Traffic, quality of life and sustainability main topics at Fishers State of the City address

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FISHERS, Ind. -- In front of a crowd of more than 500 people, the mayor of Fishers delivered a speech Wednesday on how he and other city leaders plan to keep traffic moving, their residents happy and the city relevant.

"It’s an uncommon conversation for a growing suburb to start talking about how we are going to be sustainable for the long term, because everyone assumes we are just going to do well," Mayor Scott Fadness, R-Fishers, said. "That isn’t the case. We’ve seen time and time again suburbs that have started out doing very well and then slowly back down through urban decay. This is a real opportunity to stay vigilant, reinvent and keep us staying a sustainable and vibrant community.”

Part of that battle to stay vibrant is to keep his residents moving, Fadness said. IKEA and Top Golf are both expected to open later this year at the already congested intersection of 116th Street and I-69.

Fadness explained last year the city spent $30 million on road improvements and there will be more than $200 million of infrastructure work done in the next five years to improve traffic flow throughout the city.

“I think some of that is perception versus reality," Fadness said. "I think Fishers does a good job. We are aggressive around our investment on infrastructure, and as a growing, dynamic community we’re always going to have to reinvent in infrastructure, but I think we’ve done a good job to date and we’re going to stay on top of it in the coming years with some pretty significant projects like State Road 37.”

The Mayor highlighted some of the city's mental health initiatives and its low tax rate.

He also talked about the recent announcement to create a walking trail connecting Fishers and Noblesville along the Nickel Plate Line. He believes the trail will improve walkability in his city and offer a unique cultural experience.

However, there's currently a petition circulating online with more than 3,500 signatures trying to save the old railroad.

Fishers and Noblesville will hold public input sessions on that project next week.