Cass Street in La Crosse has been narrowed significantly with new bump-outs.
But will it cause problems for emergency vehicles?
La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam was in the WIZM studio and talked about those concerns.
Gilliam said, in ideal conditions, turning a big rig right off of Cass Street is doable. When snow starts piling up, however? Maybe not so much.
“The way they’re built, we can get through there,” Gilliam said. “As things start to impact that, and close that gap, that’s where it gets a little more dicey. We’re gonna get through. It’s just going to slow us down.”
Gilliam added, however, that his crews know where the bump-outs are and keep an eye on all key routes in the city to insure there aren’t surprises when an emergency happens.
“We know what they look like and we’re gonna try and swing the corners wide and make it happen,” he said. “The bump-outs cause us some concern, depending on how their built. There’s different flare outs. It’s really the dynamics of how a fire truck is going to make a right-hand turn.”
Gilliam stopped short of criticizing the design that has bike lanes that dead end at the sidewalk bump-outs on the north side of the street, forcing bicyclists out into lanes of traffic, which are made significantly narrower by those same bump-outs.