An expansion and transformation of a shared-use pathway into a multi-modal boulevard that forms an organizing framework and connective tissue for a new urban fabric of mixed use development, public spaces, and amenities.
The City of Carmel, Indiana – consistently ranked as one the top cities in the U.S. in which to live – has embarked upon a project to re-imagine and redesign a section of the city’s Monon Greenway as an urban trail corridor that will link the city’s premiere arts and cultural destinations, enhance the community’s connectivity and walkability, catalyze economic development opportunities, and provide a transformational recreational amenity.
The project involves a widening and expansion of the existing Monon Greenway from a 12 ft. wide asphalt path to a new 140 ft. wide multi-modal boulevard that will include dedicated lanes for pedestrians and bicycles, gathering spaces, plazas, and amenity zones, lighting, trees, green infrastructure, activated sidewalks, traffic-calmed roadways, and on street parking. A range of amenities will be integrated within the expanded corridor to accommodate trail users and provide a distinctive experience, including neighborhood green spaces, arts plazas, community tables and benches, food kiosks, shade structures, a spray plaza, bocce ball courts, public art, and outdoor café spaces.
The expanded trail will serve a rapidly growing Midtown redevelopment area where the city is partnering with private developers to create a new, vibrant mixed-use corridor to include over $300 million in new office, restaurant, retail and residential development in what was once the city’s primary industrial area.
The Monon Urban Trail demonstrates how a well-designed, amenity-rich, highly programmed linear park space can attract significant reinvestment that, together, enhances and expands urban life and activity. It also demonstrates that an urban transportation corridor can move beyond its simple utilitarian function and become a signature destination in and of itself – an organizing spine for innovative placemaking, multimodal connectivity, and distinctive experiences.