INDIANAPOLIS — Placed in a straight line, three homemade bollards separate cars from bikes right before 12th St. along Illinois St.
The bollards are made out of five-gallon buckets, concrete and wooden posts.
“I think it’s more of a safety precaution to help protect us,” said Troy Carl, a cyclist who bikes downtown most days.
The bollards are there to show drivers where they should and should not be biking. Even with the homemade infrastructure, FOX59/CBS4 still caught one motorist driving in the bike lane.
“If the people can’t see the yellow buckets and yellow posts sticking up, then they are blind and shouldn’t be driving,” Carl said.
The bollards are part of a Tactical Urbanism project. The project is city supported – but funded, assembled and monitored by the citizens behind it.
The projects are something on a small scale that can be tested to see if it improves street safety.
“If the data shows the installation is effective, it could potentially lead to a permanent intervention in that area,” Aliya Wishner with the Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works said.
The bollards were created by the folks behind the Twitter accounts @IndyBikeLanes and @IndyPedCrisis. Both accounts are outspoken on Twitter about pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the Circle City.
Wishner said this project empowers neighbors to create change in their own communities.
“Indianapolis has a lot of unique neighborhoods with unique challenges and we think there is nobody better than the neighbors themselves to propose creative solutions,” she said.
The projects can be as simple as bike lanes, crosswalks, sandbags or even a cone, but all need to be approved through Indy DPW.
“There are definitely constraints we’re working with as far as federal and state and local regulations we have to abide by and making sure the installation does maintain safety for all users,” Wishner said.
Carl said he would like to see more projects like the bollards.
“Whatever they can do to help us, make us safer, to where can get around downtown safer, I’m all for it,” he said.
Currently, the homemade bollard project at 12th and Illinois is the only tactical urbanism project in Indy this season, but Wishner said more are coming.
“We are working with a couple of different community organizations on projects we expect to go out in the field this summer,” she said.
If you have an idea for a tactical urbanism project, you can apply at indy.gov. However, Wishner said it’s best to start with a conversation with DPW about what you want to do by emailing the team at email@example.com.