Revolt stirred in an unlikely corner of Bloomington when word got out that the Bloomington Adult Community Center (BACC) on South Walnut Street would be closed and most of its programs moved to the Sportsplex.
To many older adults who play bridge, dance, learn languages, get help with their taxes and otherwise use the well-worn building, this was not good news. The Sportsplex -- out busy, narrow Second Street on the edge of what used to be "the town" -- is hard for walkers, bike riders, bus riders and even drivers to get to.
Some of us like the BACC where it is: downtown, where we can come to a class and then stop off at the post office and library, maybe drop in at a coffee shop. Some of us like having a place of our own, even if it is a worn warren of rooms. And some of us were not happy that we did not find out what was in store for us until mid-March.
Like Al Gore, Lawrence D. Frank has a slide show, and he brought it to Bloomington last week. His message is not quite the same as the former vice president's warnings about global warming, but it's related: Let's build towns and cities people can walk in.
A faculty member at the University of British Columbia, Frank has led a series of high-profile studies that predictably link driving to obesity and dirty air.
His studies also demonstrate the kinds of communities that encourage people to choose walking over driving. Walkable neighborhoods tend to have:
- More people,
- Streets that connect with other streets (no cul de sacs), and
- destinations for walkers — stores, schools, parks, restaurants.