BLOOMINGTON – A workshop, hosted by the Main Street Transportation Improvement Feasibility Study, was held on June 30 at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts to solicit ideas from the public on how to improve transportation on the Main Street corridor.
The Main Street Feasibility Study is designed to engage the public to reach consensus on improvements to the nine-mile corridor running through Bloomington and Normal. Both Bloomington and Normal city governments are participating in the process.
During the workshop, consultants with Gewalt Hamilton Associates presented an overview of proposed transportation improvements on Main Street. The significant proposal presented was the addition of a protected two-way bicycle lane on Main Street, ten feet in width. The consultants stressed that the transportation study did not cover zoning issues related to the form-based code issue.
After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of the consultants. In the casual conversations that followed, it was clear that there were both proponents and opponents to the proposed bicycle lanes.
Proponents supported the bicycle lanes and asked detailed questions in reference to proposed plans. Opponents, including representatives from the Main Street Business Association, expressed concern over the state funding of the bike lane and thought that it should not be a priority. The opponents linked the bike lane to the form-based code issue.
The public input process of the Main Street Feasibility Study will continue in the months to come. There will be a meeting in the fall, and Bloomington-Normal residents can give their input by completing a survey available online (see bottom-right of the website page). There is also an interactive mapping tool designed for residents to give very specific suggestions as to how to improve transportation on the Main Street corridor.