Tag Archives: bicycling

MPO Meeting Today: Trail Project and Bike Bridge

9 Jun
Creek Crossing at the INDOT Mitigation Property

Creek Crossing at the INDOT Mitigation Property

Today’s Policy Committee meeting of the Bloomington Metropolitan Planning Organization (1:30PM, in City Council Chambers in the Showers Building) has a pretty light agenda decision-wise, but features two important active transportation/trail projects:

1. The County is asking the MPO to amend both the FY2016-2019 and FY 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) to add a Monroe County greenway project running along the Illinois Central railroad corridor from the existing Clear Creek Trailhead at Church Lane to an INDOT I-69 mitigation property that could be the future site of a county nature park. The mitigation property is a property where INDOT was required to plant and maintain trees to compensate for the trees it cut down for I-69.  I have spoken about this exciting project many times. The purpose of this amendment is to allow the County to spend a $200,000 Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant it received from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to develop the trail, which will continue the existing Bloomington Rail Trail and Clear Creek Trail south. The County is putting up the value of the railroad corridor, which the County owns, as the match.

Here is a map I made of the project:

Illinois Central Corridor Greenway Phase 1

Illinois Central Corridor Greenway Phase 1

Incidentally, although I refer to it as the Illinois Central Corridor Greenway, this trail does not yet have an official name.

2. The Bloomington Bicycle Club has long advocated for a bicycle-pedestrian-only bridge over I-69. They have put out some additional information here: http://www.bloomingtonbicycleclub.org/BikePedBridge/. There are also some maps and slides in the MPO Policy Committee Packet that are definitely worth looking at!

They are asking the MPO to formally support the project in principle; however, no funding is being allocated or requested here. I definitely support moving forward on the project (i.e., doing a feasibility analysis to determine usage and costs), and will be supporting the request of the bicycle club to endorse the project.

The packet for the MPO Policy Committee meeting is here: 2017-06-09 MPO Policy Committee Packet.

 

 

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Fullerton Pike Corridor Improvements: Bike Lanes vs. Multiuse?

16 Jun

The final engineering assessment for the proposed Fullerton Pike Corridor improvements was just released here:

This project is divided into three sections, in priority order:

  1. State Road 37 to Sare Road (this includes connecting the currently disconnected Fullerton Pike and Gordon Pike, which can be seen here)
  2. State Road 45 to State Road 37
  3. Sare Road to Snoddy Road

Although there is a lot to discuss about this project, what interests me right now are the two alternatives in the SR37 – Sare Road section with respect to bicycle access. In short, the two alternatives presented (the discussion starts on page 19 of the document) are:

  1. Sidewalk on the south side of the road and multi-use side path on the north side of the road
  2. Sidewalk on both north and south sides of the road, no multi-use path, but on-road bike lanes on both the north and south sides of the road

So essentially, the tradeoff for bike riders is: multiuse path on one side and nothing on the other, vs. on-road bike lanes in both directions.

To all bike riders out there — I ask which alternative do you prefer?

In general, my preference is for a dedicated multi-use sidepath, even if it is only on one side of the road, because I am frequently riding with one or both of my kids, and riding for recreation. The multi-use definitely feels safer while pulling my daughter in the trailer, and I think it is more comfortable for my son to ride as well. However, if I were a frequent commuter along that corridor, I would probably prefer the on-streek bike lane in both directions.

I would like to hear others’ thoughts on this issue.

Incidentally, there will be a public meeting on the Fullerton Pike project at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Jackson Creek Middle School. Anyone interested in this project is encouraged to attend.

Indianapolis is Considering a Complete Streets Ordinance

10 Jun

I was pleased to see, per IndyStar columnist Matthew Tully in today’s Indianapolis Star, that Indianapolis is considering a Complete Streets ordinance:

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120610/NEWS08/206100344/Matthew-Tully-Indianapolis-streets-can-serve-avenues-more-than-cars?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

Complete Streets is a transportation policy framework in which road networks are built with the needs of ALL system users in mind, including automobiles, bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, public transit users, users of all ages and abilities, etc., and is focused in making our cities, towns, and neighborhoods more safe, healthy, and livable. This is obviously a major policy shift from traditional public works engineering principles that are geared around moving as many cars from one point to another point.

The Complete Streets Coalition provides additional information about the benefits of complete streets policies, and provides some model policy language.

Indianapolis is not in the vanguard, however, with its Complete Streets. Several other Indiana cities have already passed their own Complete Streets ordinances: