Looking west on 7th Street. The photo shows out-of-alignment sidewalk panels that have been ground flush. (July 30, 2021)
Sidewalk section on N. College Avenue, looking south, between 15th and 17th streets. (April 26, 2020)
From Monroe County’s Pictometry module of the property lookup system. Highlighted are sections of sidewalk on N. College Avenue, between 15th and 17th streets. Imagery is from April 2020.
Plot of trips by day by scooter company since data started getting collected.
In October of 2018, just a month after shared-use electric scooters arrived in Bloomington, a downtown worker was scooting home late at night, when he crashed as he was cruising downhill on a North College Avenue sidewalk.
The crash, which broke a bone in the scooter rider’s hand, occurred along the sidewalk on the west side of College, between 15th and 17th streets.
Bloomington answered the complaint with a number of defenses, among them that the city “did not have prior notice of, nor opportunity to correct” the condition of the sidewalk that was alleged to have caused the scooter crash.
According to court documents, in late May of this year, a mediated settlement was reached, which resulted in a payment of $11,000 by Bloomington and $21,000 by the adjoining property owner.
At its regular meeting last Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council beefed up its ordinance that applies to the way contractors can use the public right of way, like sidewalks, when they’re working on construction projects.
Highlights of the revised ordinance, which the council approved on a unanimous vote, include conditions that a walkaround is supposed to meet, if it is unavoidable that the sidewalk is blocked because of construction activities.
Under the old code requirement on walkarounds, there was no mention that the walkaround should be on the same side of the street as the blocked route, or protected by concrete or water-filled barricades, or that Indiana’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (IMUTCD) guidelines had be followed, including advance warning signs.
A new section of the code approved by the city council imposes a regimen of enforcement measures. They include the explicit authorization of the city’s traffic engineer to use legal proceedings to revoke or withhold approvals and certificates relevant to the site, and to issue a stop work order, among other measures.