Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Welcome to the B-Line Trail!


so I lifted the title from the placards at either

end of the so far-completed trail.

On a historical note,

the B-Line Trail is based upon

the old Monon Train route.

I have been on a mission lately to document

the newly developed B-Line Trail.

The first phase opened this past year and is 0.6 miles long.

The second phase has been awarded to a contractor

and is set to begin construction soon.

Once completed,

the entire B-Line Trail will be 3 miles long

and will connect to Bloomington Rail-Trail.

The first completed section of the B-Line Trail

has recently opened just to

the west of downtown Bloomington.

The current trail runs from Second Street up to Rogers Street.

Since I started my journey from Second Street,
we will progress Northward.

This year our town is hoping to win the title of
for a city our size.

Recently I was able to speak with the director of

Hilltop Garden Center at Indiana University.

He told me that IU is working with

the town of Bloomington to win the title of

America in Bloom.


as with most sectors in our current economy,

IU has had to severely cut back

on its gardening and grounds staffing and costs.

Here we are about a block south of the old railroad

overpass over 3rd Street.

Limestone blocks attempt to hold back the hillside.

Someone left us a greeting.

At several points along the trail,

evergreens are planted in these containers.

The containers appear to be made with recycled glass.

Benches await weary travelers all along the trail.


shade is a bit lacking this early in the game.

And, if you recall from an earlier post,

the city belatedly realized that they erred

in planting Cleveland Select Pear trees

along the pathway,

as they can, possibly, be invasive

and are non-natives.

Now they want to tear out all these trees

and replant more eco-friendly (i.e., native) trees.

Way to cost the taxpayers more money.

I think a much more practical and economical

solution would be to wait until the trees begin splitting

in high winds before replacing them.

But what do I know?

Okay, um,

stepping off my soap box now.

Hey, isn't this a pretty sight?

Sometimes the resting places are shaded.

The powers that be wish for us to become informed.

And so shall it be.

The former Graham Auto Sales building now houses

the Bloomington Convention Center.


Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Just in case you forgot,

this is the B-Line Trail.

This is the old railroad overpass

that was gussied up for the B-Line Trail.

A planting bed overlooking busy 3rd Street.

I think I would weep if I knew how much money

the city spent on "beautifying" this railroad overpass.

But I can't argue that the results are interesting.

I'm looking over the 3rd Street passover,

that I overlooked before...

Okay, I'll stop now.

For a dollar.

But, but, the railroad passes over.

The road passes under.

I'm confuzzled.

Hold me.

And farther north,

we are adjacent to Wonderlab.

So that's where that thing is.

See what happens when one doesn't have children of a certain age?

A shaded spot on the trail.

My Master Gardener Association has been instrumental

in developing and maintaining this garden for our

community's children.

I'm so proud of our gardeners.

And now join me in a stroll through the garden.

I rather think that a fountain is meant to be in this space.

It looks like Sputnik landed in a metal tub.

Just lovely.

I wish to thank our Master Gardeners for all of their hard work.

And here we learn that Bloomington has always welcomed

the weary traveler.

Funny story here and let's see if I can get it straight:

The owner of this mural does not own the building

to which it is attached.

Or the mural is on a layer of bricks that someone else owns.

Something like that.


So are we all.

It took some legal wrangling and much social wailing

for the matter to be resolved.

To wit, the essence of the mural will be preserved

and will be replaced on the building

once the building has been stabilized.

Of course, the owner of the land facing the mural

can always choose to build (on that eight or ten foot sliver of land),

thus forever hiding the mural.

So, who won and who lost?

Only time will tell.

Now that you have seen some of the good,

it's time to see some of the bad.

Here at the southern end of the

so-far completed part of the trail

concrete, asphault and weeds

assault the trail users' eyes.

Bloomington is a city of businesses.

And let's face it,

not all businesses are pretty.

Bloomington is also home to some gangs.

