Carmel police to enforce Monon speed limits

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After some on the Carmel City Council expressed concerns, the Carmel Police Dept. will step up enforcement of speed limits for cyclists on the Monon Trail.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he’s spoken to CPD Chief James Barlow and several city councilors about the issue. A portable electric speed limit sign will be used along the Monon to alert cyclists to the speed limit — which is 15 mph through the high-traffic Monon Trail between 111th Street and 136th Street — and informs cyclists what their speed is. Elsewhere in Carmel, the speed limit is 20 mph along the Monon.

“Somebody complains about speed, we move that trailer to the area and it lets people know that they’re speeding,” Brainard said. “What often happens is there is an officer another quarter-mile down the road. Hard to say you didn’t know (the speed limit) if you just rode past the sign.”

Brainard said officers will use their discretion on when to issue tickets or warnings, but he said education is the goal.

“A good cyclist knows when to slow down,” he said.

The issue was raised in July when Carmel City councilor Ron Carter said he was disappointed that CPD had not, at that time, enforced many Monon rules, including the speed limit.

“It’s time to start enforcement on the Monon,” said Carter, a longtime advocate of cycling. “Things have gotten out of hand in terms of speeding on the Monon and riders being disrespectful.”

City councilor Bruce Kimball, who has organized many city cycling events and is an avid cyclist, agrees something needs to be done.

“I am in favor of warnings at first, but we absolutely need to enforce the law,” he said.

Kimball noted that 20 mph or 15 mph is not too slow and that the trail is for everyone. He said it’s about safety, and experienced cyclists should know there are many trails in Carmel besides the Monon where they can go faster.

Kimball noted that Monon conduct goes beyond cyclists. He said people who walk  dogs need to be aware that leashes should be less than 6 feet in length.

Carter sponsored successful city legislation in 2013 that stated:

  • Cars, motorcycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the Monon. Kimball said pedal-assist “e-bikes” are allowed but must follow the speed limit.
  • Cyclists should not ride more than two abreast, which means side-by-side.
  • Cyclists should give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian or cyclist.
  • Retractable leashes, according to the ordinance, are not allowed even if they are locked in at a length less than 6 feet.

Violators can be subject to a $100 fine, according to the ordinance.


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