Transportation and Land Use

Bloomington Transit bus at central station
As Bloomington grows, it is key that land and transportation infrastructure is strategically developed to ensure all residents have access to public transportation, multi-use trails and paths, and accessible sidewalks.

Ensuring greater access to alternative modes of transportation will make Bloomington more equitable and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from gas-powered vehicles. Reducing the number of gasoline powered vehicles on the road will lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve our air quality, and reduce transportation costs. 

Primary goals: Decrease vehicle miles travelled; increase prevalence of low-carbon vehicle types.


Decrease the number of trips you take driving by yourself in your car.

Goal TL 1 Decrease vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 8% of 2018 values.

By decreasing the total number of miles used by all vehicles - both personal and commercial - we will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by these vehicles. The sub-goals listed below are how we plan to get there. Accomplishing these goals requires that we all work together! Each sub-goal section listed below contains suggestions for how you can help.
TL1- A: Reduce single occupancy automobile use by 8% of 2018 values.
Status: NOT on target
While the percentage of single occupancy automobile use in Bloomington is considerably lower than the overall Indiana percentage, it has remained flat since 2015. The biggest challenge to achieving this goal is adopting commute alternatives. 
In 2021, the City of Bloomington will work with the new Transportation Demand Manager to implement recommendations of the 2020 Transportation Demand Management Plan, including identifying and encouraging adoption of commute alternatives at the individual and organizational levels.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Are you often riding alone in your car? You can reduce the number of trips you drive alone in your car by bundling trips or using an alternative mode including carpooling, riding the bus, bicycling or walking to your destination.
Strategy TL 1-B: Increase bicycle/pedestrian commuting from 17% to 18% by creating infrastructure to better encourage alternatives to vehicles.
Status: NOT on target
While the percentage of bicycle and pedestrian commuters in Bloomington is significantly higher than that of Indiana overall, the numbers of commuters using these modes of transport have consistently declined. Improving infrastructure so that more of our streets have dedicated and/or protected bicycle lanes, and that our sidewalks are in good condition will increase the potential for this kind of transport.
To that end, the City Trails and Trees bond passed by City Council in 2018 is adding over seven miles of new trails to the existing 15 miles of recreational and multiuse paths in the  transportation system. The new trails and multi-use paths include the 7line, RCA/ Powerline and a hiking loop at Griffy Lake.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Active transportation improves public health, as well as reducing congestion and air quality. Check out Bloomington's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and switch some vehicle trips to a lower carbon mode of travel!
TL1-C: Increase transit utilization by 10% over 2018 passenger miles by 2030 through infrastructure and frequency investments.
Status: NOT on target
Bloomington Transit (BT) is the main local transit service in the City and operates 14 routes with a fleet of 49 buses (Transportation Plan, 2019). The BT Route Optimization Study indicated that increasing frequency, adding weekend service, and expanding service to the west side, to employment centers, housing complexes, and to Ivy Tech Community College are top priorities for transit users. While the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 saw a sharp decline in ridership, BT has continued to safely serve residents, and is confident that their post-pandemic ridership will increase. 
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Have you ever taken the bus in Bloomington? It may be easier than you think! Use BT's trip planner to see the exact route(s) you need to get to where you are going.
TL1-D: Increase shared mobility utilization; target: increase shared mobility (carpooling) from 9.21% to 12.21% of commuters by 2030.
Status: Improving; Not on target
Shared mobility can be broadly defined as transportation services and resources that are shared among users. This mode of transportation includes micromobility (bikesharing, scooter sharing); automobile-based modes (carsharing, rides on demand, and microtransit); and commute-based modes or ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling). According to the US Census, workers commuting via carpooling has remained consistently near the 9% level since 2013.
To encourage greater use of shared mobility, the City is encouraging residents to carpool to work, as well as promoting use of car sharing services like ZipCar.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Consider using a shared vehicle to reduce costs like car maintenance, insurance, and parking for infrequent trips around the Bloomington area.
TL1-E: Encourage density and increase housing options and affordability with the goal of increasing gross density by 3% of 2018 values.
Status: Collecting Data
Residential density in the City of Bloomington ranges from 700 people per square mile to over 19,300 people per square mile, with an average of approximately 3,600 people per square mile. When well planned, increased density means shorter commutes, increased "walkability" between home and a range of destinations, reinforced public transit corridor utilization, increased housing near jobs and community resources, and overall increased quality of life for residents.
To meet this goal, the City is including sustainable development and redevelopment of the areas within the City in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan through implementation of the Unified Development Ordinance.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
When considering your housing options, consider whether your housing is near your employment and other amenities.
Nice looking apartments
Complete street - Kirkwood
TL1-F:  Build Complete Streets; Target: 10% increase in "complete street" coverage by 2030.
Status: Collecting Data
"Complete streets" are streets designed and operated to enable safe use and support mobility for all users of all ages and abilities and all modes of travel including pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders, public transportation riders, and drivers. Complete street strategies address a wide range of elements, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, bus lanes, public transportation stops, crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, modified vehicle travel lanes, streetscape, and landscape treatments.
To meet this goal, the City is  continuing to implement the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Complete Street Policy by building infrastructure that makes transportation better and safer for people walking, biking, driving, riding the bus, and moving actively with assistive devices.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
If "complete streets" is a topic of interest to you, consider attending a Metropolitan Planning Organization Citizens Advisory Committee meeting. 
TL1-G: Increase pedestrian access and safety.
Status: Collecting Data
Reducing pedestrian crashes and the resulting deaths and injuries are a top priority. Certain roadway designs features can contribute to unsafe behaviors by pedestrians and motorists. Therefore, designing the roadway system with pedestrians in mind reduces access and safety concerns associated with walking. 
To meet this goal, the City is designing and managing streets to be more pedestrian friendly. Recent closures of Kirkwood Avenue have allowed for pedestrian access, commerce, and more space for outdoor seating.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Be safe as you walk by obeying road signs and signals, being aware of crosswalk and intersection markers, and using sidewalks and sidepaths where available. Report any unsafe road or sidewalk conditions using the City's uReport system.
Kirkwood crossing at the library
Bloomington vehicle
TL1-H: Reduce commercial/industrial vehicle use by 8% of 2018 values.
Status: Collecting Data
Commercial and Industrial vehicle use makes up an estimated 10% of city-wide vehicle miles travelled (VMT). Using low-carbon alternatives to transport goods and optimizing how commercial fleets are used can support this goal and increase profitability.
To meet this goal, the City is supporting the adoption of fleet alternatives, to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Do you manage a fleet of vehicles? Consider replacing existing diesel vehicles or equipment with cleaner alternatives serving the same purpose. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has a grant program (the Diesel Emission Reduction Act or DERA) that provides guidance and potentially some funds for assisting you in this goal!
TL1-I: Reduce citywide off-road and lawn equipment emissions to below 35,000 metric tons annually.
Status: Collecting Data
Emissions from off-road equipment like construction and lawn equipment comprise a significant portion of fossil fuel consumption in Bloomington.
To meet this goal, the City is launching an expanded leaf management pilot to 1,000 households in 2021. Participating households will be provided with substantial education about mulching and composting and will be asked to mulch and compost as many of their leaves on their own property as possible and put only the excess out for collection by the City Yard Waste crew. The current leaf management strategy is to collect the leaves via vacuum truck.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Sign up here to be part of the 2021 expanded pilot and learn how to mulch and compost as many of your leaves on-site as possible!
Consider switching from fossil fuel based lawn and yard equipment to an electric powered alternative.
Leaf rake and leaves

