Bike BloNo can trace its roots back to public outcry in 2012 to the Main Street Feasibility Study, which showed that bike lanes could be incorporated into Main and Center Streets in Bloomington-Normal without a major impact on traffic flow. Likeminded individuals began mobilizing using Facebook and Twitter to show support for bike infrastructure on Main Street. Our first public gathering was at the Bloomington Citizen’s Voice forum in April of that year where more than 20 cyclists spoke in favor of bike lanes.
Bike BloNo has been working with Town of Normal staff and elected officials to move forward with further implementation of the Town’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan. As directed by our membership, Bike BloNo leaders spoke before the Town Council in August of 2012 to ask the town to move forward on the plan’s first recommendation, the Southern Corridor. This on-street bike route begins with a “bike boulevard” on Bryan Street from Parkside to Cottage. The Town appropriated $85,000 in the spring of 2013 and Bryan Street was completed in the summer of 2014, along with the other end of the Southern Corridor: bike lanes on Jersey Avenue and “share the road” signage on Virginia Avenue. When University Street is resurfaced in the spring of 2015, sharrows will be painted to connect the two existing segments of the Southern Corridor and complete this project.
In the fall of 2013, Bike BloNo advocated for the City of Bloomington to move forward with the creation of a Bicycle Master Plan. With significant financial support from the Friends of the Constitution Trail, the Bloomington City Council voted unanimously in favor of contracting with the League of Illinois Bicyclists to create a plan. Additionally, the City moved forward with creating an on-street bike route along Front Street, connecting the Constitution Trail with Downtown from both the east and the west. The City has also implemented an on-street bike route on Prairie, Walnut, Park, Beecher, and Franklin, connecting the Illinois Wesleyan campus to the Front Street bike route.
Bike BloNo formalized its status as a nonprofit organization during the fall and winter of 2013, filing with the State of Illinois as non-profit corporation, adopting bylaws, and electing a board of directors.