The Monon Trail will continue to open earlier in the morning and close later at night… at least until June.
Indy Parks has decided to extend a trial period that began last fall, which allows for activity on the trail from 5:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The popular trail is normally open from dawn to dusk, but IndyParks decided to extend the hours during the winter months in order to accommodate commuters, who previously faced fines for using the trail in the dark.
"I love the new hours," said Kyle Erickson, who uses the trail to get to work by 7am.
According to Indy Parks, February traffic on the trail during the new early morning and late evening hours was double that of February 2011.
"Me and a couple of my co-workers love riding our bikes to work," Erickson said. "It's a nice way to get there and as long as we have our lights on we always feel safe."
It's safety, not traffic numbers, which Indy Parks will use to determine whether or not the extended hours will become permanent.
Since the extended hours began there have been no violent crimes on the trail, but as the temperature goes up so does the likelihood of criminal activity.
"My little brother, he was attacked on the Monon," Newman said.
Despite his brother's attack, Newman says he continues to use the trail and is encouraged by the increased police presence.
"They definitely stepped it up last year, so hopefully we don't have too many occurrences this year," Newman said.
Indy Parks has also tried to make the trail safer by installing numbered guideposts throughout the trail. Each number indicates your location on the trail.
"So if there is any instance of someone needing to call for help they can actually look right around them and say, 'This is where I am, where I need assistance,'" said Indy Parks spokesperson Jennifer McGilvray.
The Indy Parks board will vote whether or not to permanently extended the Monon hours in June.