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Walking trends in Indianapolis

Average daily walking trips dropped by 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022 — see how Indianapolis compares.

INDYtoday: INDY_Virginia Fairbanks Art and Nature Park hiking trail_DEC23

Especially in the winter, the trails through the Art & Nature Park are pretty quiet — and there are plenty of benches along the way to stop and rest.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Table of Contents

If you’ve been singing the lyrics “I walk a lonely road” a lot lately, you’re not… alone (well, in a sense). Indianapolis roads are actually even lonelier than many, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

If national averages indicate anything, it’s that roads overall may have been more lonely during the past few years. According to a recent data report by Streetlight, annual average daily walking trips dropped 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022.

How does that national average shake out in the Indianapolis metro area, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

  • -43% | Percent change in walking trips in Indiana
  • -47% | Percent change in walking trips in Indianapolis-Carmel
  • 31 | Indianapolis’s score out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

What does a percent change in walking trips mean? Say a metro area sees a -50% change in walking trips. This means, on average, walking trips declined by 50% in that area. (For the record, none of the top 100 metros in the study saw that much of a decline — the biggest dip was 49% in Akron, OH.)

INDYtoday: INDY_Cultural Trail_DEC23

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail connects three of downtown Indy’s unique public spaces for safe pedestrian travel.

Where to walk the walk

Wondering where you can get your steps in? Check out these pedestrian-friendly spots around town.

  • Monon Trail | Stretching 26 miles all the way from downtown Indy to Sheridan, there are thousands of places you can just jump on the trail and get going.
  • Virginia Avenue, between South East Street and Shelby Street| There’s something for everyone here, from breweries + distilleries to hot chicken sandwiches to vintage clothing boutiques.
  • Holcomb Gardens | Located in the heart of Butler University’s campus, the gardens encompass twenty acres of native flora sprinkled with charming nooks like the garden house, the gazebo, and the poets’ corner.
  • Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, 1850 W. 38th St. | Cap off a stroll around the lake and pollinator gardens with a picnic on “Funky Bones” or a sesh on the swings.
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