Goal TL 2 Support and encourage electric vehicle adoption, achieve 30% of vehicles sold by 2030.

The strategies listed below are how our combined actions will support and encourage electric vehicle adoption. Content and status in each section indicate progress to date.
Strategy TL 2-A: Transition City fleet to electric vehicle and alternative fuels (hybrid/ hybrid electric, plug in hybrid electric).
Status: On Target
The City of Bloomington is committed to replacing or purchasing lower carbon fuel vehicles. In 2020, the City purchased its first all electric vehicle as part of the Public Works fleet and the Police Department purchased 10 hybrid Ford Police Interceptor patrol vehicles. As vehicles reach the end of their lifetime or new vehicles are purchased, City fleet vehicles will be evaluated for suitability for a hybrid or electric alternative.
The biggest challenges to a full fleet transition are ensuring that there is a fully electric or hybrid vehicle available that meets specifications and cost requirements.
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
Tell your City Council Member that you support funding for the fleet transition which saves tax payer dollars by reducing long term maintenance costs.
Electric bubble buddy on B-line
EV charging station in Bloomington
Strategy TL 2-B:Support and encourage electric vehicle (EV) and alternative fuel (hybrid/ hybrid electric, plug in hybrid electric) vehicle adoption citywide.
Status: On Target
The City of Bloomington continues to operate public EV charging stations in garages and parking lots across the City. The new parking garages at Fourth Street and the Trades District will feature EV charging stations. Some stations were funded through a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Other chargers are available at the Morton and Walnut Street garages, as well as new chargers at Switchyard Park. 
How You Can Help Us Reach Our Goal
If you own a car that is at the end of its life and is ready for replacement, consider replacing it with a hybrid or electric model. You may be eligible for Federal or State rebates to help with the cost.