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Page last updated on June 14, 2022 at 3:14 pm

The City of Bloomington 2018 Comprehensive Plan Goal 6.3 states: Improve the Bicycle and Pedestrian Network: Maintain, improve, and expand an accessible, safe, and efficient network for pedestrians, and attain platinum status as a Bicycle Friendly Community, as rated by the League of American Bicyclists.


Residents and planners alike acknowledge gaps in our ability to achieve this comprehensive plan goal. 


  • There are areas of the city where there is demonstrated demand for sidewalks, but none exist, creating unsafe conditions for people who need sidewalks to get to where they need to go. 
  • There are gaps in the sidewalk network, again creating conditions for people who need sidewalks to get to where they need to go.
  • Current Bloomington municipal code states that repair and maintenance of sidewalks (including snow removal) are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. However, property owners may not be aware of this responsibility and/or may not have the funds or physical ability to complete the work. This lack of knowledge or ability to complete maintenance and repairs results in uneven sidewalks, blocked sidewalks including low hanging branches, and buckling sidewalks due to tree roots and weeds. 


With the help of curriculum and coaching in human-centered design supplied by Bloomberg Philanthropies, a group of nine City of Bloomington employees and one Bloomington Transit employee will spend the next year (Feb 2022-Feb 2023) exploring the topic of how we might create a sustainable system for constructing and maintaining our sidewalks equitably across the city.



  • January-June: Understand phase - includes targeted outreach to specific demographics for interviews and observations + review of policies and committee meeting minutes from Bloomington, IN as well as other cities.

Click here to view slides from the mid-point presentation.

  • July-October: Generate phase - new ideas sought; 2-3 community engagement meetings for brainstorming will be held.

Click here to submit your big ideas for consideration to the project team.

  • November-December: Deliver phase - pilot testing and summary of recommendations

Click here to view slides from the final presentation. (Available in February 2023)


If you would like to reach a member of this team, please contact Director of Innovation, Devta Kidd at



Sidewalk Innovation Team Members

Beth Cate - City of Bloomington Corporation Counsel

Brent Pierce - Housing and Neighborhood Development, Assistant Director

Clarence Boone - Parks and Recreation, Farmers' Market Coordinator 

Devta Kidd - Office of the Mayor, Director of Innovation

Joe Bergin - Office of the Mayor, Innovation Summer Intern 

Emily Herr - Engineering, Public Improvement Manager 

Gabriel Holbrow - Planning and Development, Zoning Compliance Planner 

Mallory Rickbeil - Planning and Development, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator  

Nathan Herr - City of Bloomington Utilities, Environmental Programs Specialist 

Rick Dietz - Information and Technology Services (ITS), Director ITS

Shannon Riley - IU O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, O'Neill Innovation Fellow

Tim Fife - Bloomberg Philanthropies, Human-centered Design Coach 

Zac Huneck - Bloomington Transit, Planning and Special Projects Manager