Monon Boulevard to open in Summer 2018

2/7/2017 12:57:58 PM

This drawing by Rundell Ernstberger Associates shows the view southward down the planned Monon Boulevard, from a pedestrian plaza at 4th Street SW to the Palladium, seen in the distance at upper right.

Tree-lined corridor extending north from Palladium
will have space for cars, bikes, walkers and more

An ambitious makeover of the popular Monon Trail will create a 140-foot wide, landscaped boulevard linking City Center and the Center for the Performing Arts campus to the Main Street Arts & Design District, with recreational spaces and multiple paths for vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic passing through the rapidly developing Midtown area.

Construction of the $23 million Monon Boulevard is expected to begin in July and be completed in Summer 2018, Mayor Jim Brainard announced at a news conference this morning. The project includes the creation of a large pedestrian plaza at 4th Street SW, where a parking garage, the new Allied Solutions headquarters and a Sun King distillery and tap room are in the works.

“This new, expanded Monon Boulevard will quickly become a major epicenter of activity in Midtown and the Arts & Design District, a place where our residents and visitors will be able to take a stroll after a show at the Palladium, walk or bike to dinner or spend a Saturday afternoon with their children and pets on the trail or in one of many new green spaces and plazas,” Brainard said in a prepared statement. “It is also designed to function as a corridor for many who will live and work in this area, providing a safe way to commute to their jobs or take a short walk to the market.”

Drawings show the existing 12-foot-wide Monon Trail replaced by a 54-foot greenway with designated biking and walking paths, flanked on each side by a one-way lane for cars, a parallel parking lane, a landscaping buffer, a one-way bicycle lane (making a total of three biking paths) and a 14-foot sidewalk with space for outdoor café seating.

Brainard said the design concept developed by California-based Gehl Studio and the plans drawn by Rundell Ernstberger Associates – the firm behind the Indianapolis Cultural Trail – were inspired by bike-friendly public works projects in Northern Europe. Bicycle enthusiast and City Council member Bruce Kimball said the project will alleviate crowding on the Monon, which attracts the equivalent of 300,000 people each year, and build Carmel’s reputation as “a city that embraces the culture of cycling."

This cross section illustrates the many potential uses planned for Monon Boulevard, which will replace the 12-foot-wide Monon Trail with a 140-foot recreational, residential and commercial corridor from Main Street to City Center and the Center for the Performing Arts campus.