Bloomington acts on plan to nix 7th Street stop signs to aid traffic flow for bicycle lane

Washington Street looking south at 7th Street. (Dave Askins/B Square 2021-10-09)

In a news release issued on Friday (Oct. 8), the city of Bloomington publicized its removal of stop signs along 7th Street at cross streets between Walnut Street and Indiana Avenue.

The removal of the stop signs is intended to help the traffic flow on 7th Street.

The east-west street will eventually see the completion of the 7-Line, a separated bicycle lane, which is under construction on the south side of the roadway. The two-way bicycle lane on 7th Street will stretch from the B-Line on the west, to Woodlawn Avenue on the east.

In transportation engineering terms, what the city is implementing is a new “traffic pattern.”

As a practical matter, the removal of stop signs on 7th Street means that motorists and other users of the cross streets will have to be alert. The traffic on 7th Street no longer has to stop at four intersections.

Vehicles on Washington, Lincoln, Grant, and Dunn streets will continue to see a stop sign when they reach the 7th Street intersection.

To help get drivers and other users of the roadway accustomed to the new traffic pattern, yellow “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” signage has been attached to the stop signs for cross streets. Electronic signs that flash a warning about the new traffic pattern have also been placed at some of the intersections.

The removal of the 7th Street stop signs was approved by Bloomington’s city council over a year ago, on Aug. 12, 2020. Continue reading “Bloomington acts on plan to nix 7th Street stop signs to aid traffic flow for bicycle lane”

$1M for hospital redev design work OK’d by Bloomington RDC, 7-Line bicycle lane gets $673K funding backstop

At its regular meeting on Monday, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission gave funding approvals for infrastructure projects in two different parts of town, which are connected by the B-Line non-motorized trail.

For design work on the redevelopment of the IU Health hospital site, at 2nd and Rogers streets, the RDC approved a $1,048,880 contract with Shrewsberry and Associates, a firm with local offices and corporate headquarters in Indianapolis.

The scope of work in Shrewsberry’s contract is related to the part of the hospital site master plan called “Phase 1 East.”

Shrewsberry’s work includes, among other tasks, a topographic survey of the block bounded by 2nd, Morton, 1st, and Rogers streets. That’s the eastern portion of the site.

The whole site is planned for redevelopment as a mix of commercial space and between  580 and 940 new housing units.

After IU Health moves to its new facility on SR 46 towards the end of 2021, Bloomington will take control of the site in a $6.5 million real estate deal.

The soon-to-be-former hospital site sits just to the west of the north-south B-Line non-motorized trail. About a half mile north of the hospital site, the B-Line intersects with 7th Street at the western edge of the 7-Line protected bicycle lane, now under construction.

At its meeting on Monday, the RDC approved $673,609 in consolidated tax increment financing (TIF) funds to be used towards what is now a project with a total estimated cost of $3.2 million. Continue reading “$1M for hospital redev design work OK’d by Bloomington RDC, 7-Line bicycle lane gets $673K funding backstop”

Bloomington city council OKs Habitat for Humanity project to build 70 houses in southwest part of town

cropped Habitat Site Plan Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 3.43.26 PM
Habitat for Humanity’s Osage Place.

On Wednesday night, Bloomington’s city council gave unanimous approval to the planned unit development (PUD) zoning required for a Habitat for Humanity project in the southwest part of town.

The project will extend five streets that are currently stubs, to construct 70 houses over the next seven to eight years. Continue reading “Bloomington city council OKs Habitat for Humanity project to build 70 houses in southwest part of town”

Advisory groups give green light to city council on 7th Street: Remove parking for protected bicycle lane

College to Walnut Screen unimproved 7-Line aerial 10.33.35 PM
Segment of 7th Street between College Avenue and Walnut Street in downtown Bloomington.
College to Walnut Screen 7-Line aerial 10.33.35 PM
The images shows the segment of 7th Street between College Avenue and Walnut Street. The top image shows current parking and lane conditions. The lower image is a rendering of the 7-Line protected bicycle lane project. Both images link to an animated .gif of them alternating.

On Thursday, at its first regular meeting since the end of January, Bloomington’s parking commission reviewed the protected bicycle lane project that’s going to be built on 7th Street sometime in 2021.

It was in front of the commission because the 7-Line, to be built as a two-way bicycle path on the south side of the roadway, will require the removal of 113 on-street metered parking spaces. It’s the loss of parking spaces that has generated some concern among property owners along the corridor, among them the Monroe County government.

Parking commissioners gave a unanimous recommendation in support of the planning and transportation staff’s finding—that the three-quarter-mile bicycle lane from the B-Line Trail to the Indiana University campus at Woodlawn supports several goals of the city’s comprehensive plan and squares up with the city’s transportation plan.

As Beth Rosenbarger, Bloomington’s planning services manager, pointed out to parking commissioners, the city’s transportation plan calls for a protected bicycle lane along 7th Street. Continue reading “Advisory groups give green light to city council on 7th Street: Remove parking for protected bicycle lane”

7-Line protected bicycle lane: Bicentennial bond backgrounder

The 7-Line is a planned protected bicycle lane running east-west across downtown Bloomington towards the Indiana University campus.

It gets the numeric part of its name from 7th Street, where the 11-foot wide, two-way path will be constructed along the south side of the roadway, sometime in 2021. The non-numeric part of its name is patterned on the B-Line Trail, the north-south multi-use path along the former CSX railroad route that stretches 3.1 miles from Adams Street to Country Club Drive.

The 7-Line will connect to the B-Line just east of Madison Street.

The project has received increased exposure in the last week, as final design details are worked out.

Last Thursday (June 18), the project was introduced in more detail to the public. On Wednesday this week, the traffic commission was asked to weigh in on the changes to city code that are required for the removal of 113 metered parking spaces and the elimination of east-west stop signs at most of the cross streets.

This Thursday (June 25) the parking commission is getting its second look at the project, after discussing it at a work session earlier in the month.

The now-estimated $2 million construction cost will be paid for with parks bonds, which the city council and the board of park commissioners approved in late 2018, over a year and a half ago.

The three series of bonds, totaling $10.27 million were promoted by Bloomington mayor John Hamilton as “bicentennial bonds,” and pitched to the council as “a gift to the future, honoring Bloomington’s two hundred year anniversary.” Continue reading “7-Line protected bicycle lane: Bicentennial bond backgrounder”