Electric scooter parking violations: Zero citations, in over 2 years since local Bloomington law was passed

When Bloomington’s city council enacted an ordinance regulating shared electric scooters, the local law came with a provision about sidewalk parking. Users could park their scooters on sidewalks, but with more than a dozen restrictions.

Among the restrictions are some obvious requirements—like the need to leave a clear straight path of some minimal width (at least four and a half feet), and a prohibition against blocking accessibility ramps.

At the July 31, 2019, when the scooter ordinance was enacted, city attorney Mike Rouker told the city council: “[The city of Bloomington] will be fining them every single time we see a parking issue.”

Apparent violations of the scooter parking ordinance are noticeable in many places around town where scooters are operated.

But the city of Bloomington has not made any citations or issued any fines related to improper scooter parking, after the ordinance became effective more than two years ago, on Sept. 1, 2019

Continue reading “Electric scooter parking violations: Zero citations, in over 2 years since local Bloomington law was passed”

No same-day decision after hearing on school’s appeal of mask mandate citation

No decision was made Monday afternoon on the appeal filed by Seven Oaks Classical School, which challenged a $250 citation it had received from Monroe County’s department of health for an alleged violation of the county’s Aug. 5 mask mandate.

The mask mandate says that when community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is high in Monroe County, as determined by state metrics, everyone “must wear a face shield, face covering, or mask…over their nose and mouth when in an indoor public place and shall at all times, follow current CDC guidelines in every situation.”

Schools get a specific mention in the Aug. 5 order: “For academic and extracurricular activities, all K-12 schools in Monroe county shall follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).”

The citation was based on a visit to the school from county health administrator Penny Caudill. The note on the citation reads: “Observed few masks, although some students, faculty and staff had masks on.”

The three-member Monroe County board of commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to wrap up the hearing after around 2 hours and 40 minutes of presentations and cross examinations that were at times intense.

Commissioners decided Monday to put off a vote on the appeal. But under the county code that regulates the appeals process for health order citations, which was enacted in May of 2021, the commissioners will have to issue a written decision not more than 15 working days from Monday. Continue reading “No same-day decision after hearing on school’s appeal of mask mandate citation”

Tickets for failure to clear snow from Bloomington’s sidewalks so far this year: 24 minus 1

In the city of Bloomington, property owners are responsible under local law for clearing the sidewalks next to their land.

The red triangles denoted locations for complaints logged by citizens in the uReport system about uncleared sidewalks or unplowed streets.

The fine is graduated: $50 (first offense), $100 (second offense), and $150 (third offense).

The city’s housing and neighborhood and development (HAND) department enforces the ordinance.

How many tickets and fines has Bloomington’s foot of snow in February, caused HAND to issue?

According to HAND’s interim director, Brent Pierce, for the 2021 snow removal ticket cycle, the city of Bloomington has so far issued 24 tickets with fines.

Of the total 252 citations, 228 were warnings, Pierce said. It is HAND policy to issue a warning, and if the snow has not been removed after a second visit, then a ticket is issued with a fine.

The snow removal warning/ticket cycle starts on Aug. 1 of each year.

The time frame spelled out in the ordinance for required clearing or snow and ice is “within twenty-four hours after snow or ice has ceased to fall or in any way accumulate.” Continue reading “Tickets for failure to clear snow from Bloomington’s sidewalks so far this year: 24 minus 1”