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Records show cyclist killed at Raymond and Harding is the 3rd since 2021

Cyclists say they're concerned about pedestrian safety across Indianapolis
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Posted at 8:59 PM, Dec 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 21:00:48-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Cyclists across Indianapolis are sounding the alarm when it comes to pedestrian safety in and around the city.

This comes after a man was hit and killed while riding his bike on Indy's Southwest side Tuesday morning.

But it's not the same type of incident at the intersection of Harding and Raymond.

Records show there have been three cyclist killed there since 2021.

"Incidents like the one this morning just continue to paint the very grim picture of how dangerous our city has become for those trying to navigate around it on bike or on foot," Cycle advocate Eric Holt said.

Hold created a non profit to track pedestrian data across the city called Indy Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety. He along with other people can report pedestrian incidents on a portal.

He says the numbers have been alarming recently.

"The longer we wait to act as a city the worse it's going to get," Holt said.

At the corner or Raymond and Harding a memorial already marks the spot where someone previously died.

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It's something Connie Szabo Schmucker says is a reminder of just how dangerous it can be for pedestrians on the roadways.

"Obviously an infrastructure problem with that area," Schmucker said. "One fatality should be enough. We shouldn't wait for a fatality we know where these problem areas are."

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute tracks crash data.

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Their numbers show there have been more than 284 pedestrian crashes in Marion County this year. 26 of those have been deadly.

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The cyclists numbers are a small portion of that. 90 people on a bike have been hit this year with 5 of them killed.

"More people are going to get injured or killed while we sit around and twiddle our thumbs," Holt said.

Holt like many other cyclist advocates say the infrastructure throughout Indianapolis needs an overhaul.

"Frustration with the city leadership and not making this a priority to make our roads safer," Schmucker said. "This is a transportation crisis and it's not being treated like that."

Schmucker and Holt wish that more would be done today to fix what they call a pedestrian crisis.

"We're not doing the things that we need to be doing as a reaction to the crisis. We're doing the things that we would be doing in a normal year," Holt said.

Indy DPW has done a number of improvements this year from new bike lanes to added signals at intersections.

But many cyclist advocates say it's still not enough.

"We are being gaslight by the city. Where the city continues to say oh we are doing this we're doing record things but you're not doing things you need to be doing," Holt said.

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Indy DPW outlines the construction season for 2023 in terms of improving pedestrian safety. This includes $31 million the city has budgeted for it.

Indy DPW is adding more than 20 miles of new trails to the City’s trail network as part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s five-year, $1.1 billion capital construction program, which includes $50 million dedicated to trails as a result of the Circle City Forward initiative and a funding award from the Lilly Endowment. Additionally, utilizing the City's Complete Streets Policy, Indy DPW is transforming roadways to accommodate all road users.

Bike and pedestrian infrastructure programmed in the 2023 construction season includes:

  • 8.5 miles of new bike lanes
  • 55 new signalized intersections
  • 20.5 miles of new trails – including the 10.3 mile Nickel Plate Trail and expansion of the Cultural Trail along South St and Indiana Ave
  • 531 new crosswalks
  • 12.4 miles of new sidewalk
  • 15.6 miles of rehabbed sidewalk
  • 1,191 new ADA ramps
The Indy DPW is committed to exploring creative solutions utilizing existing tools in our toolbox to address resident concerns as part of a continued effort to address bicycle and pedestrian safety, as well as an observed increase in traffic violations.
Indy DPW

"There are fixes for all of this, and it just takes dedicated political will and resources to address them," Schmucker said.