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Bloomington Bicyclists Prepare for Safer Streets

BLOOMINGTON- You may have seen them on the roadways. More and more people are choosing to ride their bikes instead of driving...
BLOOMINGTON- You may have seen them on the roadways. More and more people are choosing to ride their bikes instead of driving. Now, a plan by the Bloomington city council will make sharing the road with them a little easier.

"On Monday, the city of Bloomington approved plans to connect the Constitution Trail to the downtown. Now, riders are excited about what the next step is going to be.

"It felt like a long time coming, that just means very good things, I believe, for downtown and eventually for all of Bloomington-Normal, as a community," said Caryn Davis.

For years, Caryn Davis has been riding her bike around Bloomington-Normal. For Davis and fellow Bike BloNo member Jacob DeGeal, it's not always easy to get downtown.

"There's a lot of side streets, a lot of stepping through and around and there's no real direct path into downtown," said DeGeal.

DeGeal started riding his bike year round to help him travel lighter while he runs errands. He says a lot of riders are following suit and stores could certainly benefit from bicyclist business.

To help riders, the city is adding shared bike lanes, also known as sharrows.

"So, they're just creating a place on the street that makes a cyclist aware and a car aware of where the cyclists should be traveling," said Davis.

Later the city could decide to widen lanes. For now, there will be an adjustment period, but it's one DeGeal says will be worth it.

"It's going to be a kind of shift for drivers to be aware of bikers on the road," said DeGeal. "Simply making the streets a little safer would do wonders for drivers on the road."

The first phase of the project will focus on creating those shared bike lanes, but the next step will be planning trail routes into the downtown.

The city has budgeted out about $12,000 for that, and bicyclists say the best way for that plan to be implemented will be to give feedback about sections to city council members.

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