IDOT gathers public input on proposed Route 9 changes

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Potential changes to a stretch of Route 9 in the Twin Cities are leaving some residents concerned about safety and parking.

While the Illinois Department of Transportation does not need city of Bloomington approval to move forward with their proposed project they do want to hear from the public, so dozens came out on Thursday for an open house at city hall.

The proposed project stretches from east of the I-74 interchange to Royal Point Drive in Bloomington. The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking to overlay the pavement, replace curbs and gutters, modernize traffic signals, and accommodate bike riders along with other things.

“This project does not involve a significant amount of widening or additional lanes so one of the recommendations was to remove parking to allow for on road bike lanes in certain areas.”  said IDOT Program Developemnt Engineer for District 5, Scott Neihart.

One of the major concerns for residents is the 3 miles of additional bike lanes would remove almost 250 street parking spots along various parts of Route 9.

“Those parking spots are direly needed. A lot of people have one parking space and if you have a multi family home and lose that parking space it’s a very difficult situation.” said Bloomington Resident Joey McAdams

But those who bike regularly in the area said these road improvements are needed for everyone.

“I’ve hit some pot holes in my car that I didn’t like and on a bike it can really be jarring so sometimes you’re forced out further into the lane with more traffic because of the road condition.” said Bloomington Resident Greg Bonham

According to IDOT, the construction would be federally funded and while the city is currently responsible for maintenance of parking lanes, if turned to bike lanes, the state would then cover those repairs.

There’s no set timeline on the construction of any of the proposed work. Once the City provides comments back to IDOT they will complete their preliminary design study and begin to look at funding options.

Written comments may be submitted to publicworks@cityblm.org

Kaitlin Pearson

Kaitlin Pearson

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