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”

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”

Bloomington city council votes to repave College Mall Road on split vote

At its regular meeting Wednesday night, Bloomington’s city council voted to approve an appropriation ordinance that includes, among other things, a reclassification of funds to pay for a repaving of College Mall Road.

The project, which extends between 3rd Street and Moores Pike, is planned for later this summer.

The vote, which was split 6–3 on the nine-member council, came as the clock ticked towards 10:30 p.m., about four hours after the meeting started.

Dissenting on the vote were councilmembers Steve Volan, Matt Flaherty, and Kate Rosenbarger.

The meeting was fraught with procedural wrangling that could be traced to lingering discord from the beginning of the year over the establishment of four-member standing committees of the council.

In the end, the council’s action on Wednesday provided funding for two street projects, which are supposed to start this summer. One is a repaving project—College Mall Road, southward from 3rd Street to Moores Pike.

The other project includes improvements to the intersection at Sare Road and Moores Pike and construction of a multi-use path south of there. Continue reading “Bloomington city council votes to repave College Mall Road on split vote”