Indianapolis has been chosen as one of six cities taking part in the highly-touted “Green Lane Project.”
City leaders along with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx kicked off the project at City Market in downtown Indianapolis Tuesday.
The project awards bicycle-friendly cities that are leading the way in installing bike pathways and creating bicycle culture. Foxx says the nation‘s highways and byways continue to be under high-stress and bike pathways are one way to address the issue. He says he and President Obama are working on new legislation that will provide incentives for cities that promote bicycle lanes.
Boulder, Colorado-based “People for Bikes” heads up the Green Lane Project. Director Martha Roskowski says Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle are the other five cities selected. She cites the Indianapolis Cultural Trail as a European-like pathway that will link neighborhoods and mass transit. She says the trail is culturally important and environmentally-friendly.
Roskowski says the city will receive a $250,000 grant over the next two years for more projects.
“This is new ground,” says Roskowski. “This is really rethinking how we use our streets which is not easy work because usually every inch of the street is being used by someone for something, often for cars, for travel lanes, for parking.”
Mayor Greg Ballard says the project is important because the city is continuing in its efforts to make Indy a bicycling city.
“We’ve got 82 miles on the road right now. That’s up from one about five years ago, so that’s a pretty big jump,” says Ballard.
The Mayor says a growing bicycle culture is part of the city‘s overall economic development efforts.