Trailblazer News – Evansville Trails Coalition

Trails, Pedestrian, & Bicycle News

The Greenway is Evansville’s Trails System Network

The Greenway is Evansville’s Trails System Network comprised of trail corridors and segments within the Evansville area. Corridors and segments equal approximately 11.7 miles in total. 1.) Riverfront Corridor (1.5 miles) – Completed in 2004, and located along Evansville’s downtown riverfront from old Sunrise Park to Bally’s Casino; the LST, the Marchand Bridge Overlook, and the Shirley James Gateway Plaza are beautiful attractions along the way.   2.) Industrial Corridor (3.5 miles) – Opened in October 2010, the segment traverses through Evansville from Fulton Avenue to the Mid Levee Corridor that begins at Garvin Park.   3.) Mid Levee Corridor (1.7 miles) – This corridor opened in October 2019 and begins at the Heidelbach Canoe Launch and ends at Stringtown Rd.   4.) Hi-Rail Trail (2.5 miles) – Opening in November 2018, this segment begins at the Trailhead located at Riverside Drive and US 41 behind the U-Haul business. It follows along US 41 to Walnut Street. This trail continues across US 41, crosses over the Lloyd Expressway, and ends at East Virginia Street, meeting up with the bike lane that continues to Lynch Rd.   5.) Bob Jones Way (.20 miles) – Completed in August 2018, this multi-use trail segment is located between 4th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.   6.) Vine Street Trail (.7) – Similar to Walnut Street and North Main Street, this multi-use trail segment is located between Second and Third Streets and was completed in 2020.   7.) North Main Street Trail (1 mile) – Open in June 2018, this multi-use trail segment begins at Division Street and ends at Garvin Park.  8.) Virginia Street Trail (.6 miles) – Completed in 2018, this multi-use trail segment was part of the North Main Street trail project and connects from First Avenue to North Main Street. Want to see more?  View our LOCAL TRAILS page.

Bridging Connections Via the I-69 ORX Bridge

The combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision document was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on September 16, 2021.  The Evansville Trails Coalition and partners have worked to advocate for safe, separated ADA, and active transportation accommodation in the new bridge design, or for the Southbound Historic US 41 Bridge to be saved as a pedestrian/bicycle designated bridge connecting Evansville, IN, and Henderson, KY. Other bridges across the U.S. have been built with accommodation or saved for ADA, Pedestrian, and Bicycling purposes (such as the I-265 Louisville East End/Lewis & Clark Interstate bridge, or the Big Four Bridge in Louisville, KY).  The absence of this consideration and/or inclusion for thru-walkers, wheelers, bikers, and hikers concerns us, as this will result in further connection barriers for generations to come. Future connection opportunities between SW Indiana and NW Kentucky, as well as the national trails system and bicycle routes that use the Ohio River crossing to make the vital connections as a crossing between Evansville, IN and Henderson, KY are at risk. ETC’s Board Members signed a resolution in early March declaring support for this very important ADA, pedestrian, and bicycle accommodation/connection. See more information HERE.

The National Discovery Trails Act 4878

The American Discovery Trail is an east to west coast national trail that runs through Evansville and Southwest Indiana. The National Discovery Trails Act (H.R. 4878) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) on July 30, 2021.  Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) co-sponsored the bill, signaling that the measure is bi-partisan.  The bill would achieve two long-standing goals as initially spelled out by the 1994 National Park Service Study:  
(1) To make the American Discovery Trail an official part of the US National Trail System, and (2) as part of a new category of the national trail, a Discovery Trail.  The bill does not ask for any funds or appropriations.  It does not require the US Treasury to spend any public monies.  The American Discovery Trail already exists, and countless persons are walking, hiking, or biking it daily.   The bill would merely recognize that reality, and making the American Discovery Trail an official part of the US trail system would facilitate public knowledge of and access to the many local routes combined in the American Discovery Trail, the nation’s sole non-motorized, coast-to-coast national trail. ETC supports the bill and features the American Discovery Trail in our local trails list. To learn more about the bill, click HERE.

Did You Know?

A new meta-analysis of 15 studies found  that taking more steps a day helps lower the risk of premature death from all causes. For adults younger than 60, the risk of premature death leveled off at about 8,000-10,000 steps per day. For adults 60 and older, the risk of premature death leveled off at about 6,000-8,000 steps per day.  Trails are great places to take steps! Start planning where you’ll take your steps today:  See your choices! 

Indiana Trail Count Analysis

In May 2020, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) launched the Indiana Trail Count Analysis, a statewide study of volunteer-based convenience sample trail count data. By partnering with trail managers and stakeholders across the state who were previously collecting data from fixed counters on their respective trails, the IDNR was able to create a more current and comprehensive trail data set. The goal of this analysis is to use this convenience sample data to document, track, and better understand major trail-use trends in Indiana. ETC’s Trails Count Program kicks off this spring! Evansville will become a reporting partner of IDNR, providing results of tracked usage and trends.  As we develop our process and trails count cycle, more information will be shared!  Currently, two (2) trail counters have been donated to ETC to begin, but we hope to acquire additional counters as the program becomes established. If you would like to participate in the Trails Count Program, there are many ways to help! Become a Trailblazer Data Collection volunteer, or simply donate to the program, to purchase additional counters. We are anticipating the results and are excited to show how active our local and visiting Trailblazers are! Contact us to help out  #etctrailscount #activeevansville

An Analysis of the Final Mile Bicycle Infrastructure Program (Urban Institute)

Cycling infrastructure can help broaden access to mobility by offering residents a low-cost, reliable, and sustainable means of transportation. A Report on the successes and challenges of the Final Mile program which funded communications campaigns sustained advocacy efforts, and engineering consulting in five US cities to help stimulate further investment in cycling infrastructure. The report finds that all funded cities significantly expanded their respective protected cycling infrastructure and did so more quickly than comparable cities. See the research feature in the full report: Making the Case for Improved Bicycling Infrastructure: An Analysis of the Final Mile Bicycle Infrastructure Program

What is Walkability?

Grounded in the belief that reducing the need for private vehicle use improves the quality of life for urban dwellers, walkability is a planning concept that encourages mixed-use, high-density neighborhoods where people can access essential services and amenities by foot.  See the article HERE.

ETC Trails Map

ETC’s last developed trails map was completed and printed in 2013. As we draw close to finalizing the newest version of the map with the latest trails corridors and segments, we want you to have another opportunity to get your business, or organization featured before it’s too late! ETC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so all donations toward the map assist us with professional GIS and mapping development fees and when complete, map printing.  See our virtual overlay map that includes conceptual new trail segments that bridge the gaps between our current trail corridors.

Worth Sharing Again

Health Impacts of Bike-Sharing Systems in the United States (Colorado State University School of Public Health) Shares the health impacts of bike-sharing systems (BSS) in the US and finds that the health benefits of BSS are greater than health risks and that improvements in air quality and traffic safety would help maximize those benefits. See manuscript published in Environmental Research.

Download the Upgrade Bike Share, BLOOM Bike App

Download the Upgrade Bike Share, BLOOM Bike App    

Visit the Upgrade Bike Share Stations:

Four Freedoms Monument

Downtown YMCA

Haynie’s Corner

Ivy Tech Community College

North Main Street

West Franklin Street

Henderson, KY

Thank You to Our Upgrade Bike Share Sponsors!

   Lorie A. Van Hook
Executive Director