Sustainable Transportation

Staff / WGLT

After a fierce battle over bicycle lanes for Washington Street, the final chapter in the process Monday was anticlimactic.

Opponents scarcely showed up, and the Bloomington City Council gave unanimous approval, 9-0.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit expects up to a 7 percent increase in use of its Connect Mobility service next month. That's because the YWCA is shutting down its Medivan program.

The YWCA made that choice because state funding was unreliable and the program was on pace to operate at a $120,000 per year deficit.

Bloomington Planning Commission Signs Off On Bike Lanes

Jun 15, 2017
Bike BloNo

The Bloomington Planning Commission supports bike lanes along Washington Street. Residents testified on both sides of the amendment to the Bloomington bike plan during a public hearing.

Katherine Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

A new Pontiac Rail Station has opened to Amtrak service. State Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said this is the latest of several station improvements on the Chicago to Saint Louis Corridor that will improve performance on the high speed rail corridor.   

“After years of construction along one of the busiest passenger rail corridors in the country, the benefits are beginning to show with beautiful new stations in our state’s great communities,” Secretary Blankenhorn said.

Bicyclists Can Call AAA Too

May 3, 2017
Simon Law / Flickr

Triple A has found an appropriate way to celebrate National Bicycle Safety Month.

Roadside assistance is now available in Illinois for members who are bike riders.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit in Bloomington Normal is facing a problem, an aging fleet of busses and capital money tied up in operations because the state isn't paying its share. Isaac Thorne is the Interim General Manager for the bus system.

"The majority of our busses are 2004, 2005 busses. And we have eight 1998s. We hope we can replace six in 2018 which would bring us down to needing seventeen," said Thorne.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The McLean County Coroner is continuing its investigation into a pedestrian death on Veterans Parkway.

Coroner Kathy Davis identified the man as 50-year-old Jeffery A. Darr. A preliminary autopsy indicates Darr died from injuries after being struck by a sport utility vehicle on Veterans Parkway, south of Shepard Road in Normal.

Darr was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:19 PM Friday. The Normal Police Department is also investigating the crash. Toxicology results are pending. 

Staff / WGLT

A new mobility program in the community has “great potential,” according to the Town of Normal Mayor. Bike Share 309, operated by Zagster, launched on Monday. Zagster provides bike share services to small and medium sized populations across the nation.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Long Range Transportation survey conducted by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC)  late last year is providing direction for the organization's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The eventual blueprint will help guide transportation planning in the county for the next two decades.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois Wesleyan University students are now able to ride Connect Transit buses free.

The Student Senate and Connect Transit have a pilot program offering universal access, much as ISU students have.

McLean County Museum Of History

  

Today's Connect Transit bus system can trace its roots in Bloomington-Normal back more than 130 years. 

A new form of transportation connected Bloomington residents in the late 1800's, a horse railway.

Connect Transit Buses Rolling Into 2017

Dec 1, 2016
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal's transit system is avoiding a planned shutdown at the end of the month.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Some members of the community expressed concern about the future of Connect Transit services due to the lack of state funding for public transportation. Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson told those gathered for a meeting Thursday there have been no transfers from the state's general revenue fund into the transportation fund since June. 

Johnson said the system can still provide 25 percent of their services without state funding. Elizabeth Griuber said she would like to see those services go toward the handicapped or residents with low income. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Residents of McLean County have mixed reactions about the possibility of a highway route running between I-74 and I-55. An environmental assessment of the project was discussed during a public hearing Wednesday night at Central Catholic High School.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Future development could someday trigger the need for an East Side Highway. But a new, detailed study of the environmental impact of the possible highway route located approximately a mile east of Towanda Barnes road includes suggestions that could push off the need for decades.  

A retired Eureka school superintendent accepted a plea offer yesterday that would reduce felony reckless driving and reckless conduct charges to misdemeanors.  

A new traffic citation for improper lane usage was also added to the agreement.  He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service,  18 months of conditional discharge, and to pay fines and court costs.

Staff / WGLT

Buses may run on diesel fuel, but it takes money to fill the tank. Late cash transfers from the State of Illinois could mean Connect Transit will have to park its buses and suspend service at the end of the year.

Zagster

Zagster will provide a bike sharing program in Normal, which could be fully operational in 4 to 6 weeks. The Town of Normal will provide the majority of funding for the service, with sponsorship from Advocate Bromenn Medical Center.

Normal Council To Consider Bike Sharing

Sep 5, 2016
Zagster

The Twin Cities could have a bike sharing program soon. Normal Town Council members will vote on a contract with Zagster, which provides the service for small towns and universities.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council has agreed to move forward with an October 10 public hearing for a Tax Increment Financing district in downtown. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

A new era of public transportation is driving into the Twin Cities. Connect Transit is launching a completely redesigned bus system with new routes, increased bus frequency, and for the first time ever, Sunday service. Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson said the new system is a "game changer" for Bloomington-Normal.

Michael Hill / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities are reacting to the Connect Transit route and schedule overhaul that will start on August 15th. Sheila Eskew of Bloomington said she's happy with the changes.

Staff / WGLT

Normal's mayor still likes the chances of improvements to Main Street despite the federal government's rejection of a grant proposal to improve the corridor.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has unanimously approved a Complete Streets resolution. The policy establishes rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using any form of transportation.

City Manager Mark Peterson said budget is a consideration when implementing a Complete Streets upgrade and some improvements are not financially supportable. Peterson said there is enough flexibility to make adjustments in street design based upon the existing conditions.

Normal Council To Consider 'Complete Streets' Policy

Jul 31, 2016
IvoShandor / Wikimedia Commons

A formal Complete Streets proposal is under consideration at Monday's Normal Town Council meeting. If approved, the resolution would further establish rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using all forms of transportation.

Connect Transit

Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson is speaking out against the 2016 Republican Platform released last week at the Republican National Convention. The document calls for the removal of Highway Trust Fund money from public transit systems such as Connect Transit in Bloomington-Normal.

Connect Transit Moving Forward With August Overhaul

Jul 26, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

The Connect Transit Board of Trustees approved proposed fee changes as part of a system overhaul that takes effect in three weeks. Beginning on August 15, riders will be able to purchase one-day and seven-day passes for fixed routes as well as 10-ride and 20-ride cards for Connect Mobilitity routes. 

J.P. Mueller / Creative Commons

The Mayor of Normal is giving Congressional testimony on the merits of high speed rail.

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.

Peter Mooney / Flickr

It's been a year since Dean Davis' life changed. On July 7, 2015, he was seriously injured while riding his bicycle on a rural McLean County road. He swerved into a ditch at about 20 miles per hour trying to avoid hitting a car that had stopped suddenly in front of him.

After recuperating from shoulder and back injuries and surgery, he finally rode his bike again this spring. He has ridden six times in the past year.

Connect Transit Announces Fee Restructure

Jun 29, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

People in Bloomington are reacting to fee changes proposed by Connect Transit. Under the plan, fixed route fares for one way riders, people with disabilities and senior citizens would remain the same along with one way fares for the Connect Mobility door-to-door service.

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