Let there be no doubt: much can be done to improve Bloomington's bike-ability. But, in my criticism, it may seem as if I believe that Bloomington has done nothing to promote a bicycling and pedestrian friendly city. To the contrary, for a small town in Indiana, Bloomington has done much. To wit, the amazing B-Line trail.
This trail, which will eventually link to a Rails-to-Trail south of the city, is on what used to be part of the Monon rail line. After phase 1, the paved trail goes from 2nd street to 11th Street, which is straight through downtown Bloomington. The highlight of the trail is right outside City Hall, where, every weekend, people converge on the Farmer's Market.
I'll just say it: I love the B-Line. It is beautiful. It is easy. It is fast. And since it opened late last Spring, I have seen tons of people use it to walk to shops, the farmer's market, and restaurants. I can easily hop on from my neighborhood, and in about 5 minutes be at my office. From my office, I can quickly walk on the B-Line to Bloomingfoods for lunch or dinner provisions. With the B-line, my commute is fast and safe, not to mention scenic.
Here are some photographs of the trail.
Artwork on the B-Line.
My other half (on the bike) stopping for breakfast at Le Petit Cafe's walk-up window.
The Farmer's Market, on Saturday (above and below).