Bloomington Explores Restoring Jefferson Street Traffic Pattern

Published 08/20 2014 05:27PM

Updated 08/20 2014 06:16PM

BLOOMINGTON – At the corner of Jefferson and Allin streets, the road comes to a dead end. Crime shut it down years ago, but the city of Bloomington might open that back up.

The council members are using months of community surveying and focus groups to make their decision.

City leaders believe the time is right to make changes here on Jefferson Street. A dead end was installed to slow down a string of drive-by shootings in the mid-90s, but now the city says neighbors believe the problem has subsided.

"What it appears to be is they came up with a long-term solution for a short-term problem,” said city manager David Hales.

Giano Colon has lived near the dead end for about five years, and he says there's no need to go back.

"There hasn't been as many drive-throughs since the signs have been put up,” said Colon. “There haven't been any drive-bys for years, as far as I know."

Colon says the park has been a great place for kids to play, and says the minor inconvenience for drivers shouldn't make the change necessary.

"It's not very much of an inconvenience. I've drove it numerous times,” said Colon. “The only bad part is whoever lives in the corner house has to deal with people constantly going in and out of the driveway.”

But it's a fact that the city manager says is, again, predicated on improving public safety and response times.

"We have an unsafe situation where police vehicles, fire vehicles, and ambulances go down the street, but there's nowhere to turn around,” said Hales.

And if safety and efficiency is improved, Hales says he hopes the whole community can understand the sacrifice.

The project could cost around $70,000 to $80,000 if it's contracted out. Hales says the city could do it for less if it does the work itself.

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