Bloomington woman circulates petition to prevent bike lanes on Washington Street

Bicycle lane
Bloomington is considering adding a bicycle lane on Washington Street. (Photo courtesy Pixabay)

By Lindsey Harrison/WMBD-TV

BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington is considering adding a bike lane to one of the community’s main east to west roads.

The bike lane would be painted on Washington Street, when the road is repaved. It’s part of a larger project that includes connecting to other bike lanes that are already on the city’s Master Bike Plan.

At least one group of residents is opposed to the idea. Teresea Enyeart lives on Washington and, after knocking on 34 doors, has gathered 22 signatures of people who oppose the bike lane. She said the neighborhood is not against bikers, but they don’t think Washington is a safe place for a bike lane.

“We’re worried about the safety of our families. We’re worried about the safety of the bikers. None of us are anti bike,” Enyeart said.

Her neighbor, Tim Mikesell, said the road is just too busy.

“This street is one heck of a busy street and, even as a biker, my goal is to get off of it as fast as I can.”

The group is also concerned the bike lane might cause congestion near State Farm.

Advocates, like Bike BloNo, say adding this lane would narrow the driving lanes, from 18 feet to about 11 feet. According to Michael Gorman, with the organization, research shows that narrow lanes slow down traffic and make it safer.

“What we want to do is trim those lanes down a little bit so that drivers feel more comfortable driving the speed limit,” he explained.

Gorman added that research has shown the safest place for bikers is on the road, especially if they have their own space.

“When you give people their dedicated space on the street, they’re much more safe because they aren’t trying to share the same space on the street between all different modes of transportation,” Gorman said.

Alderwoman Amelia Buragas told us that she thinks the bike lane could be beneficial, especially when it comes to safety and increased property values. But she said the decision is not final and will depend on continued public and expert input.

The next public meeting for the proposal is June 13 at the McLean County Museum of history from 4-6 p.m.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…