Transportation | WGLT

Transportation

Richard Ericksson / Flickr

Data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that the state's pedestrian fatalities increased by 18 percent in 2015.  

There were 150 pedestrian deaths in 2015, compared with 127 in 2014.  Federal data indicates that pedestrian deaths are on the rise nationwide, with almost 4,900 killed in 2014, the highest number since 2005.

Ralph Weisheit

The head of the company that just took the Mitsubishi plant in Normal off the automaker's hands says they will start liquidating the equipment in two or three months if they do not find a buyer for the plant.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The head of the Mitsubishi Auto plant in Normal said this has been his most difficult year of more than four decades in the auto industry. The company laid off most of its workforce last year and the final hundred plus workers at the facility will lose their jobs at the end of the month.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Mitsubishi Motors North America has sold its plant in Normal to an industrial reclamation firm.

Maynards Industries is a Detroit-based company that will take possession of the plant in June.

Mitsubishi says it does not know Maynards' plans for the site and equipment, but are aware they are in discussions with various parties.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Bloomington says the city's commitment to infrastructure will soon become visible. Street repairs have been an ongoing problem for years. But, Tari Renner said council approval of ten million dollars in the new budget will make a difference.

License Plate Windfall To End

Apr 13, 2016
Adle Mand / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois House has passed a measure to suspend fines for drivers who are late renewing their vehicle license plates until the state can continue mailing reminders.

Staff

The Bloomington City Council has adopted a $207 million dollar proposed balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Aldermen Kevin Lower and Jim Fruin voted no. Lower said his opposition came because of a lack of reductions in “socialized entertainment venues.” Lower said he believed the venues should be paid for by the people actually using those services, not the city.

Nora Dukowitz / City of Bloomington

A $207 million balanced budget for the next year is under consideration by the Bloomington City Council tonight. The proposal includes additional revenue from a sales tax passed last year and includes more spending for the city’s infrastructure.

Connect Transit Updates Payment Options

Apr 7, 2016
Staff

Beginning in June, Connect Transit riders will use new electronic fare boxes when boarding a bus.

Customers will be able to pay for rides with a magnetic strip card. Riders can also continue to use Connect Transit issued passes or cash. Bus tokens will be phased out beginning in May and no longer accepted after June 3rd.

Monthly 'Fast Passes' already purchased will work until June and any remaining credit can be transferred to a new mag-strip card after June.

Normal Council To Hear Connect Transit Changes

Apr 4, 2016
Passengers board a bus in Uptown Normal's transfer center.
Connect Transit

Connect Transit will present proposed bus system changes in the Twin Cities to the Normal Town Council tonight. Council members will not be asked to approve the changes brought forward by the analysis at the meeting. The Transit Board will look more closely at the proposal at their meeting next month, with the final changes slated to begin in August. 

Peoria County Sheriff's Office

Baggage at the Peoria's airport originally thought to contain a bomb turned out to be a training device used at Planned Parenthood clinics. 

Attorney Explains Bicycle Laws, Insurance

Mar 15, 2016
Arturo Satilla / Flickr via Creative Commons

A bicycle lawyer is addressing the Bike BloNo meeting March 16th. Brendan Kevenides is partner in a Chicago firm that specializes in the legal needs of cyclists.

CIRA

American Airlines new flight from and to Dallas - Ft. Worth has begun service from Bloomington.

The Central Illinois Regional Airport says the non-stop flight joined two other flights on American to north Texas. It also links to a hub with more than 200 destinations in 26 countries.

The light will have a regular daily schedule arriving in Bloomington at 12:09 p.m. and then departing from Bloomington at 1:05 p.m. and arriving in Dallas at 3:24 p.m.
 

Decatur Hikes Gas Tax

Feb 18, 2016
Gas station terminal
Tysto / Flickr via Creative Commons

Motorists in Decatur will pay more at the pump after the City Council approved a new gas tax to help fund road improvements. The council voted Tuesday to impose the local tax beginning April 1. The tax is 5 cents per gallon for unleaded gasoline and 1 cent per gallon for diesel. It will expire in 10 years unless the council votes to extend it. Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe says the city ``got to fix our streets.'' She says she hopes the funds will help create jobs for local people who work in road construction and repair.

Brad Basham Photography/www.bbasham.com

The Town of Normal is taking steps to build a temporary, level railroad crossing to allow Amtrak passengers to use a second platform, which will available when the state begins using high speed trains within the next year. The Town Council originally looked at building an overpass, or bridge, to allow passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists to cross the tracks as part of Constitution Trail, but that was put on hold when an underpass was proposed

Ben Larcey / Urbanwheel

Illinois State University says hover boards are too much of a fire risk. Eric Jome is the Director of ISU Media Relations. Hover boards are battery-operated, self-balancing scooters. Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Brent Paterson says that there have been a numerous cases of hover boards overheating and catching fire while charging.

National Mayors' Association Focuses On Transportation

Jan 21, 2016
Ralph Weisheit

The nation's Mayors are getting a look at the new transportation bill and what's in it for them. WGLT's Hanna Gutmann reports from the national meeting in Washington that Normal Mayor Chris Koos says the biggest problem is the new bill still has an old funding mechanism and priorities.

