INDIANAPOLIS — Unwelcome visitors on the Monon Trail. More cars are showing up where they don’t belong. People who use the trail to bike, run and walk the area are pleading for action before someone gets hurt.
“It’s pretty scary,” said local cyclist Alexander Geragotelis. “You’re just going along and you’re not expecting it and then all of a sudden there’s a big car.”
Pictures show muddy and snowy tire tracks along the Monon. In another picture, there’s no questioning: a car is shown right there on the trail.
“The Monon is the one spot where I shouldn’t be getting passed by a car,” said Sean McManus, another Indy cyclist.
McManus said he bikes to and from work, which adds up to about 14 miles a day.
“I just shake my head anymore because it’s such a common occurrence,” he said.
Cyclists in Indianapolis say cars driving and parking on the Monon has been a problem for far too long and it’s time something is done about it.
“I think we need bollards at the intersections,” said Gergagotelis.
Our previous coverage back in October showed a blue Nissan driving on the Monon in Broad Ripple off 64th Street.
“I do get more and more frustrated and I do think it’s getting worse and worse because the longer it goes on and no one gets in trouble the more people are going to do it,” said Gergagotelis.
Adding posts, more signs or perhaps even fencing, these cyclists are tired of talking about the dangerous situations they see over and over. They’re ready for something to be done to keep cars off the Monon and to keep runners, walkers, and other cyclists safe.
“Someone is probably going to get hit by a car and dragged underneath it on the Monon before anything is really done about it,” said McManus.
Indy DPW’s Trail Maintenance Team released a statement in response to the problem, saying, in part:
“Crews continue to dedicate efforts to ensuring public safety on trails, including coordinating with IMPD and City officials to enforce trail ordinances. Indy DPW engineers are currently assessing the best options for discouraging motorists from driving on the Monon, while considering the need for maintenance and the safety of trail users. Residents should be reminded that driving on trails is illegal, and should obey posted signage at trail intersections stating that vehicles are not permitted.”Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works Trail Maintenance Team
The fear of a bicyclist getting hit on the Monon that McManus described has actually happened before. In May 2014, a biker was hit by a car and injured in a hit-and-run on the part of the trail that intersects E. 22nd Street.