Cross-Country Route Partially Blocked By One City
Let me apologize to the country for the city of Greenwood, Indiana. In full disclosure, this is the city I lived in when I first moved to Indianapolis back in ’94 and it has never been seen as a beacon of forward thinking. Actually, it’s known primarily for it’s heavily trafficked, multi-lane roads and large mall, but that’s about it. No progressive-minded hipster ever considers the South side of Indianapolis, where Greenwood is located, as a legitimate place to live and any cyclist in their right mind knows to never even consider taking a bike ride in that direction. There just aren’t many good options for commuting and we all ride like mad when heading South to get to the safety of the rural roads that lay just beyond.
With that said, it’s unsurprising the city did not give approval for a route created by the US Department of Transportation and bike advocacy groups that would run from the Canadian-Michigan border all the way to the Gulf Coast. Despite any tourism benefits cyclists would lend to the city, the route was rejected based on “liability concerns”. I find this absurd and indicative of stodgy, old-school thinking (“get off my lawn kids!!”), but was shocked even further when they proposed an alternative route that would lie a few blocks over on US 31, which is ABSURDLY busy and dangerous.
This decision is not going over well with local cyclists and is not in concert with the general perception of cycling in the surrounding area as Indianapolis continues to move forward with cycling amenities and infrastructure. But fear not touring cyclists, the route will continue on even if it has to be routed around Greenwood, Indiana. Maybe it’s for the best.
Another article about the issue located here.
Photo above is the actual Old Greenwood town center where the route would pass and is the reason the committee blocked the proposal fearing the smaller streets with slower moving traffic would become a liability to the city.