New Flight Takes Off At CIRA

Jan 18, 2016
Adrian Pingstone / Creative Commons

The Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington is adding one flight a day between the Illinois twin cities to Dallas-Fort Worth Texas. The American Airlines flight will take off from CIRA begining March 3rd. The airport is coming off a rough year during which it experienced an eight percent decrease in passengers as Frontier Airlines discontinued Bloomington service to Denver and Orlando.

Eddie Maloney / Creative Commons

Starting this spring, Allegiant Airlines will fly twice a week from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport to the Florida Panhandle beach city of Destin. The discount carrier announced the seasonal route at a news conference this week at the airport in southwestern Illinois. Service to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will run from June 2 to Sept. 4 and cost as little as $39 one way. This will be the fifth MidAmerica route for Allegiant, the only airline operating at the airport. It currently connects MidAmerica with Las Vegas and two other points in Florida: Orlando and Tampa.

America's Car Museum

The place of the automobile in American culture is changing. But, a nationwide tour of three historic vehicles stopping in Bloomington Normal recalls the glory days of the car in U.S. society.

Record Number Of Travelers This Holiday

Dec 21, 2015

"Dead Man's Curve" (note hand painted center line)Credit unknown / Michigan State Highway DepartmentEdit | Remove

Over the next couple of weeks, 100-Million Americans plan on traveling, and 90% of them will do so in a car or truck. Beth Mosher  of the Triple A motor club says even in Illinois, a state with plenty of air and rail travel options, most prefer traveling in an automobile.

The Drones Are Coming

Dec 15, 2015
Bob Carroll / TV 10

The drones are coming, and so are the rules for the unmanned flying machines. Randy Aberle  of Flying Ag in Gibson city says he welcomes the new rules, for the most part. One rule that does bother him is a requirement anyone flying for hire must obtain a pilot's license. Aberle says that is standing in the way of farmers who want to use drones to get a better picture of conditions of the fields.

Ralph Weisheit

The House has overwhelmingly approved a five-year, $305 billion transportation bill that boosts highway and transit spending. The measure assures states that federal aid will be available as they plan major projects. Congressman Rodney Davis touts the $7.5 billion dollars for Illinois and the $668 million increase for the state over the life of the bill. He's also pleased with efficiency measures in the legislation.

James Yolkowski / Wikipedia

Within a four county region that includes McLean, Livingston, Ford and DeWitt counties, Life Centers for Independent Living helps thousands of people with disabilities obtain work and live on their own. LIFE CIL, as it's often called, recently signed an agreement with Connect Transit to help screen riders with disabilities to help determine the best transportation option. On Thursday (11/19), LIFE CIL celebrates 30 years of community service. The celebration coincides with the 25th anniversary of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. GLT's Judy Valente takes a look back -- and forward -- with LIFE CIL's executive director Gail Kear.

Police Eye Medical Marijuana Impaired Driving

Nov 16, 2015
Goodnightlondon / Creative Commons

Medical Marijuana's been available for patients with certain diseases and ailments for one week in Illinois.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Bloomington's West Market Street at the Union Pacific railroad bridge is now open. Construction crews took down the barricades at 1pm yesterday afternoon. The street had been closed since late March to allow for the tear down and replacement of the bridge to accomodate high speed rail and increased freight traffic. The construction was originally scheduled to end in June, but a miriad of reasons, including rainy weather and bad soil, pushed the completion date back a number of times.

Connect Mobility To Needs Test Riders Next Year

Nov 11, 2015
Connect Transit bus
Connect Transit

The LIFE Center for Independent Living is working with Connect Transit to determine who is eligible to use Connect Mobility buses. The service provides door-to-door rides for people with disabilities, and currently allows all applicants that can provide a doctor's note for a documented disability or anyone age 65 and over.

Mike Bernico / Bike BloNo

A new study says the largest single chunk of bicycle versus auto accidents in Bloomington Normal happen to bicyclists who are using sidewalks. Michael Gorman of the advocacy group Bike BloNo says it's safest for cyclists to behave like motorists and follow the rules of the road on the streets because cyclists are more visible to people around you.

Gorman says bikers are most visible when they are behaving like motorists and following the rules of the road, but car drivers may not notice bikers when the head into an intersection from a sidewalk.

Flagging A Bus Soon Thing Of The Past

Nov 6, 2015
Staff / WGLT

Beginning Monday, Connect Transit buses in Bloomington-Normal will only stop at designated spots.  Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson says the signs marking bus stops have been up for a few weeks now, and he hopes the public is ready for the transition. He says the new system will increase efficiency, and cut down on travel times.

John Lloyd

Other than a house or a college education, buying a car is the largest purchase many Americans make. There's a lot of stress associated with it. WGLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with Dan Deneen, a McLean County Attorney who frequently represents car buyers against dealerships. To buy a car the low stress way, Deneen says approaching a car purchase should be done systematically.

When you go to a car lot, Deneen also says, take an extensive test drive.
 

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