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Indianapolis Cultural Trail expansion seeks to better connect downtown to near northwest side

Indianapolis Cultural Trail
Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 19, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — An expansion to a popular trail in downtown Indy seeks to better connect the near northwest side to the rest of the city.

It also will highlight the contributions and achievements of the Black community here in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Avenue and 10th Street expansion to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail opens Thursday.

Cultural trail construction

It will connect the trail to the Madam Walker Legacy Center on Indiana Avenue and continue north to 10th Street.

Eric Vanatti laces up his sneakers every day to run the trail.

“I can take it to my gym. I can take it to my place of employment. I can take it to a lot of places in the city. It just helps that mode of transportation and modality is nice and easy and efficient," Vanatti said.

Eric Vanatti tying his shoe

He’s one of the about a million people who use it every year.

And this week, even more people will have access.

“You can connect now, seamlessly and safely to Riverside Park, with the Fall Creek Greenway you can get up to the Fall Creek neighborhood and everything beyond. Thinking about not only Riverside Park but also Marian University, all the places on our near north side will be connected to our city and to the trail with this expansion," Indianapolis Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley said.

Haley says it was important construction wrapped up in time for Juneteenth.

“The Madame Walker Legacy Center each year has a big celebration around Juneteenth called Legacy Fest. It was really important for us to be able to have this section complete this year, before Legacy Fest," she said.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Indiana Avenue was historically known as the center of Black culture in Indy.

That’s why Haley says this section of the trail will include four interpretive panels focused on the Black community.

“One will focus on the Black Lives Matter mural that was here in 2020. One will focus on the Madame Walker Legacy Center. One will focus on the history and significance of Indiana Avenue. The last one will be about Lockfield Gardens," she said.

The Indiana Ave and 10th street section is just half of the $30 million expansion project.

An additional segment along South Street will open later this year.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Thursday at 10:30 a.m.