FISHERS — The approaching completion of an expansion of the Nickel Plate trail means residents who frequent the trail will have new areas to walk, bike or run.
As the weather starts to get nicer more people are expected to use the trail regularly, police want to remind people to stay safe while taking advantage of the new amenity.
"No matter what time you are walking it or where you are, whether you are on the trail or somewhere else in the city, the best thing you can do is to be aware of your surroundings,” Fishers police Sgt. Tom Weger said.
One major portion of the trail that is highly trafficked is where the trail goes through a tunnel underneath 116th street. Walkers say it's something they think makes the trail safer.
"116th is so busy crazy busy all the time, so I think it's much safer and very nice," Fishers resident Robin Burdett said.
One way police recommend staying alert is to be aware of others around you. If you are listening to something on a device, keep it at a level that will allow you to hear if an emergency were to take place.
While there aren't any portions of the trail that cause concern for police, they are increasing patrols.
"We know that it's new, so people are going to be attracted to it — especially this time of year,” Weger said. “So we want to engage with people on the trail and let them know we are out and here if they need us."
People who walked the trail Monday said that they feel safe. Police say anyone who sees something suspicious should be sure to report it.
The Nickel Plate Trail has markers representing every tenth of a mile. Patrons using the trail can use those as location markers in the event of an on-trail emergency, according to the city. If you are worried about safety, use the trail with someone else and don't walk alone at night.
The Nickel Plate Trail grand opening in Fishers is set for Saturday, May 14. The city will be hosting a celebration. For details, click here.
As for the future of the trail, the long-term plan goes far beyond Hamilton County. Last month, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the city of Indianapolis will receive $5 million through the Next Level Trail Grant Program.
Hogsett said the money will go to constructing the Nickel Plate Trail between 42nd Street in the State Fairgrounds area and 96th Street, the line between Marion and Hamilton counties. Once in Indianapolis, the plan is to connect the Nickel Plate to the Monon Trail.