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


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”

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Meeting Today — Fullerton Pike, Other Road Projects

FullSizeRenderThis is one of those blog postings that I wish I had made several days earlier (in my copious free time, of course!). Honestly, I had expected more press coverage, beyond a generic announcement of the meeting.Today’s meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Committee (1:30PM at City Council Chambers) is a very important one, with several key votes scheduled for critical (and sometimes controversial) road projects. The three main items up for discussion and vote are:

  • Adoption of the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan (Draft 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan)
  • Certification of Complete Streets compliance for 3 road projects
  • Adoption of the 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

I’ll talk very briefly about each of these items.

Adoption of the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan

Our current long-range transportation plan (LRTP), covering up to 2030, expires on May 14, 2014. If a new plan is not adopted to replace it in time, the existing Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) will be frozen, and transportation projects will not be able to be modified. The TIP is a document that spans four fiscal years, and documents the distribution of MPO funding throughout the region. A project must be in the TIP to be eligible for federal transportation funding. If the 2030 LRTP is allowed to expire, the existing 2015-2018 TIP will be frozen in place, giving us no flexibility for modification.

Unfortunately, the MPO has not been able to complete the 2040 LRTP in time to supersede the expiring 2030 LRTP. MPO staff has been working with a consultant to use new analytic methods and modeling techniques for the new plan — but has not been successful in completing the work in time. Therefore, they are proposing that we adopt an interim 2035 LRTP that is essentially identical to the 2030 LRTP (with updated demographic and financial projections) in order to “buy” more time to complete the 2040 LRTP. It is this interim 2035 LRTP that we will be asked to vote on today.

Certification of Complete  Streets Compliance

The MPO Policy Committee will be asked to certify that three projects in the proposed 2016-2019 TIP compliant with the MPO Complete Streets Policy:

  • West 17th Street Reconstruction
  • Woodlawn Avenue Railroad Crossing
  • Fullerton Pike Phase 2 (from just East of Walnut Street Pike, near the Rhorer Road Krogers to 500 feet West of Rogers Street)

The Fullerton Pike Phase 2 compliance discussion will undoubtedly be controversial, as many residents, particularly those who live along the corridor, have strong opinions on this project. The MPO Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) two weeks ago declined to certify the Fullerton Pike Phase 2 project as compliant with the Complete Streets policy.

Approval of 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)

The MPO will be asked to approve the 2016-2019 TIP, which will specify the allocation of MPO funding for area transportation projects. Inclusion in the TIP is a requirement for projects that will receive federal funding. The following projects are in the proposed/draft 2016-2019 TIP:

  • Monroe County
    • Fullerton Pike Phase 1 (from just west of Walnut Street to just east of Walnut Street Pike)
    • Fullerton Pike Phase 2 (from just east of Walnut Street Pike to just west of Rogers Street)
    • Karst Farm Greenway Phase  3 (construction of multi-use trail from railbanked Monon corridor to Hartstraight Road, to tie into the Ellettsville Heritage Trail)
    • Signal backplate installation at county signalized  intersections
    • Bridge safety inventory and inspection
  • City of Bloomington
    • Reconstruction of Old SR37 and Dunn Street
    • Reconstruction of Tapp Rd and Rockport Rd
    • Black Lumber Trail (multi-use trail from Henderson St to Walnut St)
    • Installation of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon at Allen St and Walnut St intersection
    • Guardrail on south side of Moore’s Pike at Southeast Park
    • Construction of at-grade railroad crossing at Woodlawn Ave between 12th and 13th Sts
    • Pedestrian refuge island at 4th St and Rogers St intersection
    • Traffic signal modernization at 3rd St and Woodscrest Dr intersection
    • Sidepath construction on north side of E. Rogers Rd at the Jackson Creek bridge to The Stands Dr
    • Sidepath construction on S Henderson from Black Lumber Trail to Winslow Rd
    • Sidepath construction on Winslow Rd from S Walnut St to S Highland Ave
    • Retrofitting curb ramps for compliance with ADA
    • Jackson Creek Trail from Southeast Park/Arden Drive to High Street then to Sherwood Oaks Park/Goat Farm to Rhorer Road and east to Sare Road
    • 17th Street Reconstruction
    • 2nd St and College Ave signal replacement
  • Bloomington Transit
    • Passenger Shelters
    • Operational Assistance
    • Purchase Major Vehicle Components
    • Purchase BT Access vehicles
    • Support Vehicle replacement
    • Exhaust system upgrade at garage
    • Fleet maintenance software
    • Surveillance equipment
    • Two-way radio communications equipment
    • 35 foot hybrid bus replacement
    • Replace fare collection equipment
    • Mobility management program
    • 40 foot diesel bus replacement
  • Rural Transit
    • Operation of Rural Transit
    • Bus maintenance
    • SR45 pavement, from SR46 to Unionville
    • I-69 Section 5
    • SR45/46 pavement
    • SR37 from Dillman Road to I-69
    • SR46 traffic signal visibility/back-plate installation
    • Underwater bridge inspections
    • Bridge load rating inspections

The complete packet for the MPO Policy Committee meeting can be found here: MPO Packet 2015-05-08. Public comment will be taken on all items up for a vote (including all of the items discussed above).