Building thriving communities together  

It's a pleasure to once again share our work with you. Warmer weather ushers in higher bicycle usage and, unfortunately, more accidents. In the State of Bicycling in Indiana, Dona Sapp and Rachel Thelin, senior policy analysts, give you a close up look at bicycle collisions. As more Hoosiers enjoy bicycling, it informs us on measures to make it safer for those on two wheels.

Speaking of safety, 911 is a vital link between first responders and the public. Key to making this connection is adequate and stable funding for 911 dispatch centers. In a recent report, the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations highlighted the effect of consolidation, the need to allow counties, cities and towns additional funding options, and other recommendations. Jamie Palmer, senior policy analyst, directs the commission, which is staffed by the Institute. 

Since the first of the year,
the Thriving Communities, Thriving State project has been very busy. Our team released its first publication Indiana In Perspective, visited five cities (Columbus, Evansville, Ft. Wayne, Gary, and Indianapolis), and continues to listen to residents talk about ways to help their communities, and the state, succeed. Putting Indiana's Communities First is the latest look at this project. Kathy Davis and Randall T. Shepard (who serve as project co-chairs) have highlighted why this two-year study matters to residents and how our discussions are helping to shape key policy and practice improvements for our state's leaders. 

As you can see, the Institute takes pride in doing our part to make Indiana better in a thoughtful, positive, nonpartisan way. This approach guides everything we do.


Thank you for your continued support of the IU Public Policy Institute.

R. Mark Lawrance
, Director

(317) 261-3010
Our Work
State of bicycling in Indiana
From designated bike lanes to our city's "share the road" message to drivers, bicycle safety is a key goal year round. 

In their State of Bicycling in Indiana report, Dona Sapp and Rachel Thelin (both senior policy analysts at the Institute) analyzed the state's bicycle commuter characteristics, bicyclist collisions, and efforts to create bicycle-friendly communities.

Between 2009-2013, nearly 61 percent of Indiana bicyclist fatalities in collisions occurred in urban areas, 13 percent in suburban areas, 15 percent in exurban areas, and 11 percent in rural areas.

Bicycle Indiana commissioned the study by the Institute.


911 Dispatch Summary 
When Indiana citizens dial 911, they expect help from police, ambulance, fire or other emergency services. To offer that service, emergency responders must be dispatched effectively and reliably.

That is the function of Public Safety Answering Points -- or dispatch centers -- operated by counties, cities and towns.

The Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, which is staffed by the Institute and led by senior policy analyst Jamie Palmer, reviewed the funding and structure of dispatch services.

Putting Indiana's communities first
The following Op-ed was written by Kathy Davis and Randall T. Shepard, co-chairs of the Thriving Communities, Thriving State project.   

No one wants to look back and wonder what we could have and should have done to make Indiana a better place. Instead, by taking a forward-looking approach, the Indiana University Public Policy Institute is evaluating what can be done now to help local communities and our state succeed.


Follow the project on Twitter: #ThriveIN @IUPublicPolicy
Did you know?

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is known for its 8 miles of urban and pedestrian paths, which serve as a connector to our city's cultural districts, neighborhoods and attractions. 


The trail also represents endless possibilities. Does the trail impact the people who use it? Does the Trail impact businesses and properties close to it?  Here are some of our findings:


> Usage of the Cultural Trail exceeds most other Indianapolis Trails and Greenways.


> Users believe the Cultural Trail is safe.


> Exercise and recreation is the primary reason for use.


> Businesses located on the Cultural Trail have hired additional employees.


> Property values have increased along and near the Cultural Trail.


> Users report spending and economic impact tied to Trail usage.  


Sue Burow (senior policy analyst) and Jessica Majors (SPEA graduate student) are leading this project. Stay tuned for the complete report.  


To learn more about the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, visit

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The IU Public Policy Institute delivers unbiased research and data-driven, objective, expert analysis to help public, private and nonprofit sectors make important decisions that directly impact quality of life in Indiana and throughout the nation.





Indiana University Public Policy Institute

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The IU Public Policy Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute within the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.