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Public Information Meeting on 2018-2021 Transportation Projects Tomorrow at 5:30PM

28 Mar

 

Capture

B-Line Extension Project (Illustrative Only)

For whatever reason the City of Bloomington doesn’t have an official press release out yet, so I am trying to do whatever I can to publicize a public information meeting scheduled for tomorrow evening (Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 5:30PM at the Downtown Bloomington Transit Center, corner of N. Walnut and E. Third Streets) sponsored by the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMCMPO). This meeting will provide the public with information and take feedback on the transportation projects being considered for the 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

The MPO coordinates the allocation of Federal transportation funding coming into the area and includes projects from the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, INDOT, Bloomington Transit, Rural Transit, and IU Bus.

The proposed fiscal plan that is being presented to MPO committees is here: FY1821TIP_Memo_032217. This plan provides the breakdowns of local vs. federal funding by project/local agency and by fiscal year. It is just the starting point for discussions, and could change based on feedback from MPO committees and the public. This public information meeting provides one — but not the only — opportunity to provide feedback. But this memo only shows the financial breakdowns — it doesn’t actually provide any detail on the projects themselves.

I’m hoping that a more public-friendly version of the project descriptions can be made available soon — but for now all I could find is the packet for the MPO Policy Committee from February 10, 2017. I extracted the relevant section here: MPO Policy Committee Project Descriptions From 2017-02-10 (warning: it is a pretty big document!).

There are several projects that I think the public will be particularly interested, including the County’s Fullerton Pike project (Phases 1 and 2), the County’s proposed roundabouts to improve safety at Curry Pike/Woodyard Road/Smith Pike, the City’s Tapp Road & Rockport Road Intersection project, Henderson Street, Winslow Road, and Jackson Creek trail projects, and the project I’m most excited about — a proposed extension of the B-Line trail west, to connect to the multi-use path going over I-69 at 17th Street and ultimately connecting to the County’s Karst Farm Greenway.

Hope to see members of the public at the meeting!

Here’s a draft of a press release from the MPO:

“The Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMCMPO) will hold a Public Information Meeting with the goal of gaining public input for development of the Fiscal Year 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

The TIP documents a comprehensive fiscally-constrained list of multi-modal federal-aid transportation projects programmed for Bloomington, Bloomington Transit, Ellettsville, INDOT, Indiana University Transit, Monroe County, and Rural Transit.

The Public Information Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown Bloomington Transit Center, located at the corner of N. Walnut and E. Third Streets.

Development of the new TIP requires a public involvement process which includes a public review by the BMCMPO Citizens Advisory Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee, and adoption by the Policy Committee before submission to state and federal agencies.

Public Meeting attendees will provide feedback on the proposed list of TIP projects and to help shape the project funding priorities of the MPO for the next three (3) years. The BMCMPO staff looks forward to discussing these and other important transportation issues with residents at the public meeting.

For more information or written comments on the FY 2018-2021 TIP, please contact BMCMPO Director Josh Desmond at 812.349.3423 or desmondj@bloomington.in.gov.”

I-69 Section 6 DEIS Recommendations: Quick Summary

17 Mar

IMG_2712A few hours ago, INDOT released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for I-69 Section 6, the final section of the Evansville to Indianapolis highway. Section 6 runs from just south of Martinsville to I-465.

Links to INDOT’s press release and the DEIS can be found here:

My (very) quick summary of the findings:

  • After 13 years of additional input and analysis, INDOT is sticking with the original route selected in the 2004 Tier 1 Record of Decision: the SR 37 corridor.
  • 4 lanes from Indian Creek (where Section 5 ends) to SR 144 north of Martinsville, 6 lanes from SR 144 to Southport Road, and 8 lanes from Southport Road to I-465
  • Using the existing SR 37 center median, with cable barriers or double sided guardrails at some locations. Note that an alternative that basically elevated I-69 through Martinsville was considered but not recommended.
  • The preferred alternative is referred to as C4.
  • Two options, with no recommendation, are provided for the interchange at Southport Road just south of I-465
  • The preferred alternative costs approximately $1.5B, assuming construction from 2020-2026
  • The final Record of Decision (ROD) and the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) from the Federal Highway Administration is anticipated for 1st quarter 2018.

