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Monon Trail Details – Broad Ripple Ave to the White River

I spend quite a bit of time getting around the city at the human pace – which I love because it allows me to soak in the smaller details of our city – both good and bad. I was cruising through Broad Ripple on the Monon recently and in the few blocks between Broad Ripple Ave and the White River I noticed quite a few new additions to that section of the trail that prompted a return trip to snap a few photos.

Starting from the south and working north, we first encounter the nearly finished product of Monon Pointe that Kevin covered back in April with this post.

Standing on the Monon at Broad Ripple Avenue.

Standing on the Monon at Broad Ripple Avenue.

While they don’t embrace the Monon with an entrance to the building – they did incorporate these “hang your bike” racks on the Monon facing wall of the building.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test them out because they don’t work with my bike since it has fenders.  Luckily, on the north side of the building they built this plaza with another bike rack.

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As you can see they have the landscaping around the building and along the trail all wrapped up and it includes these large stones that I’m sure will double as trail side seating.

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Moving north on the trail – although they aren’t new features I couldn’t help but to take pictures of a couple pieces of public art that help to create the Broad Ripple vibe.

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One of my favorite wall murals in all of Indy.

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My first time using this bike rack and was happy that it is actually very functional – designed to be more functional than some commercial racks.

It isn’t all rosy along the trail however.  Adjacent to the origin of the Central Canal we find what was a unique trash can installation done with bicycle tubes – it has seen better days.  The trail signage has also faded and could use a refresh here as well since this is where the Central Canal Towpath & Monon Trail connect.

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And unfortunately the electrical box behind the Rockdale (covered here back in 2012) has been tagged.  Easy fix.

I'm not opposed to street art, but generally prefer something more creative than this.

I’m not opposed to street art, but generally prefer something more creative than this.

Just a few feet up the trail we find a mini PUP stop directly across from the Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station.  I’ve seen the crowd lined up for ice cream at BRICS and think an entire stadium seating arrangement could be used here – there is room for it!  Also – this wall is screaming out for an art mural, don’t you think?

Contemplating the meaning of life and what flavor ice cream I'd order if BRICS opened at 7:30 am in the morning.

Contemplating the meaning of life and what flavor ice cream I’d order if BRICS opened at 7:30 am in the morning.

Right across 64th street we find that work has resumed on Martha Hoover’s Public Greens trail side concept.  According to a recent interview in Indianapolis Monthly magazine, this project was put on hold after the Petit Chou flood and subsequent renovation.

However this allowed more time for the creation of the Patachou Foundation and now all profits from Public Greens will go to the Foundation as they work towards feeding local children impacted by hunger and homelessness.  A trail side chicken coop is also planned.  And can you say “massive outdoor deck?”  Awesome.

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Crossing over 65th street I notice a few non-sexy improvements like the better street to trail pedestrian access that includes ramps for wheelchair users and families pushing strollers.

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Now that the Cornell Avenue resurfacing project is complete, they have added signage to help us understand what we are supposed to be doing with the parking spots that angle the “wrong way.”  Early in the morning when I snapped these shots this van driver even did it correctly, but others were still pulling in nose first.

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The above shot also shows that the base for the Faces of Indiana for the Millennium sculpture was shored up this past year.  If you’ve never stopped to take a close look at this piece of art it is worth a few minutes next time you are in the area – it incorporates quite a bit of Indiana specific detail.

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Pacers & Racers featured in this section!

One other detail I had never noticed was the “tree bench” that sits right along the trail.

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The last addition to this section of the Monon is on the opposite side sandwiched between the trail and Westfield Boulevard.  Hotel Broad Ripple opened earlier this summer and has 9 guest rooms with an upscale B&B feel.  Their backyard and overnight room balconies facing the trail do a fantastic job of encouraging their guests to soak in the vibrancy the trail has helped to create over the years.

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Standing on the Monon Trail looking over and through the wildflower plantings towards the Hotel.

9 Responses to “ “Monon Trail Details – Broad Ripple Ave to the White River”

  1. Willaker says:

    Very pretty photos.

  2. Tem says:

    Love the Monon trail.

    Nice pictures.

    Like to see more wall hanging bike racks like this, if people actually use them. A clean efficient use of urban space.

    I don’t see the point of parking spaces you have to back into. Do they really expect people who can’t even parallel park to back into a space without hitting the cars parked on either side?

    The best water on the Monon trail is at the School for the Blind.

    Hope the hotel does good. Looks like a great place.

    If they are planted, then they aren’t wildflowers.

    • Ha – you are right…technically not wildflowers. I also caught flack from an artist friend of mine for calling the tagging on the utility box “street art,” thus giving it some level of legitimacy.

      Ironically I stopped at the Blind School for a drink the other day during my run and the water fountain there wasn’t turned on. Not sure if it is a temporary thing or if a water line was damaged during the harsh winter we had.

      Thanks for reading and for the compliments on the photos!

    • Reverse angle parking is better in urban environments because it is easier for drivers to see cyclists on the street while leaving the space. This type of space has been in use for years with out much of a problem on New York Street downtown, next to the Federal Courthouse. There are also reverse angled parking spots on Michigan Street next to the Athenaeum.

      • I think you can argue that it makes it easier to see not only oncoming bicyclists but cars as well – although it is noteworthy that all 3 of those locations do have cycling infrastructure in the vicinity.

        I often park in the angled spaces on Alabama that face the east plaza in front of the Indy Bike Hub and struggle to see southbound traffic when I’m backing out. Might be another good location to switch the angle of the parking spots?

  3. Nealipo says:

    Also, if you notice all the mulch in the areas from 65th Street north to the river, those are the planned planting locations for the Bill Brink Memorial Garden which will be installed this autumn, stay tuned. The mulch to the south is for the Public Greens garden. Not related projects. I’m sorry I have to comment about the wildflowers remark. Wildflowers is term that can also mean native species in a cultivated setting. Thanks for your coverage on our City.

  4. Ryan says:

    My daily ride to and from work – I try not to take it for granted but often do. Thanks for the article, it’ll help me to continue to appreciate it more.

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