AMA: How to follow an item through City Council

Q: What’re the first steps someone needs to take to get involved in local government? And do you need to be affiliated with a party? — Citizen Newbie A: Newbie, I’m going to dodge the intent of this question, which is how to participate personally in the electoral process. But that gives … Continue reading

Want to make that intersection safer? Remove all the traffic signals

I‘m a big fan of Ben Hamilton-Baillie, the British urban space designer and traffic engineer who specializes in “reconciling traffic movement with quality public spaces in cities, towns and villages.” I mentioned him a couple of weeks ago in a post about how double-parked delivery trucks are maybe not such a bad … Continue reading

It wasn’t blackface after all. It was blueface. (It still wasn’t okay.)

This is a long post. There’s lots of ground to cover. I hope it addresses all the concerns people have brought up since yesterday’s post exploded via social media, but it may require more dialogue. Just know at the outset: I’ve been up all night writing this follow-up post, and … Continue reading

It’s 2016, and there are people in Bloomington wearing blackface in public [UPDATE: make that “blueface”]

UPDATE 9/24: The students pictured below were not in blackface; they were (attempting to) dress as Blue Man Group. Accusations of explicit racism have been corrected below: incorrect info is struck through and new info is underlined. Full update, and sources for new info below, in the post that succeeds this … Continue reading

How to start your own town, Hoosier-style

Last week, in addressing what Bloomington could do to see more “affordable” housing built, I wrote this: Council has some authority, but not that much in a country called the United “States” of America, whose provinces have significantly more power than do provinces in other countries.Our Constitution mentions neither cities nor any other … Continue reading

AMA: Why does the city let my car be slowed down?

Q: Are there or are there not any local ordinances that prohibit delivery trucks and moving trucks on main roads during rush hour? If not, why not? If we do, why aren’t they enforced? We should not have Walnut or College restricted to a single lane due to two delivery trucks on … Continue reading

The very basics of how Bloomington’s city council works: update

Wednesday nights are Council meeting nights, and they can go on. Last night’s committee of the whole was not too long, at only 3 hours and 45 minutes. Despite being a night owl, I’m not keen on writing after meetings. I also have to admit that my first efforts at blogging here about … Continue reading

Bloomington has grown since decade one

Bloomington’s always been a small town, right? There must’ve been a long period, you think, when nothing much about it changed. And certainly Bloomington has always been dominated by IU students. They’ve always been a huge part of the city’s life. Right? But then you look at the numbers. Bloomington’s bicentennial … Continue reading

AMA: How does affordable housing get built?

Above: While the 1950s-era chalet (and the original home of Food Truck Friday) is going away, the Chocolate Moose will return to this spot in 2017. (Photo: moosebtown.com) What happened to no new luxury apartment construction until we had affordable housing development? I have been renting for 6 years in … Continue reading