“Black Lives Matter” street mural gets OK from board of public works, to be painted Saturday

At its Tuesday meeting, Bloomington’s board of public works cleared the way for the painting of a second “Black Lives Matter” street mural on Saturday.

The board approved the use of the public right-of-way on the block of 6th Street between Walnut Street and College Avenue, the north leg of the courthouse square.

The street will be blocked off to vehicle traffic for 14 hours on Saturday (April 17), from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It will be the second such mural to be painted on a Bloomington street. The first was painted last year on the north-south segment of Elm Street next to the Banneker Community Center. That painting work, done by 83 community volunteers, was led by artists Christina Elem and Raheem Elmore, according to a city of Bloomington news release. Continue reading ““Black Lives Matter” street mural gets OK from board of public works, to be painted Saturday”

Appeal of noise ordinance citation gets full hearing, standard denial by Bloomington public works board

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Bloomington’s three-member board of public works heard and denied an appeal from a 21-year-old man who had been cited by a Bloomington police officer on Feb. 26 for a noise ordinance violation.

Tuesday’s appeal appears to have been a typical citation and appeals process, from several different angles. Continue reading “Appeal of noise ordinance citation gets full hearing, standard denial by Bloomington public works board”

Two separate blocks on Kirkwood Avenue to be closed through week until end of year, weekends-only for one block

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Still in place on Monday afternoon were the yellow bollards that public works crews installed before the weekend, to close off parts of Kirkwood Avenue in downtown Bloomington.

That’s not due to any slacking by Bloomington public works. They have been setting up and removing the Kirkwood bollards every weekend since mid-June.

But from now until the end of the year, there will be no need to remove the bollards for some parts of the street.

According to a press release from the city of Bloomington issued Friday afternoon, from now until the end of the year,  two one-block segments will be closed through the week, and one additional segment will be closed just on weekends.

The closures, which started just on weekends in mid-June, are meant to allow restaurants to seat more people outside, distanced from each other, in an atmosphere where patrons might feel safer from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus. Continue reading “Two separate blocks on Kirkwood Avenue to be closed through week until end of year, weekends-only for one block”

Parklets add to outside dining options in downtown Bloomington

 

At least through Sept. 30, patrons of some restaurants in downtown Bloomington will be able to feed themselves at tables set up the street, in spaces where drivers normally feed a meter to park their cars.

Called “parklets,” they’re one of a few different approaches the city is taking to help restaurants recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s current 4.5 order leaves in place a restriction on restaurants preventing them from operating at any greater than 75-percent capacity.

The parklets launched this week with a couple of blocked-off areas on the west side of College Avenue on the courthouse square. The concept won approval from the Bloomington board of public works at its Aug. 4 meeting. Continue reading “Parklets add to outside dining options in downtown Bloomington”

Bloomington looks to relax regulations on businesses to aid recovery from COVID-19 impact

From now at least through Sept. 30, Bloomington businesses will be given a break on application fees for new signs, and on compliance with certain code requirements on signage.

In addition to that, restaurants and retail stores along Kirkwood Avenue will be able to expand their outdoor seating and marketing to take up more of the sidewalk than would normally be allowed. That’s just in connection with a planned trial street closure on the weekend of June 19.

According to Alex Crowley, director of the city’s economic and sustainability department, the relaxation of code requirements is part of the city’s effort to help the business community recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final approval of one package of proposals is scheduled for the June l7 city council meeting. Continue reading “Bloomington looks to relax regulations on businesses to aid recovery from COVID-19 impact”

Trial closure for Lower Cascades road starts this Friday

Starting this Friday, about 500 motorists a day in each direction, will need to find a different route through Bloomington’s Lower Cascades Park.

The section of Old 37 Highway, which used to be the only way to get into Bloomington, will be closed to motorized traffic inside the park. The southern closure point is at the Irving Materials, Inc. (IMI) driveway, just north of the underpass at State Road 45/46. The northern closure point is at the the parking lot across the road from the playground.

The pilot program, which is supposed to end Sept. 30, was approved by Bloomington’s three-member board of public works at its regular meeting a week ago.

The idea is to close the 0.6-mile segment of road “to expand and integrate with Bloomington’s network of walking and biking trails; provide a safe, accessible destination for recreation and exercise; and to offer bicycle commuters additional options for safer routes.” Continue reading “Trial closure for Lower Cascades road starts this Friday”

Bloomington paves way for Little 500 street sprints

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On Saturday afternoon in downtown Bloomington, a blocked-off Kirkwood Avenue offered enough car-free asphalt for the Indiana University Student Foundation to run 54 heats of cyclists down a 200-meter course.

Kaethe Schroeder (SKI) and Robert Strobel (Black Key Bulls)  prevailed in the  finals of the women’s and men’s divisions, respectively. The Street Sprints are part of the fall cycling series tied to the Little 500 bicycle race held in the spring.

The first rounds of the Street Sprints included 24 heats, which winnowed the men and women’s fields from 167 total cyclists down to 32—16 men and 16 women. The remaining rounds were two-up sprints—only the winner advanced.

According to race director Andrea Balzano, this fall marked the ninth year of Street Sprints. For the first two years the event was held on North Jordan Avenue, but since 2013, it’s been held on Kirkwood.

Kirkwood, of course, is an avenue that’s storied not just in song (“Tonight, I’m gonna see my baby again, we’re gonna go walkin’ down Kirkwood, look at us go”) but in Bloomington’s public works budget presentations this year (“Pavement maintenance project for East Kirkwood Avenue…Delayed due to high contracting costs”).

Continue reading “Bloomington paves way for Little 500 street sprints”