Late Wednesday morning, a ribbon-cutting was held for Bloomington’s new 7-Line, which is a separated two-way bicycle lane that runs along the south side of 7th Street.
The new path runs three-quarters of a mile—eastward from the north-south B-Line Trail around Morton Street, to the Indiana University campus.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the western end of the new bicycle lane.
According to the city’s news release, remarks were to be delivered by Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. Also scheduled to give remarks were: Siân Mooney, who is the dean of the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Jeanne Smith, who is owner of Bikesmiths: and Beth Rosenbarger, Bloomington’s planning services manager.
Around a dozen cyclists took a post-ribbon-cutting ride eastward along the 7-Line. That ride was documented by The B Square from the top of the parking garage at Walnut and 7th Street.
From there, it is clear that not every speck of the new bicycle facility is complete. Plots of dirt dot the medians that separate the bicycle lane from motor vehicle traffic. Responding to an emailed question from The B Square, city engineer Andrew Cibor indicated that most of those dirt plots will be filled in with a street tree and covered with mulch. That work is expected to start Thursday.
In four spots, instead of street trees, there will be rain gardens installed, with speciality plantings to help manage stormwater, Cibor wrote.
From the top of the parking garage, the new dedicated bicycle signal lights—with their bicycle-shaped red-yellow-green indicators—are evident at Walnut Street and 7th Street. Similar signals are installed at College Avenue and 7th Street.
Cibor indicated that those signals do not provide a leading bicycle or pedestrian interval. That is, those lights don’t give bicyclists a “head start” compared to motor vehicle traffic.
But the westbound bicycle phase might look like a leading bicycle interval (LBI), Cibor wrote. That’s because the westbound motor vehicle signal lags behind the eastbound vehicle protected left turn, but the bicycle signal does not, given that the eastbound left-turn movement does not conflict with the bicycle lane.
At College Avenue, the bicycle signals separate the bicycle phase from the protected westbound left-turn motor vehicle phase, Cibor wrote.
Photos: After the 7-Line Bicycle Lane ribbon cutting (Nov. 17, 2021)