The City of Bloomington is implementing parking via the ParkMobile app, allowing people to find, reserve, and pay for parking at over 150 spots in two app-only parking zones in Bloomington.
The app will be activated later this month for parking at these locations, which previously were free:
More information about using the app is available at Park Mobile Pay By Phone FAQs. The app-only zones are available to those without a smartphone by calling the number listed at the Pay By Phone sign (1-877-727-5007) and following instructions to pay by credit card.
Several changes designed to support downtown businesses will be extended by the City of Bloomington through the end of 2020. These include:
Previously, these initiatives were set to expire on Sept. 30.
The PUDO zones and parklets will be extended by the Bloomington Department of Public Works, and the weekend closures of Kirkwood will go before the Bloomington Council at an upcoming meeting in September, according to city staff.
Businesses that are interested in the parklet program can apply online here. More information is available on the city's business resource page, or contact Kaisa Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Bloomington has started a pilot program to convert parking spaces into additional spots for outdoor dining in the downtown area. Restaurants that want to create these “parklets” can apply to the city, which will then install barriers to protect the seating area.
Businesses can apply online here. More information is available on the city's business resource page, or contact Kaisa Goodman at email@example.com.
The program will be available at least through Sept. 30.
The City of Bloomington has designed 54 parking spots throughout downtown as free 15-minute pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) locations for restaurants and merchants. The intent is to support the curbside pick-up model that many businesses are using during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for an interactive map of the PUDO spaces.
This pilot project, which starts Aug. 1, has been approved by the city's Board of Public Works through Sept. 30. After that, it could be extended via temporary order or city council vote.
The city also announced that starting Aug. 1, enforcement of metered parking spaces will begin again from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The city has been offering two free hours of metered parking since March.
The Bloomington Redevelopment Commission gave approval on June 1 for Dimension Mill to draw circles on the grass near its building to help encourage physical distancing, though one commissioner called the idea "silliness taken to the extreme."
RDC members also got updates on parking garages in the Trades District, where the Mill is located, and at 4th & Walnut. The Trades District garage is under construction, and the city plans to install a webcam there to monitor progress. Alex Crowley, the city's director of economic & sustainable development, described the project as on time and on budget.
For the 4th Street garage, F.A. Wilhelm Construction – the firm hired by the city as construction manager – is reviewing bids received for that project's first phase and will likely be awarded this week. Bids are currently being accepted for the construction phase. This project, which is expected to be completed in late 2020, will also have a webcam filming the site.
Regarding the Mill's request, Crowley said that since the RDC owns the vacant land in the Trades District, the co-working nonprofit was seeking permission to mark circles on the grass to measure physical distancing in this COVID-19 climate. The commission ultimately approved the request, with dissent from David Walter. Walter said the area is public and anyone can be there, regardless of whether they practice social distancing. It's a matter of personal responsibility, he said.
Watch the full June 1, 2020 RDC meeting here.
Work will start later this year on a redesigned 4th St. garage, following approval of required variances by the Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories, 537 spaces and ground floor commercial space. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
The city also has dropped its appeal in the eminent domain lawsuit it filed to take the JuanSells.com building at the south end of the block.
The variances granted by the BZA at its March 19 meeting included allowing the parking structure’s entrance driveway to be wider than would ordinarily be allowed under city code, and allowing the driveway to be closer to Walnut Street than the code allows.
The downtown garage was closed in late 2018 because of structural flaws. It was subsequently demolished last year.
In a nearly unanimous vote on March 9, the Bloomington Plan Commission has approved a redesigned 4th St. parking structure. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories and 537 spaces. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
Eighteen people spoke during public commentary. Of those, 11 strongly supported the project, including A John Rose, chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; Ron Walker, immediate past chair of the Chamber board and vice president of operations for CFC Properties; Jim Murphy, president of CFC Properties who also serves on the Chamber Advocacy Council; and Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy.
The project, which includes a public art component, does not require additional city council approval. Click here to read details of the project from the Plan Commission packet.
Watch the Plan Commission deliberations on CATS here. Or read the B Square Beacon report: "Bloomington plan commission OKs 4th Street replacement parking garage, target completion date now August 2021."
An overview of the proposed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan – including several recommendations to lower the use of single-occupancy vehicles – was presented to Bloomington City Council at their March 4, 2020 meeting.
Justin Schor of Wells + Associates, the transportation consulting firm hired by the city, made the presentation. Click here to view his slidedeck, or watch it on CATS here. The full report will be available on the city's TDM website.
Short-term recommendations include providing a carpool matching service, a "guaranteed ride home" service, education and marketing about transportation options, and an increase in the cost of parking by 50% or more.
To implement and manage the city's TDM program, Schor recommended 2.5 employees, including a TDM director, manager and a part-time coordinator. The program's budget is estimated at nearly $500,000 annually. The council would need to vote to approve the program and identify revenues to support it.
At their quarterly meeting on Jan. 14, Arts Forward Bloomington held a forum focused on transportation issues that affect local arts organizations.
The group heard from Michael Shermis, the City of Bloomington's special projects coordinator, about current transportation-related activities, including a grant from ADA Indiana used to train people who are elderly or with disabilities how to use Uber.
Beth Rosenbarger, the city's planning services manager, discussed transportation issues in the context of the city's comprehensive plan and transportation plan.
The group discussed what kind of incentives might be offered by local arts organizations to encourage patrons to use alternative forms of transportation when coming to events, rather than driving a car. Ideas included offering free concessions for people who walk, bike or take the bus. The possibility of changing three parking spaces in front of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater into a drop-off/pick-up zone was also discussed.
In general, Arts Forward Bloomington wants to make sure the voice of the arts community is heard on a range of issues affecting the health of that sector.
Arts Forward Bloomington will hold its next forum in April, focusing on space needs for arts organizations. The group's steering committee includes Danielle McClelland, former director of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater; Gabe Gloden, Managing Director of Cardinal Stage; Ken Buzzard, President of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra; Susan Swaney, Artistic Director of Voces Novae and Founder of Sing for Joy! Senior Choir; and Kay Olges, Board President for Windfall Dancers.
Arts Forward Bloomington is hosting a quarterly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14 that focuses on issues related to transportation and the arts.
Topics will include the status of local parking and transportation plans, as well as ways that arts organizations and local government can partner to increase accessibility to those with transportation needs. The discussion also will address how to incentivize patrons to consider alternate forms of transportation.
The meeting is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood. Click here for more information on the AFB Facebook page.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy