City awarded funds to install safer bike lanes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – New safer bike lanes will soon be coming to Indy. The city beat out more than 100 applicants to receive assistance from People for Bikes. The group will provide resources to build protected bike lanes. The safer lanes will be separated from traffic using curbs, planters, parked cars or posts.

The Green Lane Project is awarding the city $250,000 to building and plan the new lanes. Five other cities were selected for the program including Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Engineers with the Department of Public Works are currently studying where to buildĀ  the protected bike lanes. They will look at several factors and will likely choose places that are heavily traveled by bicyclists. Some existing lanes could be revamped or new lanes will be built. The project is expected to take place over the next two years.

Biking advocates call the protected lanes a much safer option. They believe once the lanes are in place it will encourage more people to use their bikes. The announcement Tuesday morning comes less than a week after a man was hit by a bus while riding his bike.

The city has a protected bike lane running alongside Shelby Street, located in the heart of Fountain Square.

People for Bikes picked Indianapolis for the new lanes because of the Cultural Trail and the city’s bike friendly atmosphere. A new bike share program was launched just last week.

“You look at the Cultural Trail, you look at the other projects in the works. You don’t really know that you’re at a tipping point until later,” said Martha Roskowski, Vice President of People for Bikes.

The Green Lane Project was launched in 2012. Organizers credit their work for nearly doubling the number of protected bike lanes.