INDIANAPOLIS — Cars driving on the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple continues to be a problem, this time a blue Nissan is seen on the trail, driving past a cyclist and group of kids eating ice cream.
The video was taken by a dad who was at BRICS, an ice cream shop off 64th St. in Broad Ripple. The man said he was there with his daughter’s soccer team and several kids watched the car pass on the walking and biking trail.
Jay Hill has worked at BRICS for 11 years, we showed him the video and he was not surprised to see a car there.
”First few years here I might see one person every couple of months but we’ve seen a lot more recently,” Hill said. “Part of that is just the traffic having to be rerouted through Broad Ripple.”
Earlier in October, we highlighted other cars driving on the Monon where it crosses Broad Ripple Ave. Runners and cyclists we talked to say they’ve seen the problem increase since construction closed down part of Broad Ripple Ave.
”It is a noticeable increase in the number of cars,” Hill said.
Despite the 64th St. entrance to the Monon being about a quarter-mile down the trail from the Broad Ripple Ave construction, Hill said he believes the construction and people paying too much attention to their GPS.
”They get ‘Turn at the next right.'” Hill said. “Well, this is the next right if you’re going east on 64th St, it looks like it, but this isn’t Westfield Blvd.”
The same seems to be true for where the Monon Trail crosses 61st St. south of Broad Ripple Ave. A barricade now partially covers the entrance to the Monon on 61st. An IMPD car was also seen near the trail keeping an eye on things.
Last Thursday we first showed you pictures of cars driving on the Monon to avoid the construction on Broad Ripple Ave. After our story, orange barrels were put up to try and prevent the problems.
Workers at businesses in the area said they haven’t noticed cars driving on the Monon since the barrels went up a week ago. We talked to a woman named Vanessa who runs on the Monon Trail a few times a week, she said she noticed the problem before the barrels blocked the trail from cars.
”Absolutely, especially this section right by Broad Ripple Avenue since the construction,” she said. ”People don’t want to go around and they think they can take a shortcut.”
Vanessa told us she is hopeful the barricades and cones do make the Monon safer from intrusive cars.
”Well, it’s very new so hard to tell but I hope so,” she said.
Even with the orange barrels seeming to work at the Broad Ripple Ave crossing, people we have talked to said they want to see a more permanent solution in place like a bollard.
We asked the Indy Department of Public Works about the possibility of a more permanent safety fix there along the Monon Trail. A spokesperson sent a statement.
The Indy DPW traffic engineering team continues to consider the best treatment for long-term protection of the Monon Trail against access by unauthorized vehicles. It is important for residents to understand that the decision is more complicated than simply adding a bollard. Any treatment must allow for authorized vehicles conducting trail maintenance and snow plows clearing the trails in winter. It must be able to be implemented consistently throughout the trail corridor at a cost that is feasible for the current program and with expectation of future costs associated with damage, replacement, and maintenance.
For BRICS, the focus is safety.
”A lot of our business is kids and we worry about them,” Hill said. “Kids like to run out there and it’s scary enough worrying about being hit by a bike.”
DPW said the construction at Broad Ripple Ave. is expected to pause near the end of the year for winter but will start back up in the spring.