WTIU Q&A: Mayoral candidates talk transportation

We pulled out the following quotes from the April 21 WTIU Q&A with Joe Hren. Hren received hundreds of questions from the community and passed a few of them on to the candidates. Two questions dealt explicitly with B-TOP concerns: app-based scooters and the summer closure of Kirkwood. Read or watch the complete interviews at WTIU.

TOPIC: App-based scooters and E-bikes

“It’s part of our Go Bloomington plan. It’s part of creating micro transit abilities and getting less getting getting cars off the streets. And so I think that will be part of it. I think more training needs to be done. I think we’re we’re working with geo fencing and we’re working with getting.”

“The companies that own these these scooter companies and E bikes companies I think we’re getting them to be more responsive.”

“Yeah, so the scooters have really become quite an issue. Not only because they are a nuisance, but also frequently I am moving them off of sidewalks because there’s it prevents accessibility for people who are using wheelchairs or other accessibility devices. So I know some communities have solved this by having a mandatory parking spot for them.”

“I know Paris just banned them, and so I’d like to look at the balance between the zero emissions, small commute that they do provide, and the nuisance and accessibility issues that they are preventing and see if we can find a solution where they do have to be mandatorily parked somewhere.”

“The city does have a fine system. I am not clear why those fines are not being imposed.”

“With respect to scooters, I’m on the record, I’m not a fan. I think we need to be much, much harder on the scooter companies themselves and hold them more responsible for the ADA compliance issues that we’re really struggling with. I’m very, very big on making sure our streets or sidewalks, our intersections are usable for all ages, all abilities, all disabilities.”

TOPIC: Kirkwood closure

“When I talked to the most of the restaurants there, they love it, the community loves it. And maybe even eventually, that may be a permanent. I think this is kind of a pilot project to see how that would work. So you know, long term idea is a curbless Kirkwood with with most likely street closures all the time. I’m not saying that’s gonna happen in the next five years or 10 years or what have you, but there will be studies and the public likes this.”

“I don’t want to see a place where folks who have accessibility issues can’t experience the restaurants that they like and that they’ve grown up with. So we’ve got to figure out a way how that all can can how we all can live together with an exist a Kirkwood that’s either closed off permanently or closed off on a seasonal basis.”

“I know, for instance, the Bicycle Garage has not been in support of the road closure.”

“I have heard from people with with accessibility issues, physical impairments that that it makes them it more difficult for them to park near to where they’re going. I actually also talked to someone who uses a wheelchair who loves it because the street is much smoother than the sidewalks and so it’s easier to roll along.”

“I love the closure of Kirkwood. I love being able to sit out in the middle of Kirkwood and it feels a little bit like Paris to me. I love the community feel of people walking by have, you know a near straightline pedestrian mall.”


“I did vote in favor of expanding for this particular summer season. I think we are still in a post COVID era even though it seems to be in the rearview mirror — the worst of it anyway. And I think maybe one more summer would be a nice gift to the restaurants who certainly can benefit from that.”

“But I’m very well aware that there are winners here and losers here. And some of the losers of course, are the people that really can’t expand out into the streets like the retail shops, the offices above the some of the churches in the downtown have certainly complained about it. So I’m not sure I’m in favor of a permanent closure of it.”

“I think it was a good mechanism for the COVID era, but we might want to make sure that Kirkwood is a street that is usable by all users. And I mean that across the board, I think we are getting a little bit too restrictive and making everything all about bikes, maybe making everything all about pedestrians.”