MIA Common Sense in Normal

By: Diane Benjamin

Instead of expecting people using Constitution Trail to STOP before crossing busy roads, Normal has put the below in the middle of some streets expecting vehicles traveling much faster to slam on their breaks for bikes and pedestrians:

Normal has these on Raab, Shelbourne, Lincoln, Willow and Locust. People who don’t drive these roads often have no idea what they are. I’ve heard reports that bikers on the trail fly across streets without looking because they think vehicles are going to stop.

One resident did a survey on Next Door, his name is on it because Normal knows him well:

 Normal knows about this survey but they refuse to even have a discussion about these signs. Doug has been unable to garner support from 4 council members to put this on the agenda. Right now he has ONE, guess which one.

Doug also compiled statistics showing bike accidents per year, Raab is the one I hear most complaints about:

Bloomington has stop signs or an orange stake on the trail where bikers and pedestrians need to be careful crossing:

Normal has some stop signs too at other locations:

Maybe Mayor Bike Shop likes the sales and repairs generated by bikes that get hit because drivers don’t see the stop signs before bikes fly across without stopping. I’ve heard reports of vehicles hitting these posts and sending them airborne, luckily as far as I know nobody has been hit by the heavy base and sharp metal yet.

Common sense is missing in Normal, it’s sad 4 Trustees can’t be found to even discuss what citizens obviously despise, reference the survey.

The Normal Police Department put a video on Facebook in November 2017 explaining the stop signs. If you aren’t on Facebook you can’t see it. I couldn’t find it on the Town’s YouTube channel.

People who regularly drive the 5 roads are likely used to looking for people crossing. Those, like me, who maybe drive one once a year have no idea what to do and don’t see a Stop Sign in the middle of the road. It’s only a matter of time until Vision Zero (Go Safe-Zero deaths by 2030 program) is proven not to work here because government isn’t very smart.

Doug Fansler deserves Trustees that want to listen, he is a biker. In Normal, only the opinions of the “professional staff” matter however.








12 thoughts on “MIA Common Sense in Normal

  1. If these crossings are the absolute worst perit’s the worst. Sometimes you see people come to a complete stop when there’s absolutely nobody crossing the trail. Other times you have bikers dart out of the trail just as you’re starting to cross it as if we have time to slam on the brakes for them. And the absolute worst is when covers stop on Vernon Avenue to let people cross on the trail when there is no stop sign there.And that is a 4 lane road.I almost hit somebody because a driver in the right hand lane decided to stop to let somebody cross at the trail. I guess the only solution is to have everybody ride bikes because the trail is in much better shape than any of the roads

  2. Here is the video the police created. https://www.facebook.com/NormalILPD/videos/1967500263472327/

    If the police have to put out an educational video on what the signs mean, then something may be wrong. Citizens should be able to address their government to present their concerns.

    This administration has a long history of refusing to allow residents to speak about things that are contrary to the Mayor’s agenda. Remember…
    – the multiple public comment policies that were declared illegal by the AG
    – Citizen Summit suppression
    – instructing elected and appointed officials not to communicate directly with their constituents who were opposed to allowing alcohol within the Soldiers and Sailors Park
    – the council was told the Save the Mural petition should be ignored completely as public input
    – Normal recently eliminated giving public notice and having public hearings when the town vacates roads and alleys to give to “preferred” companies/people while Bloomington still gives notice and includes public hearings.

    Instead of encouraging citizen engagement and removing obstacles of communication. Normal proactively seeks to create barriers to public involvement in decisions, programs, and services.

    What the town does is not ethical according to the Municipal Managers Association, but Normal ignores ethics, and not enough of the people who are elected care to enforce ethics. Below are the specific ethical tenets, I believe, that are being violated.

    “Tenet 4…ensure that all the people within their jurisdiction have the ability to actively engage
    with their local government, members should strive to eliminate barriers to public involvement
    in decisions, programs, and services.

    Tenet 9. Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication
    between the citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous service
    to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.”


    Nothing will change until enough residents pickup up the phone and call the people they elected and tell them you want it changed. Online ranting will continue to be ignored.

    Stan Nord – Council Member who believes both supporting and dissenting voices have equal rights to address their government.

  3. I ride my bike almost every day and mostly on the trail. You can not idiot proof crosswalks. There are idiots on bikes and idiots in cars. Not a good combination. The only solution for idiots is to close the trail completely or put stop lights for cars at every crosswalk. I think warnings for drivers that there is a trail crossing ahead is a must but any biker who assumes cars are going to stop for you has a better than even chance of getting run over.

    1. In communities that have their act together, crossings such as though pictured have flashing warning lights or caution signs that both the motorist and cyclist must adhere to.. Since it is BN, only the motorist is responsible for the safety of the cyclist and motorist. BN has some of the rudest cyclists on the planet. The most vocal about bicycle safety are the members of Bike BloNo , the Wheelers and/or LIB. They also feature the most habitual traffic offenders. The current signage is useless and very dangerous for the motorist. Most using the trail never look anyway when crossing these intersections and would just see getting hit by a motorist a bonanza payday in personal injury court.

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