BLOOMINGTON – South Lincoln Street will reopen from Smith Avenue to East Third Street on Wednesday, December 15 with reconfigured public on-street parking and a widened sidewalk.
The block has been closed to through traffic since May to accommodate the City of Bloomington Utilities’ Hidden River Pathway Project culvert construction. The following changes have been made in this block to improve safety on the street for all users and reduce the likelihood of crashes:
- Pull-in angle parking spaces on the west side of Lincoln have been reconfigured as back-in angle parking spaces. These spaces continue to offer free, two-hour parking.
- Some free, two-hour parallel parking spaces on the east side of the street have been removed in order to improve safety for bicyclists and motorists. The total number of on-street parking spaces in this block has been reduced from 37 to 34.
- The sidewalk on the west side of the street along Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park has been widened.
- Signage clarifying the new parking spaces, including signs providing instruction about back-in angle parking, are being installed this week.
The traffic signal at Third and Lincoln has been replaced and is in operation starting today. Permanent striping and an improved bike lane, separated more widely from the parallel parking lane than before, will be installed when the project is complete in the spring.
The graphic below provides simple instructions for back-in-angle parking. In comparison with pull-in angle parking, back-in angle parking improves the visibility of the traffic into which the motorist is entering when exiting a parking space and reduces the potential for collisions. Like parallel parking but simpler, back-in angle parking allows a motorist to back into the parking space slowly. When exiting the back-in angle parking space, a motorist is facing the street and able to see on-coming traffic.
Additionally, when a car is parked in a back-in angle parking space, the orientation of open car doors helps to direct children onto the sidewalk instead of into the street when exiting the vehicle. Also, back-in angle parking allows safer access to the vehicle’s trunk – from the sidewalk instead of the street.
Back-in-angle parking is permitted in the City through changes to the Bloomington Municipal Code (15.32.175) approved by the Bloomington City Council in 2017. The City Traffic Commission reviewed the proposal to implement back-in angle parking and the additional changes at this location at their November 17, 2021 meeting. Stakeholders from the vicinity were notified of the proposed changes and invited to provide feedback at the meeting, where the commission voted in favor of the proposed changes. The City Engineer issued a 180-day order to establish the changes on an interim basis until the council is able to update the City’s Traffic Ordinance.