Construction on the Seventh Street bike lane is expected to be completed by Aug. 9 in preparation for the return of IU students, according to a City of Bloomington press release.
Mayor John Hamilton announced the construction of the protected bike lane that is one of seven Bicentennial Bond projects, according to a press release from the City of Bloomington. The lane runs east-west starting on the south side of East Seventh Street and connecting at the B-Line Trail in 2018.
Improving upon the conventional bike lane already in place on Seventh Street, the 7-Line will provide physical separation between cyclists and motorists via a 16-inch-wide cement divider. It will provide a direct route from downtown to campus with the hopes of encouraging biking as a means of transportation.
“I’m proud that our city, like many others around the globe, is investing in protected bike lanes and multi-modal streets,” Hamilton said at the 7-Line Construction Kickoff event June 3rd. “It’s one more way Bloomington is advancing equity, sustainability, and quality of life.”
Lane Wolf, social media manager for Bike Indianapolis and IU alumnus, said they think the addition of the bike lane is beneficial for the flow of traffic and pedestrian safety.
“It’s a great addition; any bike infrastructure is,” Wolf said. “That [Seventh Street] is a strip that is always getting really backed up on traffic, so a lot of students will opt to ride on the sidewalks, which makes the already very busy sidewalk an even more dangerous place.”
Other infrastructure projects in the Bicentennial Bond include improved pedestrian amenities, improved bus corridor, and sidewalk replacements. The Bloomington Common Council approved a $10 million bond for the projects in 2018, according to a city press release.
Hamilton also cited climate change as reasoning behind the new and improved bike lane, according to the release.
“The urgency of climate change emphasizes the urgent need to reform our built environment to reduce our transportation carbon footprint,” he said.