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7-Line protected bike lane officially opens Wednesday

7-Line construction

East-facing view of the end of the 7-Line, where it connects to the B-Line trail near Morton Street. (Holden Abshier, WFIU/WTIU News)

The City of Bloomington will celebrate the completion of the 7-Line protected bike lane Wednesday morning after five months of construction.

Mayor John Hamilton will speak at 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot on the north side of east Seventh Street between Morton Street and the B-Line Trail.  According to a city press release, those planning to attend are encouraged to arrive by bike, foot or public transit.

The 7-Line multimodal corridor connects the B-Line Trail to the Indiana University campus. It is nearly three quarters of a mile long and is the first two-way protected bike lane in the city.

READ MORECity of Bloomington begins construction on two-way protected bike lane 

The entire project took place between existing curbs, meaning the city removed all on-street parking to make room for the new bike lane on the south side of the road.  

Each traffic lane is still 10 feet wide, the same width as before. However, the new lanes are bordered by curbs instead of parking spaces.  

The changes are supposed to reduce speed and clear a path for buses.  

READ MORECan Seventh Street still accommodate buses after bike lane construction? 

The new bike lane meant removing one bus stop along Seventh Street in September to facilitate the flow of traffic.  

Additionally, the city removed all stop signs on East Seventh Street between Walnut Street and Indiana Avenue in October. East-west traffic along the corridor is no longer required to stop at intersections. 

While some changes were anticipated, other updates popped up throughout construction.  

For example, Bloomington Transit and Indiana University buses struggled to turn onto Seventh Street from Indiana Avenue because of the new curb. 

Based on feedback from both transit services, the city removed and redesigned about 10 feet of curb at this intersection last month.  

Additionally, the city is recommending a 24/7 loading zone be added near Butch’s Grillacatessen and Eatzeria after ongoing discussions with business owners.  

City council is scheduled to approve the loading zone Wednesday night.  

Seventh Street loading zone
Screenshot of the proposed loading zone on Seventh Street. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

 This story has been updated.

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