Visitors will also appreciate the latest highlight to hit the city. After 12 years of planning, six years of construction and $63 million from federal transportation funding and private donations, an eight-mile Cultural Trail connects the five downtown cultural districts through greenway trails and bicycle lanes, creating regional connectivity beyond downtown Indianapolis. It also connects to the sixth cultural district, Broad Ripple, through the Monon Trail at 10th Street.
Built for nearly every form of transportation except cars, the Cultural Trail connects both locals and visitors to the front door or within one block of every major arts, culture, heritage, sports and entertainment venue in downtown Indianapolis.
“That’s one of the main reasons why there’s nothing else quite like it in the world,” says Brian Payne, president and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and The Indianapolis Foundation, the lead partner with the City of Indianapolis and the man behind the original idea. “Other urban trails around the world take you out of the urban environment. The Cultural Trail’s purpose is to connect and celebrate the best of Indianapolis while offering a beautiful journey along the way.”
“President Obama has made it a priority to provide Americans with greater transportation options,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “At the Department of Transportation, we’re doing that by supporting projects like this one that provide affordable, reliable and safe alternative to get around the city. We are thrilled to see the example that Indianapolis is setting for the rest of the country as more communities include bikes and pedestrians as they plan for the future.”
Along the path visitors will notice the Glick Peace Walk, which includes 12 distinctive sculptural gardens that celebrate the lives and accomplishments of “luminaries” who achieved greatness through peaceful pursuits. The design elements of the luminary gardens enable visitors to gain a deeper understanding of how these inspiring individuals were able to overcome challenges and dedicate their lives to the greater good of society.
Clear signage shows which path is for those who are strolling or running and which lane is dedicated for cyclists.
For those visiting from out of town or want to rent a bike, a Bikeshare program is expected to debut soon.