New City Commission Would Decide Speed, Other Transportation Issues
The Bloomington City Council is discussing lowering the speed limit on another road and the Mayor thinks it may be time to move forward on revised commission to address transportation issues.
During a non-voting work session Monday, Alderman and staff considered a lower speed limit on Fox Creek Road. This comes after the council voted in December to lower the speed limit on a section of Hershey Road. The current speed on Fox Creek Rd. is set at 40 mph. Aldermen could consider 35 or 30 mph at a future meeting.
Mayor Tari Renner said during Sound Ideas he's supportive of a reorganized commission to review speed limits and other transportation issues.
"In some cases our speed limits were set long ago and haven't been recalibrated or reexamined," said Renner. "We want traffic to flow and we also want to make sure people are safe."
With the recent adoption of a Complete Streets ordinance which requires roadways accommodate all modes and all users, Renner said it may be time for a whole new mindset about speed limits. That doesn't mean all speed limits will be dropping however. Renner is supporting a proposal from Ward 4 Alderman Amelia Buragas shifting the Staff Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) to the Traffic Advisory Commission, with more citizen involvement and transparency. STAC meetings are closed to the public.
On Facebook today, Buragas posted that there's a "need for changes in the way we approach transportation planning in the city of Bloomington." She wrote that the current system "does not take into account the negative impact higher traffic speeds can have on property values and quality of life. The current system also does not have a built in mechanism for public hearings."
On her alderman page, she also posted "It's time for our transportation planning to be open, transparent, and comprehensive." Renner agreed.
"These would be people appointed, as are other commissions, by the mayor, subject to approval by the council. There would be open meetings act requirements," Said Renner. "Certainly we can talk about the structure of the commission to ensure it keeps this sort of macro-level view in mind."
Renner said the council may not consider the Traffic Advisory Commission at the next meeting, but it will appear an an agenda very soon for a council vote.
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