Maybe I should be glad that I can't decipher this mess?

Bloomington will need to clear up

some of these problems if they wish to

truly make this a beautiful city.

But these are no problems that a few good plants can't cure,

or at least hide.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And now on to some of the good.

Whimsical folk art.

Here we find some meaningful graffiti.

Hm, a book on a stand?

Why does this remind me of a sermon on Sunday morning?

Another history lesson.

I will leave it to you to click on the picture and learn.

Ah, and now we finally get to the crux of the matter.

The B-Line Trail was built on the remains of the old

Monon Rail Line.

Is it just me,

or would some sweet-scented vines look divine here?

Heading back to the 3rd Street overpass.


and now I find out where Le Petit Cafe is.

A couple of weeks ago I had stepped out of a meeting downtown

when a gentleman stopped me to ask if I knew

where this restaurant was.

Unfortunately, I didn't at the time,

and as I learned this day,

the gentleman had been directed to the wrong street.

I do hope he eventually found his destination and his friends.

Ah, would you look?

A petit city scape.

Some artistic "graffiti."

This seems to be based on Disney's A Jungle Book.

See, graffiti can be beautiful.

And now we are getting to the crux of the matter.

This is the old Johnson Creamery Factory.

It seems that some lawyers have now taken refuge here.

Read and enjoy.

Railroads and their peripherals.

Ah, I had heard about this tableau.

This here is a 23 foot tall limestone table and chairs.

This is a massive tablescape.

Sandra Lee,

eat your heart out.

I'm rather pleased with this picture.

Too bad I couldn't see anything for five minutes afterwards.

This is a close second.

The Showers Building.

This building now houses Bloomington City Offices.

What better way to advertise than on the chimney?

The old Illinois Central Freight Station.

Well, by this time I have had my massage

and have been out walking for a while more.

I think it's time for lunch.

I walked over half a block to the Bloomington Bagel Company

and ordered an Everything Bagel with smoked turkey and toppings.

I then grabbed my ice water from my car and found a bench

(in the sun, unfortunately) by the Showers Complex.

Pretty tasty,

but I've never found a bagel that could

outshine the very first bagel sandwich I ever had.

And that special bagel was found in Oxford, Ohio,

the home of Miami University.

But that is a different story and I digress.

This is the seasonal home of the Bloomington Farmer's Market.

The Showers building was once the largest

furniture factory in the world.

The saw-tooth roof is rather unique.

More art along the trail.

Oops, I think we have reached the end of the trail.

Yep, that's the end of the trail.

For now...

And we are welcomed again to the B-Line Trail.

A reminder to pedestrians, bikers and skaters

to heed motorized cross traffic.

But considering that on this day I witnessed a man

walking in front of a firetruck,

forcing the firetruck to slam on the brakes,
I don't hold out much hope for behavior modification.

I'm sure that you recognize this scene

from this past weekend's post.

And here is the preserved amonia compressor

that was used in the refrigeration process

at Johnson's Creamery.

I hoped you enjoyed this little jaunt along the B-Line Trail.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Enjoyed this very much. Thank you.

It's nice to see cities making lovely, inviting walking trails. And you Master Gardeners should be congratulated on a job well done.

Very interesting post.

michael said...

you do know that that trail gos way out by dillmen road well first past clear-creek but you have to get off it and cross the high-way so its really about 7 to 8 miles long and what ever graffiti art work you see near the trail is not gang-related just because their is no cartoon with the painting doesn't mean its gang-graffiti im just saying you know.

Marilyn said...

Michael, I understand that the jungle "graffiti" is not actually gang-related, but as I pointed out earlier in my post, there are other graffiti in other locations on the B-line. I don't know the symbols of the various gangs in town, but I know that they exist and they do mark their territory.
Also, I haven't had the chance yet to walk the newer part of the b-line trail. I will have to do that in the spring.

Thanks for posting and enjoy the trails.