Bloomington Aldermen Unanimously Approve Washington St. Bike Lanes | WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen Unanimously Approve Washington St. Bike Lanes

Jul 10, 2017

After a fierce battle over bicycle lanes for Washington Street, the final chapter in the process Monday was anticlimactic.

Opponents scarcely showed up, and the Bloomington City Council gave unanimous approval, 9-0.

Bike BloNo's Michael Gorman said designating Washington Street for bike lanes might seem redundant since the city policy already includes the Complete Streets model. But the Bike Blono policy advocate said the planning process helps identify solutions in complex projects well in advance.

"Which helps in all sorts of ways from clarifying the cost of a project earlier in the budget process, to identifying where parking may be displaced and offsets needed. It gives nearby business owners and residents time to prepare and offer input long before implementation," said Gorman.

The four-hour Bloomington City Council two-meeting marathon drew a packed house over police citizen review board and bicycle lane issues.
Credit Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch said only the east end of the Washington Street stretch will see bike lanes any time soon. Karch says most of the thoroughfare will wait for some time.

"We try to say when it's time to resurface, that's when it's time to look at changing markings, because that's when it's more effective that way. This won't happen for eight to 10 years. When that happens we will reach out to the adjacent property owners, and do that engineering. Standards might have changed in eight years," said Karch.

Supporters argued the city needs affordable transportation routes. Friends of the Constitution Trail head Patrick Dullard said earlier bike lanes on Jersey Avenue slowed traffic down and made conditions safer for all transportation.

Only a couple people spoke against the amendment to put bike lanes from Saint Joseph Drive on the east to Lee Street on the west. This contrasted sharply with Planning Commission meetings earlier in the process.

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