The following map illustrates the preferred route, C4:

Screenshot 2017-03-17 21.24.06

The full DEIS is thousands of pages long. I strongly recommend you start with (and maybe stay with) the executive summary. S.6 provides a good summary of the rationale for the route selected. In addition Chapter 3: Alternatives: C4 Mapbook provides detailed and summary maps of the recommended alternative.

INDOT is accepting public comment through May 8 via the comment form at www.in.gov/indot/projects/i69/2463.htm or by mail to the I-69 Section 6 project office, 7847 Waverly Road, Martinsville, IN 46151. In addition, several public meetings are planned. For details, see the INDOT press release.

I-69 Section 6 Draft Environmental Impact Statement Released

17 Mar

The Indianapolis Department of Transportation (INDOT) just moments ago released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Section 6 of I-69, which will run from Martinsville to Indianapolis.  Public comments will be accepted through May 8, 2017.

  • INDOT’s press release can be found here.
  • The full Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be found here.

 

 

Transit Tax Passes in Indy

28 Feb

indygo_bus_indiana_aveLast week, the Indy Star reported that a proposed 0.25% local income tax in Marion County to support public transit expansion advanced (the article and my comments are here: Public Transit Income Tax Advances in Indy).

The tax passed the City-County Council last night. This 0.25% income tax will inject an estimated $54M per year into the public transit system, often thought of as one of the nation’s worst for a major city. 6 counties (Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Delaware and Madison) currently have the option of holding a referendum on a local income tax for transit expansion. This tax will bring the total local income tax rate for Marion County from 1.77% to 2.02%.

Today’s Indy Star article: http://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/marion-county/2017/02/27/indy-council-approves-transit-tax/98490222/

 

Public Transit Income Tax Advances in Indy

22 Feb

5858d1eb856ac-imageToday’s Indy Star reports that a proposal for a 0.25% local income tax in Marion County to support public transit expansion passed a key committee vote yesterday, sending the vote to the full City-County Council on February 27th:

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/marion-county/2017/02/21/marion-county-transit-tax-gets-committee-approval-heads-full-council/98200340/

Back in November, this tax increase to fund public transit passed in a referendum handily by 59.3% to 41.7%.

In the past we have discussed a potential income tax dedicated to public transit expansion here in Monroe County. The revenues would be shared between Bloomington Transit and Rural Transit, and would potentially fund both expansion of transit within the existing city boundaries (both in terms of additional routes and stops, and potentially more frequent service and/or Sunday service), as well as additional point to point service in the rural areas. Of course, the extent of city boundaries may change with a potential annexation, which could have a large impact on the services able to be provided by Rural Transit (a topic for a different post).

Such a tax in Monroe County would require additional state legislation. Senator Mark Stoops has introduced several pieces of legislation (and has been for several years) that would give Monroe County the ability to (but not require it to) pass an income tax between 0.1% and 0.25% to fund transit expansion. Senator Stoops’ proposed bills for the 2017 session are:

  • Senate Bill 371, which is specific to Monroe County
  • Senate Bill 391, which applies to all counties except those that already have the authority under existing legislation

Neither of these bills would require a referendum/public question. Also, it appears so far that neither of these bills will receive a committee hearing this session.

This is where I am interested in hearing from Monroe County constituents. What do you think about a potential increase in income tax dedicated to public transit expansion? Please let me hear your thoughts.

Just for reference, here are our existing local income taxes:

  • Expenditure – Certified Shares (all-purpose local income tax, distributed county, cities and towns, townships, public library, fire protection districts, Bloomington Transit): 0.9482%
  • Expenditure – Public Safety (distributed to the county, Bloomington, Ellettsville, and Stinesville): 0.2500%
  • Property Tax Relief (replaces property tax): 0.0518%
  • Special Purpose (Juvenile services): 0.095%
  • Total Income Tax Rate: 1.345%

 

 

I-69 Section 5 Winterization Plans

9 Nov
I-69 Vernal Pike

I-69 Vernal Pike

MoCoGov readers have probably noticed that I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blog posting for the election. Now that that awful thing is behind us, I’ll get back to writing more frequently. And today’s news gives me a chance to post on a subject that never fails to cheer me up — road construction!!

