At least one La Crosse city council member has no problem being a champion of bicycling.
The city has budgeted $550,000 this year to move forward improvements called for in a bicycle and pedestrian master plan. The money will be distributed over the next five years to implement the long-standing plan.
Gary Padesky has no problem supporting spending on things like bike lanes. The La Crosse city councilman is also an avid rider and appreciates having bike facilities for all to use.
“If you’re already repairing the street or fixing the street, I think then it’s money well spent,” Padesky said.
In a report distributed last week, the city planning office seemed to justify that spending. The report identified 3.5 percent of people in La Crosse get to work on the seat of a bike. That’s double the percentage of the state as a whole.
Not everyone supports spending money to fix up the roads for bicyclists. Far from it. And Padesky understands that. But he’s a proponent of the process anyway. Besides, Padesky said, it’s good for the city to have more people biking.
“If you have more people using the bicylces it helps alleviate some of the strain on the streets,” Padesky said. “Obviously the streets don’t get the waer and tear from the added vehicles.”
Padesky appreciates the city’s dedication for biking infrastructure, because it especially helps those who get back and forth to work by bike – even this time of year.
“There’s a guy that comes by early in the morning,” Padesky said. “He must be going to work. And then later at night. He’s out there, and it’s cold. I’m like, ‘Boy, that guy’s dedicated.'”