Bloomington’s uReport system for resident complaints features this item from mid-July last year: “When will the city start removing this debris?”
It was a mordant reference to the “pile of scooters” blocking the 6th Street sidewalk in front of the public library.
Complaints and comments about scooters have diminished since the Bird and Lime companies deployed them in Bloomington, starting in September 2018. But complaints have not completely disappeared. On Friday morning, @indiana_rachel Tweeted a photo of an 8-strong phalanx of Lime scooters parked in a way that blocks sidewalk passage, saying, “Hard to get past this in a wheelchair.” [Added 9:05 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2020, shortly after initial publication]
The number of complaints and comments in the UReport system is one one way to track the activity of the shared-use electric scooters in the city.
Ridership in 2019 was a smidgen higher in 2019 compared to 2018, the first time ridership has been up since 2014.
BT general manager Lew May explains BT staff recommendations for adjustments to the optimization-study recommended new routes. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)
Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Bloomington Transit (BT) board delivered a bright spot of news. The 3.16 million rides taken on fixed route buses in 2019 reflect a 1.75-percent increase over the total from 2018.
City of Bloomington with inset for area of Curry Urban Properties PUD proposal.
The orange area is the parcel where Curry Urban Properties is proposing a planned unit development.
Last Wednesday, the Bloomington city council’s four-member land use committee met to review a planned unit development (PUD) proposed for the empty lot on the north side of the Longview Avenue, between Pete Ellis Drive and 7th Street.
The zoning proposal from Curry Urban Properties would allow for construction of a single four-story building with 344 bedrooms and 19,000 square feet of commercial space, enclosing two interior courtyards on the east and west sides of a structured parking garage with a total of 306 parking spaces.
Of the 264 dwelling units, 15 percent of them would have rents keyed to either the same as the area median income (AMI) or no more than 120 percent of AMI.
Since Jan. 8, the first day that declarations of candidacy could be filed this year for primary nominations, a dozen or so people have filed their paperwork for offices in the Monroe County area. Candidates have until noon Feb. 7 to file a declaration.
At least one primary race will be contested—for the three at-large county councilor positions. After issuing a joint press release announcing their intention to seek re-election, incumbent Democrats Trent Deckard, Geoff McKim, and Cheryl Munson all filed their declarations Friday a week ago (Jan. 10).
Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, made a New Year’s Day announcement that he wanted to see an additional 0.5 percent in local income tax collected countywide. Hamilton wants to spend the extra portion of tax money allocated to Bloomington on climate action.
Under the current state statute, Bloomington’s city council has a 58-percent voting share on the county’s local income tax council. So a five-vote majority on Bloomington’s nine-member city council could enact the extra 0.5 percent of local income tax on all county residents. The voting shares are allocated based on population.
The mayor’s proposal hasn’t received air time at two regular meetings and two work sessions held by the Bloomington city council so far this year.
At its regular Wednesday meeting, Bloomington’s city council voted unanimously to approve the issuance of up to $11 million in economic development notes to support the renovation of Bloomington’s public housing stock.
The bond issuance approved this week was for rehabbing two of the three Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA) properties—the Walnut Woods and Reverend Butler sites. BHA’s executive director, Amber Skoby, told the council that planning will start this summer for similar work on the third BHA site—the Crestmont Community.
“After that’s done, we won’t have any more public housing in Bloomington,” Skoby said.
Five protesters who were arrested at Bloomington’s farmers market on Nov. 9 last year, will not be prosecuted for their actions, according to a statement issued Wednesday morning by Monroe County’s prosecutor. They had been given summonses for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
The protest got national attention in part because of the inflatable purple unicorn costume worn by one of the protestors.
In the statement from the prosecutor’s office, Monroe County’s prosecutor, Erika Oliphant, is quoted saying, “My office has evaluated the specific facts and circumstances surrounding these citations, and we have decided that it is appropriate to decline prosecution in this instance.”
The specific facts of the situation included protest activity—holding signs and loud singing inside the market vendor area—directed at the Schooner Creek Farm stand. The owners of Schooner Creek were identified by local activists earlier in the year as having ties to a white supremacist group.