I-69 Development Partners provided their plans for winterization of Section 5 of I-69 last week at the MPO Policy Committee meeting. I will admit that the committee was by and large underwhelmed, and had hoped for a much more detailed schedule. I don’t doubt that they (we) will continue to push for such. But at least this plan gives motorists some idea of how the road will be configured for the winter.

Per their “Winter safety plan”, I-69 Development Partners will:

They say that these items will be completed by the end of the year, with a “few work items carrying over into early January if the weather holds.”

The single-lane traffic at the Bryant’s Creek Bridge is probably the biggest concern with the winterization plan. Since we have not been provided with a more detailed schedule yet, it isn’t clear how long this area of the road will be restricted.

Public Information Meetings Scheduled for Sample Road, Tapp & Rockport, Winslow & Henderson, Fullerton Pike

31 Jul

A lot of infrastructure project public meetings this month! To sum up, here are the upcoming public meetings:

  • Tapp and Rockport Road Intersection: Thursday, August 4, 2016, 4:30-6PM, Southern Hills Church of Christ (1030 W Country Club Dr)
  • Multiuse path along Winslow and Henderson: Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 6-7:30PM, City Hall Council Chambers
  • Fullerton Pike Phase 2: Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 6PM in the Nat U Hill Room of the Monroe County Courthouse.
  • Sample Road: Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 6PM, Maple Grove Christian Church (1503 W Simpson Chapel Rd)

Sample Road

Monroe County Government has scheduled a public information meeting on the Sample Road reconstruction project. The scope of the project goes from Old 37 at the east to Bottom Road at the west. The diagram below shows the extent to the project. The part in red represents the work being done to create a Sample Road interchange on I-69. As the diagram shows, there will be 3 roundabouts created as part of the interchange, which will be the northernmost access to I-69 in Monroe County. The interchange is expected to greatly increase the amount of traffic on Sample Road, necessitating the county reconstruction project.

Screenshot 2016-07-29 22.00.16

Sample Road Reconstruction Project

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 6PM, at the Maple Grove Christian Church (1503 W Simpson Chapel Rd).

Tapp Road and Rockport Road Intersection

The City of Bloomington is holding a public meeting on its plans to reconstruct the Tapp Road/Rockport Road/Country Club Drive intersection, as well as add a new traffic signal to the current 4-way stop. The project will add left turn lanes, a multiuse path, a sidewalk, and slight realignment of the intersection. Initially, a roundabout was considered, but rejected for cost and environmental impact reasons.

The following map shows the extent of the project:

Screenshot 2016-07-31 06.42.59

Tapp Road and Rockport Road Intersection Project

The meeting will be held Thursday, August 4, 2016, 4:30-6PM, at the Southern Hills Church of Christ (1030 W Country Club Dr). More details about the project can be found on the project web site.

Winslow and Henderson Multiuse Path

The City of Bloomington is also holding a public meeting on its plans to build a multiuse trail along Winslow Rd and Henderson St. The project will also have significant impacts on vehicular traffic, as it is being proposed that northbound traffic on Walnut Street Pike will only be able to turn right (east) on Winslow Rd, not continue north or turn left (west) on Winslow.

Screenshot 2016-07-31 06.54.17

Winslow-Henderson Multiuse Path and Intersection Improvements

This project will construct a new multiuse path on East Winslow Road between South Walnut Street and South Henderson Street, a new multiuse path on South Henderson Street from East Winslow Road to approximately 650 feet north of East Winslow Road, and make intersection changes to the Winslow Rd intersection with Walnut Street Pike. More details about the project can be found at the project web site.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 6-7:30PM, at City Hall Council Chambers.

Fullerton Pike Phase 2

This will come as a repeat to MoCoGov readers, but I wanted to include it with all of the other public meetings:

Monroe County Government has scheduled a public information meeting on Phase 2 of the Fullerton Pike project. Phase 2 goes from Walnut Street  at the east to just beyond Rogers Street at the west. Phase 1, which is scheduled for contract award on November 16, 2016, goes from Walnut Street Pike to Walnut Street.

The following diagram illustrates the approximate extent of the segments, and also identifies several landmarks to orient yourself.

Screenshot 2016-07-27 07.52.15

The meeting will be held on August 18, 2016 at 6:00 PM in the Nat U Hill Room of the Monroe County Courthouse.

Additional information about this major infrastructure project in Monroe County can be found here: Fullerton Pike Corridor.