crash-prone crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists. This specific intersection has led to many near-misses, crashes, injuries and even deaths. The fatal bicycle crashes in 2021 were not isolated cases but a symptom of a larger problem that needs immediate attention. We cannot afford any more losses due to inadequate safety measures at this intersection. 

6. A bridge at this location is long overdue. Please recommend it for funding in 2027. 

Recommended Projects Funding Review & Comment Opportunity
The IMPO recently hosted a call for projects and accepted applications to fund projects that will go to construction no later than June 2027. After reviewing, scoring, and ranking 66 applications the IMPO is recommending 17 projects from 8 local public agencies totaling $60.6M in funding.

The IMPO is asking for comments on these project recommendations. Your comments will inform IMPO as they formalize this recommendation. Comments will also be made available to the Transportation Technical and Transportation Policy Committee members before those committees consider formally adopting these projects into the TIP. Typically, these projects are still in early stages of design and development. Your comments can also help inform design choices made by the local agency as they move forward with the project. Comments about the design of recommended projects will be passed on to the relevant agency.

{{Nora Alliance and Bicycle Garage are working with DPW to finalize commitments for a “Tactical Urbanism” project at 86th and the Monon Trail. This is a demonstration project (updating, temporarily, markings, art and signage) to address the safety challenges of the surface crossing at 86th and the Monon.}}

Comments or questions are encouraged to be submitted by email to , by mail to 200 East Washington Street, Suite 2322, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or by phone to our voicemail line at 317-327-8601. For alternative formats, translation services, or accommodation needs for persons with disabilities, or to view documents in person at our offices please contact us. Comments are due Monday, March 18 at 5:00pm.

Recommend Projects List and Summary

Bagel Fair

Nora tradition

Is this anything?

Nora Plaza updates in 2023. Design.

First Baptist Athletics Construction Sign

First Baptist Athletics

First Baptist Athletics is expanding to better serve our community. Park and additional basketball courts among the big plans for the space north of the church. Tax deductible donations can be made to this worthy organization at this link. Cheers to First Baptist for making recreational sports accessible to the north side community.

FBA’s 40-acre property includes 12 baseball fields, 11 soccer fields, and an on-site gym, so families will never have to travel to other facilities to attend practice or play games. More basketball courts to come! FBA also employs local kids to help organize and ref games. If you haven’t seen the organization, stop by on just about any Saturday morning and you’ll see the fields loaded with kids, parents, and grandparents – it’s a great atmosphere.

Update: 10/2023 More on the First Baptist Athletics campaign.

M

Nora Housing Rights Event

This event, taking place on Monday, December 19th at First Baptist Church (86th/College Ave) is hosted by Patchwork Indy. The posted schedule is:

5:30 Sign in. 6:00 Food is served. 6:30 Car seat safety. 6:50 Housing Rights Presentation. 7:50 Closing. RSVP here or Scan QR code.

https://www.patchworkindy.org/

Ice Rink at Holliday Park

Did you know that there is now ice skating at Holliday Park? The outdoor rink is located just outside the nature center with skate rental offered just inside the nature center entrance. The rink accommodations include food/drink vendors, lighted night skating and a few gas firepits for warming up. Check it out soon!

Safety at 86th and Monon. Grants awarded.

Earlier this fall, the Indiana State Department of Health released a request for proposals for a Tactical Urbanism Demonstration Project grant program. Nora Alliance, in conjunction with partners including Bicycle Garage, Inc. and Ball State Center for Civic Design, submitted a proposal for the 86th Street Monon Crossing corridor. This November, our proposal was awarded a grant by the Indiana Department of Health Community Planner. This was followed by a early 2023 grant from the Central Indiana Bicycling Association (CIBA).

Sign a petition to advocate for a safer crossing at 86th and the Monon Trail.

Many thanks to the numerous organizations who voiced their support for our demonstration project proposal and the longer-term safety improvements at this important intersection. We are still soliciting support from any organizations that wish to show their support. The project will also require support from the Engineers at the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. Assuming we get DPW support, we will also need:

  • Design and execution assistance (Winter 2023, Spring 2024)
  • Assistance with petition signature gathering for more permanent changes, including a tunnel (Winter/Spring 2023)
  • Donation of project materials (orange barrels during installation, paint, planters, rollers, reflective tape, plants, temporary rumble strips, temporary bollards, etc.) The more we can get donated or purchase at cost, the farther the grant $’s will go. (March/April 2023)
  • Installation of project elements (April 2024)
  • Citizen-led traffic study to have data to compare to July 2022 study (July 2023), 
  • Assistance with maintenance of project (May-October 2023)
  • Assist with removal of project elements (October 2023)

Fatal accidents at this intersection have prompted renewed attention to the design of the street and path connections. Recent coverage:

WTHR https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/cycling-advocates-continue-to-push-for-safety-changes-monon-trail-crossing/531-4c7352b8-6e51-4a00-9237-9c1ad5562e0a

Fox 59: https://fox59.com/investigations/here-are-indys-most-dangerous-roads/

Would you like to be involved in the design and execution of a tactical urbanism demonstration project in Nora? Reach out to us or attend our next public meeting.

Sidewalks in Nora

You may have seen sidewalks going in on the east side of Westfield Boulevard between 83rd and 86th Street. This section of sidewalk connects the walkable streets to the south to the North Central High School campus, Jordan YMCA, adjoining retail and more. The sidewalk was built as part of a 2021 Neighborhood Grant Program. Nora Alliance had previously identified this as one critical area for pedestrian and walkability improvements among several in our community. We made Washington Township aware of the grant opportunity and provided them with documentation supporting the need. They applied for the grant and were one of about 12 organizations citywide awarded matching funds to build this key infrastructure. Many thanks to Washington Township leadership and the city for making this happen!

Thanks also to Paragon Realty, Jordan YMCA, Butler Fairman & Seufert Engineers, and other neighborhood stakeholders for their continued interest and engagement with projects like these.

Do you want to get involved with Nora Alliance to make a difference on projects like this? Please send us a note or attend an upcoming event.

Ball State Masters of Urban Development 10, 11, 12

We mentioned in this post our interaction with students from the Ball State Urban Design Studio class. Students focused on inclusivity in design. In no particular order, we want to share the ideas the students presented last year.

6th in series

Travis Johnson with Sensory Saplings. PDF

Joe Howe with Ocular Plaza. PDF

Josh Danzeisen on Town Run Park. PDF

Ball State Masters of Urban Development – 7, 8 & 9

We mentioned in this post our interaction with students from the Ball State Urban Design Studio class. In no particular order, we want to share the ideas the students presented last year.

5th in series

Melanie Miller on Fostering Religious Inclusivity PDF

Adjoa Kennedy on Nora Elementary Park PDF

Karina Kasmauskis on Trailway and Pocket Park Design PDF