By Scott Tibbs, September 21, 2015
The streets of Bloomington are city property, maintained by taxpayers. That means those streets belong to all of us, not just a favored few. It is too bad that five of nine city council members did not agree with that when they voted to install additional "traffic calming" devices on West Third Street - a street already covered by bump-outs that severely restrict traffic flow on a public street. The bump-outs would be more accurately called traffic impeding devices. I took pictures of the "traffic calming" devices in 2012 and posted them online. I re-posted them on Facebook on September 13.
It is understandable why people who live in the neighborhood would want the bump-outs installed, and why they would want to re-direct traffic to other streets. They have a First Amendment right to petition government for redress of grievances, and the city council should take them seriously. But the councilors are to look out for the interests of the entire city, not the narrow interests of one politically favored neighborhood.
The West Third traffic impeding devices are a microcosm of a backwards attitude in city government when it comes to public infrastructure and moving traffic. The goal of street design should be to move traffic in an efficient and safe manner. The goal should not be to funnel traffic onto other streets to give a political favor to a specific group of people. The traffic impeding devices on South Lincoln Street are another example of this backwards mentality.
This was a bad decision by the city council and should be reversed. If you have a subscription to Herald-Times Online, you can see more on this issue here and here and here and here and here and here.