(BLOOMINGTON) – In keeping with current public health regulations, the City of Bloomington continues to advance Infrastructure projects enhancing safety, transportation, economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and quality of life for all.
Updates about a selection of current projects and programs follow:
Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project/Downtown Pilot Programs
Completed in early June, the Kirkwood Avenue Maintenance Project updated the city’s iconic boulevard with pedestrian enhancements that allow the street to serve alternately as a plaza. Several innovative approaches to the downtown streetscape that complement the physical improvements are currently in place to stimulate the local economy and support local and state guidelines for health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis.
The following pilot programs approved by the Board of Public Words are in effect through September 30:
- Expanded seating in the right-of-way: Since mid-June, restaurants along Kirkwood have been permitted to expand outdoor seating into the street to facilitate physical distancing for their customers. Removable bollards installed as part of the Kirkwood maintenance project protect the temporary pedestrian space. Originally limited to the blocks between Indiana and Grant, the pilot has been expanded to the block between Washington and Walnut. The pilot restricts vehicular traffic along Kirkwood from Thursday at 2 p.m. through Monday morning at 8 a.m., but allows traffic to flow north and south on the streets intersecting Kirkwood.
- 15-minute pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) spaces: Since August 1, free, 15-minute parking has been designated at 58 spaces over 30 blocks in downtown commercial zones (as indicated at this map) to facilitate the curbside pickup model to which many area restaurants have recently transitioned. One to two PUDO spaces per block are identified with signage affixed to the meter. Parking at the PUDO spaces and regular metered spaces is monitored from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday to ensure regular turnover.
- Parklets: Since August 5, six parking spaces on the west side of North College Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets have been designated as “parklets,” providing expanded, physically distanced seating for the adjacent restaurants. The spaces are protected from traffic by orange water-filled barriers. Additional parklets may be implemented based on requests from downtown restaurants, which may be made at this online application: https://forms.gle/8YLAuUVmE8PAjmbY8. Additional requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, balancing needs for expanded seating with availability of parking, safety, feasibility of implementation, and other factors. Any additional parklets would be implemented on a biweekly basis on the following Wednesdays: August 19, September 2 and September 16. There is no cost to the restaurant to have a parklet during this pilot program.
Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program Phase 2
Sidewalks are currently being installed on the west side of North Madison Street between 15th and 17th Streets as part of Phase 2 of the Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program. In the next several weeks, crews will complete new curb and curb ramp installation along both sides of the street. Homeowners in the area are urged to apply for funding to improve the sidewalk adjacent to their property while crews are nearby; and property owners in other neighborhoods are also welcome to apply for participation.
Now in its second phase, the sidewalk partnership program is open to those who own and occupy single-family homes in federally designated Community Development Block Grant areas within the corporate limits of Bloomington, and are current on payment of property taxes and other debts to the City. In addition, the sidewalk must have a “poor” rating on the pavement condition index, as verified by City staff.
Prospective participants may enter their address into a portal at the project’s website to determine their eligibility. The Sidewalk Repair Assistance Program removed and replaced more than 2500 linear feet of sidewalk in two neighborhoods during its first phase in 2019.
Streets and Sidewalks
Milled and repaved over the summer, East Tenth Street is currently open to vehicular traffic to accommodate the IU student move-in. Flaggers are on-site to direct traffic around the temporary lane closure between Fee Lane and Woodlawn Avenue on Wednesday, August 12 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to allow for final pavement marking.
Street improvements are also taking place along North Lincoln Street from East Kirkwood Avenue to East Eighth Street, where lane restrictions will be implemented Wednesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 13. Sidewalk installation is taking place this week in The Stands, where lane restrictions have been implemented and no parking notices posted at several addresses. Road construction takes place daily from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. The 2020 paving and concrete/curb repair season schedule is posted here.
Residents can now follow the progress of new garage construction via live video captured by newly installed webcams at the Trades District Garage and the Fourth Street Garage. Each video portal also offers time-lapse footage of progress over periods from a day to a week to a month. The Trades District Garage will add 350 spaces to the inventory of parking spaces downtown upon completion in spring 2021; the Fourth Street Garage, scheduled for completion in summer 2021, will provide over 500 parking spaces of different varieties (accessible, compact, regular, and electric vehicle), as well as new City Parking Management Offices, a bicycle parking depot, and commercial space with an adjacent plaza walkway on the facility’s south side to intersect with the alleyway along its west side, which will also be activated as a pedestrian space.
The Fourth Street Garage and the Trades District Garage will be the first two garages in Indiana designed and built to achieve Parksmart-certification, based on compliance with guidelines that reduce environmental impact, increase energy efficiency and performance, and manage parking spaces efficiently.
More information about current City-led infrastructure projects is available here. When encountering improvement projects, drivers are asked to travel slowly, cautiously, and distraction-free through the construction zone and be attentive to lane changes for their safety and that of the workers.