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Indianapolis neighbors voice concern over cars on Monon Trail

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 20:23:09-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A terrifying trend — that's how some people describe an ongoing issue on the Monon Trail near 54th Street. Several people have reported cars turning onto the trail, likely mistaking it for a driveway.

Now people who live in the area are coming together to take action.

Imagine walking or riding your bike on the Monon and coming face-to-face with a car. It's something people say is happening almost daily on this section of the trail and they said something needs to be done to stop it.

Trimming trees and talking solutions — that's how a group of neighbors spent their morning Wednesday.

"I think it's a very pressing matter," Jill Thomas said. "I think it is an issue that we immediately need to resolve."

Thomas said she uses the Monon daily so when she heard about cars turning on to it from 54th Street, she knew she had to do something.

"Terrifying, absolutely terrifying," Thomas said. "A lot of times when we are running or biking we have headphones in. We know to stop here and look for cars but we are not necessarily thinking a car is going to be coming straight at us."

There have been multiple reports of it happening.

"There's an entrance to Mama Carolla's, there's the trail and then there's another entrance here to the Monon Station," Thomas said. "I think people are getting confused. I don't think it's intentional, I think it's confusion."

"The way the signs are, the way the driveway looks, the lines are faded, just various things are kind of adding up to the perfect storm," Jami Santos said.

Some say now that Mama Carolla's has their driveway closed for outdoor seating it's happening even more. These neighbors are working to raise awareness and come up with temporary solutions until the city can get involved.

"We are wanting to clear the area for cars to be able to see the pathway," Thomas said. "Actually we had a gentleman do a lot of trimming yesterday. Set out some cones yesterday and we are thinking about doing some lines so it looks more like a path instead of a driveway."

"We will do what we can do now," Santos said. "It might not be perfect, but it is our neighborhood and that is what neighbors do — come together."

Coming together sooner than later.

"Why would we ever wait for someone to get injured or killed by a car that has gone onto the Monon?" Thomas said. "That's not an option. We need to fix it."

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works said they are aware of the situation and the department is looking into several possibilities like temporary bollards and additional signage.