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Bloomington Leaders Plan Bike, Pedestrian Enhancements

City of Bloomington officials Tuesday announced a plan to make the city friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians by 2016.

The city aims to win a platinum rating for its bike friendliness from the League of American Bicyclists – a status awarded to just three other cities nationwide.  The city will fund what it’s calling a “greenways implementation plan,” which will use the next two years to ascertain where bike lanes, bike shelters and road markings should be installed.  Though he doesn’t agree, Mayor Mark Kruzan says he understands some citizens may oppose recession-era spending on bike trails…

“It’s the exact opposite,” Kruzan said. “The money is best used now because of the economy, because of the challenges that people face, because there are people who – some who choose not to have an automobile, some who can’t afford it – some who can’t afford the gasoline now to run it.”

City council member Andy Ruff described his circuitous route biking to school as a child and said adding more trails wouldn’t just make it easier to get around…

“It makes Bloomington safer, it makes Bloomington healthier, it makes Bloomington more diversified, it makes Bloomington more fair, and it makes Bloomington more attractive as a place to live, to work, to go to school and to raise a family,” Ruff said.

The plan would establish a bicycle corridor down Allen Street from Bryan Park to a proposed park along the B-Line Trail where the McDoel train switchyard now sits.  A short stretch of trail, funded mostly with federal dollars, would connect the B-Line with Henderson Street as well.  The city also hopes to fund a study on how to make the College Mall area more pedestrian friendly.

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