Bloomington Transportation Options for People
The graphs in this PDF draw from a number of studies conducted by B-TOP in various years from 2006 to 2011. One study assessed the purpose and duration of on-street parking on the Courthouse Square, showing that a considerable share of available space is occupied by employees, who tend to stay longer. The other four studies tracked the usage of the downtown parking garages, and demonstrate that in all four years measured, there was plenty of available parking in the garages, even during peak periods.
Second downtown parking survey
In April of 2008, B-TOP did two studies, one of the on-street parking on the square and the other was a repeat study of the occupancy of the 3 city parking garages, but this time we also included the new IU parking garage and the convention center surface parking lot. Click here for the slides
The on-the-square study was done on Wednesday, April 2 from 7:30am till 1:00pm. This study used a sample (about 1/4) of the total spaces on the square -- the East side of the square only which is comprised of 28 spaces total, 18 angled space on the Courthouse side, and 10 parallel spaces on the Malibu Grill side of the street. The first two slides of the attached PowerPoint are from this study.
The other study was administered from April 14 to April 20. At approximately 5:00am, 10:00am, 2:00pm and 9:00pm for one week, we inspected these garages and counted and mapped the occupied spaces in each garage/lot. Some of these graphs contain the occupancy found in a similar study from October 2006.three downtown Bloomington parking garages.
Downtown Parking Garage Survey
B-TOP members surveyed three downtown Bloomington parking garages to determine usage patterns over a week in fall of 2006:
The city responded by hiring Walker Parking Consultants to perform an expanded survey. In February 2007, they produced their draft parking report (external link). We provided a B-TOP response to draft parking report.
Downtown Parking Plan (DRAFT: June 18, 2007)
B-TOP has developed a Parking Plan for Downtown Bloomington to address the immediate need for improvements in downtown parking policy. In particular, this plan specifies how parking meters should be used (where, when, price, etc.) and how parking garage spaces should be allocated. It implements most of the suggestions of the Walker draft report.
B-TOP presented the parking plan to the mayor and city council. They revised the plan to substantially decrease the cost of parking and increase the subsidy on parking, citing "psychological concerns." They are aware of the fact that by decreasing the cost of parking, they will cause increased demand and reduce our future ability to make reasonable parking choices. They don't care, and passed the revised plan on July 11, 2007.
SR 45/46 Bypass
INDOT proposes to add extra travel lanes to the SR 45/46 bypass between Walnut St and Pete Ellis Drive in Bloomington. They claim that the widening is necessary to reduce the amount of time that people spend stuck in traffic, but they do not know the amount of time that people do spend in traffic on the bypass. So B-TOP organized a study using volunteers to drive from one end of the bypass to the other over a 12 hour period on May 4, 2010. We measured the time from one stop light to the next so that we could quantify the actual delays caused by traffic. We found that fewer than 4% of bypass users experienced a significant delay, and that those users are all clustered around rush hour and will likely still experience a delay no matter how much they widen the road.
Near the intersection of 3rd St and the SR 45/46 Bypass there are concentrations of residential, commercial, and educational real estate. The bypass poses the only barrier to ready pedestrian accessibility to these destinations. INDOT has repeatedly claimed that pedestrians do not use this intersection. After all, what pedestrian would subject themselves to such an unfriendly intersection? However, their claim is untrue. In August 2007 volunteers counted the number of pedestrians crossing this intersection and found that approximately 400 people a day cross on foot in spite of its dangerous and uninviting design.