Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Neighborhood Plan and Capital Improvements

GANA Speaker Series
Bob Wolford, Program Manager
Nate Nickel, Senior Long Range Planner
City of Bloomington

TOPIC: Follow-up to last year's Neighborhood Plan and introduction to the Capital Improvement Fund and other resources to help achieve GANA's goals.

Nate and Bob brought GIS and aerial maps of the neighborhood and spoke to us about the upcoming sidewalk project from Hillsdale to the end of 5th and the bypass. They also discussed the widening of the bypass, and how the City's new Neighborhood Capital Improvement Fund can be used to start implementing some of the objectives found in the Green Acres Neighborhood Plan. Four neighborhoods including Green Acres are eligible to participate in this fund, which is about $250,000.

Some possibilities discussed: sidewalks on 3rd to connect with the new Sahara Mart, evening out the street pavement (which is causing bicycle accidents—Bob suggested a call to public works, where Susie Johnson maintains a paving list, Nate recommended the Alternative Transportation Greenways Group), better street lighting, trees along major streets such as Hillsdale (no changes likely until current drainage work is done—see below), as well as gateway features, traffic calming/city repair and pocket parks.

A $450,000 project to install sidewalks and storm drains will begin in a few weeks on the East end of 5th Street, working its way over to Jefferson Street.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), a citizen's advisory group, will be holding hearings regarding the forthcoming 45/46 bypass widening. Bob and Nate stressed how important it is for neighborhood representation at these meetings. Unfortunately, they are scheduled for the last Wednesday of the month—exactly when GANA's regular meetings are held! Options: send a volunteer to represent us to MPO, or change our own meeting date and descend en masse on the MPO from here on out. Ed Hartke will attend in February and let us know what's happening.

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