The town of Normal, IL held a public meeting announcing their proposed Bike/Pedestrian Plan on Tuesday. There was a good group citizens (30 or so) who got to hear from the Mayor and the Consultant they hired to prepare the plan. It was very encouraging to hear from people who wanted to promote bike and pedestrian travel. They will be putting the draft plan on the town’s web site, http://www.normal.org/
in a couple of weeks. They also were asking for public comments and suggestions. They are serious about the issue as evidenced by spending $50,000 consultant fee for the plan. That is quite a bit of money for the town of 50,000 population.
At the meeting I met Don & Sharon A Mcginnis from the Friends of the Constitution Trail (Bloomington-Normal’s trail system). I spoke to them about the Route 66 Bike Route. They said Normal was attempting to get grants for part of the route. They also said McLean County was active in grant seeking for Route 66 projects. The Bloomington City Council had just voted Monday to spend over $600,000 on an extension southward of the main north-south branch of the Constitution Trail. The federal government had awarded a $1,000,000 grant for the $1.6 million project in previous years. This extension will take the main north-south segment to just a few blocks from a long trail segment heading west. This extension would be a part of the Bike Route 66.
All in all it was very encouraging to see signs of progress at the local level. I think they are getting excited enough that grant applications will be matched locally to enable continued progress as the federal funding grows.