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Cars continue to drive on the Monon, what is the city doing to stop it?

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 17:33:59-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It keeps happening, and it's happening again.

Cars are driving on the Monon Trail, an area designed for bikes and pedestrians only.

WRTV has shared countless stories about the potentially dangerous problem.

The Monon is supposed to be a space free of cars, to allow for pedestrians to get around the city safely.

"The Monon is a wonderful place they've utilized an old railway area for pedestrians and bicyclists, and kids playing, and all sorts of great things," Alison VanNatta said.

VanNatta says she walks on the trail daily, but has seen first hand cars using the trail as a roadway.

"I have seen it, I saw a sweet older lady down at the Palladium made a mistake and was on the trail and I'm like stop, stop, stop helped her get off of it," she said.

The issue by the Carmel Palladium is one that WRTV was made aware of after viewer video showed a number of cars driving on the trail there.

The city addressed that issue by adding concrete barriers there.

But still there is confusion in downtown Carmel off Main Street.

"It's confusing because this looks like a sidewalk and this looks like a road," VanNatta said. "It seems narrow, visually narrow. This seems wider for a car."

She's not alone in her opinion. Others believe it's a lack of signage and people knowing about the trail.

"It's just a mistake I would assume. I don't think it's anything malicious," Jim Hill said.

Others believe that drivers just don't care or pay attention.

"There marked everywhere you got signs. You can't idiot proof it any further," Ryan Plump.

Over the weekend more cars were caught on the Monon.

A viewer captured a photo of a car on the Monon near 46th street just outside of Downtown Indianapolis.


A bright yellow bollard is placed in the middle of the trail on 46th street.

But still someone got around it.

"I don't know if that person was stuck in the traffic going to the fair or if they just got lost. But to me it's very clear that it's not a street it's blocked off. I feel like you have to intentionally try to do it," Wyatt Newman said.

Newman said he's seen his fair share of cars driving on the Monon.

The problem isn't isolated to one section of the Monon, it seems as if it's happening everywhere.

Another WRTV viewer sent in photos of a car driving on the trail in Broad Ripple.

bripp 1.png

That part of the trail is an area WRTV has highlighted in the past.

"Not surprised, just annoyed more so. It's not the first time I've seen one and I know it's not going to be the last," Newman said.

Officials are trying to prevent it from happening by placing different barriers at the entrances of the trail.

"I've noticed the flower pots that's helpful. Other things like that. Little tricks, little visual clues to just don't run over people," VanNatta said.

Indy DPW says it has been investing more than $100,000 to install bollards where data shows safety is of high concern along the trail.

As Indy DPW builds out more than 20 miles of new trails this year, we remain dedicated to ensuring the safety of all who walk and bike along Indianapolis' trail network. From standing up a new trail maintenance team, to investing more than $100,000 in the installation of bollards along trail intersections where data identified safety was of greatest concern, to implementing "No Motor Vehicles" signage at all trail crossings along the Monon, DPW has continued to make trail safety a priority. Future trails being developed will also have these safety measures considered. Any measure taken must still allow access for public safety vehicles in case of emergency, as well as maintenance vehicles.

Indy DPW has also worked with the City-County Council to add new tools that will help the department keep trail users safe, including the recently-passed a proposal to lower speed limits at certain greenway crossings.

Residents are reminded that driving on a trail is against the law. Those who witness drivers entering a trail with a vehicle are asked to report it to IMPD's non-emergency line at 317-327-3811. 
Indy DPW

To learn more about DPW's greenway crossing program, click here.