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Does the B-Line Trail function beyond a means of recreation and exercise?

Like the City of Bloomington's other multi-use trails, (the Clear Creek Trail, the Bloomington Rail Trail and the Jackson Creek Trail), the B-Line Trail is heavily used by walkers, runners, bicyclists and others working to stay fit. But indeed it is much more. There are eight pieces of public art installed along the B-Line Trail now, and opportunities for more installations along the now completed Phase 2 construction. Also, the B-Line's many interpretive signs educate users about our rich downtown history. As a path through the heart of our downtown extending from northern core neighborhoods to our southernmost trail system, we hope that employees will also access the Trail to commute to and from work, or to other parts of downtown and the city during their workdays. The Farmers' Market Plaza on the B-LineTrail, next to the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market, has proven to be an important community meeting and gathering space and we expect that other parts of the B-Line Trail will serve that purpose too.


What impact might the B-Line Trail have on my business?

The B-Line Trail will give your business access to new and greater audiences, whether commuters, exercisers or visitors. With some alteration to your physical structure or business plan, your business may open up to a whole new market share.


What can I do to make my business more "B-Line friendly," that is, more accommodating to B-Line Trail users?

City staff are eager to assist you in any way in making sure that you are open for business for Trail users! Think about developing an access point to and from your business so that people can easily stop in to purchase your products and services. Think about changing the "back" of your office to a new, additional "front" door. You might decide to expand product offerings in your store to include things that Trail users are looking for (for example, fitness-related products). Contact Jason Carnes in the Department of Economic & Sustainable Development for more ideas for business improvements, or for advice in developing your improvements.


How can I use the B-Line Trail to market my business?

There are many ways you can use the B-Line Trail to market your business including participation in the B-Line Backers program, recognition for sponsorship of artwork or amenities along the Trail, or simply using the B-Line as a landmark to direct people to your business location. Contact Kim Ecenbarger at ecenbark@bloomington.in.gov or by phone at (812) 349-3739 to inquire about becoming a B-Line Backer, or other B-Line sponsorship opportunities.


Improvements might be beyond my business's operating budget. Is any form of assistance offered to finance these types of projects?

The City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association have partnered to make funds available for small grants for business enhancements that improve the relationship to the B-Line. In 2009, corresponding to the first phase of the B-Line construction, $14,000 in grant funds was provided and six B-Line businesses completed enhancement projects. Check the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development Web page for other forms of assistance, and qualifications to check your eligibility.


What can my business do to participate in the use, upkeep, and beautification of the B-Line Trail?

First and foremost, if your business has an access point to and from the B-Line on your property, keep it clean and inviting. Also, the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department's Adopt-a-Trail program is the perfect opportunity for individuals and businesses to participate in upkeep of the Trail, and receive recognition for your commitment to litter pick-up and so on. To learn more about the Adopt-a-Trail or B-Line Backer Trail sponsorship program, contact Kim Ecenbarger at ecenbark@bloomington.in.gov or by phone at (812) 349-3739.


How can my business become involved in sponsoring public art on the B-Line Trail? Is there an opportunity for my business to add an artistic element viewable by B-Line users?

We're extremely proud of our signature B-Line sculpture, Bloomington Banquet, in the Farmers' Market plaza. There are seven additional art installations on the Trail and we have identified more potential locations along the southern portion of the Trail. If your business is interested in donating funds toward the commission or installation of an art piece, contact Miah Michaelsen, Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts, at michaelm@bloomington.in.gov or (812) 349-3418.


Will my business have the opportunity to utilize the plazas along the B-Line Trail to host events and private business functions?

The B-Line Trail not only functions as an alternative transportation thoroughfare and a linear park for recreation and fitness, but also as a popular downtown gathering place. Plaza OneA near City Hall will have space dedicated to live performance - theater, music, speeches and so on. And, the Animal Island plaza near WonderLab in the Youth Area of the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) is also a great place for small gatherings. During all times, a thoroughfare for public B-Line Trail users must be maintained. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at parks@bloomington.in.gov to find out if the B-Line Trail is the right fit for your event. See the Parks and Recreation facilities Web page for information on picnic shelters for rent in a variety of City parks.


Will my business have the opportunity to place a cart or booth vendor along the B-Line Trail during events such as the Farmers' Market?

Such business enterprises are regulated by Bloomington Municipal Code 4.16 "Itinerant Merchants, Solicitors and Peddlers." Vendors are prohibited in certain portions of the B-Line Trail:

All itinerant merchants must be licensed by the City of Bloomington. Visit the Department of Economic & Sustainable Development Web page for details and an application, or contact Jason Carnes at carnesj@bloomington.in.gov or via phone at (812) 349-3418.

To vend inside the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market-which attracts as many as 11,000 visitors during a Saturday Market and hundreds during the Tuesday Market-you must obtain permission from the Market. Additionally, itinerant merchants are prohibited from selling within one block of the Farmers' Market unless they have obtained consent from the Market. Visit the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market Web page or contact Robin Hobson, Market Master, at hobsonr@bloomington.in.gov or by phone at (812) 349-3704.


What are the rules about busking on the B-Line Trail?

Busking is currently regulated in only one location on the B-Line Trail: Plaza OneA. This regulation applies from May through October, during the busy Farmers' Market months. See the Farmers' Market busking guidelines and performance policy (PDF 433.44 KB) for details about the required agreement for this location and other locations inside the Farmers' Market.

Anywhere within the City of Bloomington, buskers are expected to be considerate of other nearby buskers and passersby.