Barriers added along Third Street bike lane

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — If you frequently drive down Third Street in Bloomington, you surely have experienced the hassle that comes from cars stopped to drop people off. Some drivers sit camped in the middle of the bike lane, creating a serious hazard for cyclists and other cars.

(Photo Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

But now, new traffic separation barriers have been installed on Third Street between Eagleson Avenue and Indiana Avenue, serving as a buffer between the existing bike lane and the right lane of Third Street.

“This is really our main westbound arterial in Bloomington, and to finally have the infrastructure to support low-stress biking and scooting and rolling is amazing,” said Bloomington Bike and Pedestrian Safety Coordinator Hank Duncan.

The barriers are a mix of curbs and delineator posts that were leftover materials the city already had and were installed by crews while Indiana University was out on spring break. Duncan said the only cost for the project was the labor needed to install the barriers.

“This is not the finished product,” Duncan said. “This is the first step in a larger project.”

Duncan hinted that the city is looking at extending the protected bike lane as far east as Forest Quad, as early as this year. Any permanent solutions, however, may be put on hold until Bloomington Transit completes its Green Line Corridor Study, which is looking at the possible development of a new East-West transit corridor.

“We did not want to put as much investment, as much permanent infrastructure in the ground when we know that five, ten years down the line from now, it might very well get ripped out and we might be starting from ground zero again,” Duncan said.

Duncan credits community feedback and concerns as a reason projects like the Third Street Bike Lane Improvement Project get funding and support.

“Just just know that we hear your feedback,” Duncan said. “This was a major part in how we got this done. So the more that you can reach out to the city to elected officials, it matters because we hear you.”