Update on County Trail Projects

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Me Pointing at Potential New Multiuse Trail Connecting 2nd Street and Karst Farm Greenway

Last week I gave a presentation to the Bloomington Bicycle Club at their annual meeting, giving an update on a number of County (and one City thrown in there) infrastructure projects with a bike/pedestrian component. This is only a sample — there are more. Since several people asked for copies of that presentation I thought I’d make it available here: BBC Presentation 2018-02-10.

Please note that all of the maps are ones that I made for illustrative purposes. None are official, and project plans may change for any variety of reasons.

Among other projects, I talked about the the Limestone Greenway/Illinois Central corridor south of the Bloomington Rail Trail, the Monon Corridor connecting the Karst Farm Greenway with Ellettsville, and several westside road projects that will have multiuse paths and sidewalk facilities accompanying them. I also discussed a potential project that is still in the conceptual stages that would connect the multiuse path on the north side of Second Street/Bloomfield Road with the Karst Farm Greenway, via Liberty Drive. Here is the map I drew of that potential project:

Screenshot 2018-02-15 16.04.42

Also gave an update on the Vernal Pike Greenway project, that will connect Will Detmer Park (where the existing multiuse path along Vernal Pike ends) to the Karst Farm Greenway. This path will provide multiuse facilities along one of two remaining breaks between the City’s B-Line Trail and the County’s Karst Farm Greenway. This project, after long delays, will finally go into construction this year (2018), and will feature an historic truss bridge over the Indiana Railroad tracks just west of Curry Pike, very similar to this bridge (the actual bridge to be used is in pieces in a warehouse at the moment):

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Historic Truss Bridge to be Used on Vernal Pike Greenway

Finally talked about a City of Bloomington trail project that will run south of Winslow, parallel to and just to the east of the Bloomington Rail Trail.

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City of Bloomington’s Planned Southern B-Line Extension

The idea is to maintain the existing Bloomington Rail Trail’s soft surface, which is beloved by walkers and runners, and create a paved trail in the old CSX railroad corridor parallel to and just to the east of the Rail Trail. This corridor was given to the City by Monroe County in a land swap for the Illinois Central corridor south of Church Lane that the County is currently developing as a trail. The paved surface will be much more usable by cyclists, strollers, wheelchairs, etc. I’ve been told by City Parks and Recreation Officials that this project is slated for 2020, although the corridor has already been cleared by City of Bloomington Utilities for a sewer interceptor project.

Here is a link to a drone flight I took over the corridor.

It was a great opportunity to update the cycling community on many exciting Monroe County projects — and I was also accompanied in the presentation with the City of Bloomington Bicycle Coordinator Beth Rosenbarger, who gave us an update on numerous bike/ped developments and initiatives in the City of Bloomington.

Karst Farm Greenway Nearly Complete

IMG_0084Phase I of the Karst Farm Greenway — a project that has been eight years (!!) in the making — is finally nearing completion. The Karst Farm Greenway forms the north-south backbone of Monroe County’s active transportation network.

I’ve provided some background about the greenway previously here. Phase I runs from Karst Farm Park at the south to Vernal Pike at the north, where it joins the trail that connects to the new northwest YMCA. The Karst Farm Greenway connects to the park, the YMCA, Ivy Tech, the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences, and Highland Park and Grandview schools.

Although some of the finishes on the greenway (signage, etc.) won’t be complete, final surfacing is expected to be completed this Monday.

Here are a few snapshots I took on the Greenway on Thursday.

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Phase IIA of the project, which is also fully funded, extends the trail north to Loesch Road. Phase IIB of the project, which is not yet funded, extends the project north all of the way to Ellettsville.

Indianapolis is Considering a Complete Streets Ordinance

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: