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Updates: Questions from the Public Meeting and Project Draft Images

A virtual public meeting was held on Thursday, June 18, 2020. There were many great questions, and the questions, answers, and comments can be accessed here. If you have other questions or comments, please submit questions, comments, and concerns here

Below are links to images that show what the proposed design will look like on 7th Street. 

Project Summary: 

Building on the success and transformative effect of the B-Line Trail, the 7-Line will provide a protected east-west bicycle lane and improved bus corridor to connect the B-Line, downtown, Indiana University campus, and eastside neighborhoods. The project will enhance and expand the conventional bike lane that already exists along parts of 7th Street by adding physical separation between bicyclists and auto traffic to improve comfort, safety, and efficiency for all road users. 

Extending from the B-Line Trail to Woodlawn Avenue, the first phase of the 7th Street improvements will provide a direct route between downtown and campus, designed to increase ridership and improve access to nearby destinations. The 7-Line is projected to extend east of the IU campus in subsequent phases. The project’s design consultant is Indianapolis-based American Structurepoint.  

Residents will have the opportunity to learn more, share concerns, and provide input about some design elements at an informational meeting to be held Thursday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. via Facebook Live.  The City’s advisory commissions will review the project and provide feedback in June (Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission, June 8; Traffic Commission, June 24; Parking Commission, June 25).

 

Project Timeline:

  •    Design: 2019-2020
  •    Public Input: TBD (2019-2020)
  •    Construction: TBD (2021)

 

Project Contact:

Beth Rosenbarger, AICP
(812) 349-3423 or rosenbab@bloomington.in.gov

 

Online Feedback Form

Click here to leave a comment or ask a question about the 7-Line project.

 

News and Media

Press Release: Virtual Town Hall (June 18, 2020)–Click here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 7-Line?

The 7-Line will be a protected east-west bicycle lane and improved transit corridor to connect the B-Line, downtown, Indiana University campus, and eastside and westside neighborhoods. 7th Street has a long history providing good transportation options to and from major destinations such as Downtown Bloomington, Indiana University, and east side shopping. Past improvements to the corridor include high visibility crosswalks, traffic circles, bicycle lanes, bicycle box pavement marking, shared lane markings, higher frequency transit service (Route 6), signed wayfinding (with destinations and approximate mileage), and a grade-separated underpass at SR 45/46. This project continues to build upon these 7th Street improvements to improve safety, mobility, and multimodal access along the central portion of the corridor.

 

What is a protected bicycle lane?

A protected bicycle lane improves on a conventional bicycle lane by adding physical separation between bicyclists and auto traffic to improve comfort, safety, and efficiency for all road users. The separation can take the form of a median strip, pedestrian island, bollards, planters, fencing, or other physical barriers. Protected bicycle lanes can allow users to travel in one or both directions. The 7-Line will create a two-way protected bicycle lane along the south side of the street, meaning that both directions of bicycle travel will be contiguous.

 

Do other cities have protected bicycle lanes? Are there any others in Bloomington? 

Protected bicycle lanes have been a staple in cities around the country and the world with efficient multimodal transportation systems. Bloomington’s first protected bicycle lanes are currently being constructed along West Adams Street between Kirkwood and Patterson. The project to install one-way protected bike lanes on each side of the road will be completed by July 30. More information is available here. For a small example of a protected bike lane, you can find one on the IU campus to the north of the Auditorium.

 

How will the 7-Line benefit Bloomington?

The 7-Line will make the street safer and more accommodating for a mix of transportation options. Extending from the B-Line Trail to Woodlawn Avenue, the first phase of the 7th Street improvements will provide a direct route between downtown and the Indiana University campus, and provide connectivity to existing trails and greenways.

 

What are the goals of the 7-Line project?

The improvements are part of the City’s larger commitment to sustainability and quality of life for all residents, goals captured in the Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Plan, and Sustainability Action Plan. The 7-Line will expand the viability of multiple forms of transportation in Bloomington, beyond use of single-occupancy vehicles. Doing so supports the reduction of greenhouse gases and increases accessibility for residents at all income levels. 

 

How long will the 7-Line be?

Extending from the B-Line Trail to Woodlawn Avenue, the first phase of the 7th Street improvements extend 0.72 miles. In subsequent phases, the 7-Line is projected to extend from the eastern edge of the IU campus to the current terminus of the Seventh/Longview Greenway near the S.R. 46/S.R. 446 intersection.

 

Is the 7-Line just for people on bicycles?

The 7-Line will transform Seventh Street into a multimodal corridor designed to increase comfort, safety, and efficiency for users of all transportation forms along the street. The improvements will benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit users, and neighbors, who may enjoy living and working along a less congested, more attractive street.

 

How is the 7-Line being paid for?

The 7-Line is one of seven public improvement projects being financed by a $10 million Bicentennial Bond proposed by Mayor John Hamilton and approved by the Bloomington Common Council in 2018 as a gift to the city’s future. The projects will add miles of new greenways and trails, reactivate downtown alleyways, expand the city’s tree canopy, and create attractive gateways to the community.

 

Will parking spaces be lost? If so, how many and where will those people who park there now park in the future?

In order to accommodate these changes, all on-street parking will need to be removed along Seventh Street from College Avenue to Indiana Avenue. On-street parking spaces will be added on North Dunn Street, with additional parking options in close proximity at the Walnut and Morton Street parking garages. New parking facilities are currently in development at Fourth Street and the Trades District, which can provide additional options. 

 

Revenue generated from the parking meters on this section of 7th Street shows that in 2019, the metered parking spaces were utilized about 35% of the time. This level of demand can be accommodated through parking in the Walnut Street parking garage or in other nearby parking areas. In 2019, 44 new parallel parking spaces were approved for N. Dunn Street, 11 of which will be metered spaces and 33 will be added to Neighborhood Zone 4. 

 

Will parking for those with disability placards or plates be lost?

There are approximately four existing ADA metered parking spaces within the project area that may be impacted by the project designs.  However, the City’s policies, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) guidelines, would allow staff to designate additional ADA spots near or in close proximity to any intersection along 7th street that has ADA-compliant curb ramps and currently allows on-street parking.

 

How will access to private property be impacted by the project??

The City is working directly with property owners on the south side of the street to determine any access concerns. For the safety of users, reducing the number of driveways across the protected bicycle lane is preferred; however, access to properties will be maintained and evaluated with each property individually. Access to the properties will be maintained both during and after construction. 

 

How is the 7-Line going to affect the Bloomington Transit routes that use Seventh Street?

The planned improvements will have no significant negative impacts on Bloomington Transit routes. Route 6 provides regular service Monday through Sunday throughout the year. During peak times, IU’s fall and spring semesters, transit runs every 20 minutes in both directions of the route, Monday through Friday during the day. Routes 1, 2, and 9 also provide service on portions along the 7th Street corridor. Routes A and E for IU Campus Bus also provides service on portions along the 7th Street between Indiana Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue.  The planned improvements will address safety concerns expressed by Transit drivers. Research has shown that separating bicyclists from motor vehicles and buses improves safety for both user groups, and reduces the time a transit bus would be waiting behind a bicyclist, since they are each in their own space. 

    

Will the public get to comment on the plans?

Yes, there are multiple options for providing comments. First, the project website includes a comment form. Second, there was a public meeting held on Thursday, June 18, and that meeting is available to view on Facebook. Questions, answers, and comments from the June 18 public meeting are available online

 

Third, the project was discussed at the June regular meetings of the Traffic Commission (meeting available online) and the Parking Commission (meeting available online). Finally, the City Council will be reviewing and voting on the decision to remove the parking meters and to modify intersections along the corridor. Public comment will also be welcomed at those meetings. The schedule for the Council vote will be posted once it is available.

 

Who is designing the 7-Line and who gets to decide what it will look like?

The project’s design consultant is Indianapolis-based American Structurepoint. Public comment on the design is invited as mentioned above. 

 

Will Seventh Street be narrower than it is now?

The improvements to Seventh Street will take place within the existing width of Seventh Street. Auto traffic will continue to occupy two lanes running east and west. The total space will not be narrower, but it will be redesigned and it will feel different to users. 

 

Will trees be cut down to build the 7-Line?

None are planned as part of this project. Work is planned within the existing curbs along the north and south side of the street. Limited construction activity may occur beyond the curbs for driveways or utilities and this may impact some existing trees. The goal is to minimize any impacts to trees and to maintain their health with best construction practices. Additionally, some trees may be added, if space allows in the project between the bicycle lane and the motor vehicle lanes. 

 

Will there still be sidewalks along Seventh Street once the project is completed?

Yes, the existing sidewalk network and tree plot will be maintained. Several crosswalks will be upgraded to raised crosswalks, which improve safety in two ways. First, the raised crossings improve visibility, making it easier for drivers to see people walking. Second, the raised crossings function as speed tables, which encourage driving at lower speeds.

 

What is the timeline for the construction of this project? 

Project designs are scheduled to be finalized this fall so the project can be put out to bid and awarded this winter. Construction activity would likely begin in spring 2021 with the majority of street closures occurring during summer 2021 while schools are out of session. Detailed construction timelines have not been finalized, but the project is expected to be complete by Fall 2021.

 

Photos of Seventh Street