Carmel cops track speeders...on the Monon

Carmel police officers have been tracking speeds on the Monon Trail as a reminder to slow down.
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CARMEL, Ind. (WTHR) - Carmel has a reputation for cracking down on speeders. But you might be surprised at one of the newest locations where police are tracking how fast people are going.

It's along the Monon Trail, in the heart of Carmel.

For the past few weeks, Police had a digital sign along the Monon Trail near the Carmel Performing Arts Center. As cyclists (and others) go past it, it flashed their speed.

Lt. Joe Bickel said it's "more of an awareness instrument we use to make sure people are aware of what the speeds are."

The speed from 111th Street to 136th Street is 15 miles an hour and has been for several years (elsewhere on the trail it's 20 mph). But more people are using the Monon and the city has heard from more people concerned about how fast cyclists are going, especially during peak hours in congested areas.

Bickel said trail safety is important. Police have at least one officer who patrols the Monon daily. Often, it's traffic Ofc. Scott Spillman. Thursday afternoon, he demonstrated how he uses his radar gun to track speeds.

As a young couple rode by, he told them, "10 mph, keep up the good pace!"

A few minutes later, a woman on roller blades passed. He clocked her at 12mph, noting she slowed down when she saw him.

But Bickel said Spillman and others aren't out to issue tickets. They're out to "educate trail users."

"We've stopped quite a few for disregarding stop signs and speeding, but typically, it's just 1-2 miles over the speed limit," he said, noting the bigger problem involves intersections.

"We're just making sure people are stopping for the stop signs and not colliding with a vehicle," he said.

Sierra Butler, who was running on the Monon, said she'd noticed the signs tracking users speeds and likes them.

"When I'm at the Farmer's Market, I appreciate the signs, because there are a lot of kids around and it's congested and if you don't slow down, you get hurt," she said.

Skateboarder Adian Menez was also familiar with the signs.

He said the 15 mph speed limit in town "is pretty good. I usually go 8-10 mph on (my skateboard)...I think it's good they're enforcing the laws on the Monon, it's good."

Bickel said another thing officers patrolling the trail are on the lookout for are retractable dog leashes. City ordinance says dog owners can't use leashes longer than six feet while on the Monon. That's to prevent other people from getting caught up in them and tripping.

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