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Bike lanes and parking elimination approved for Gillette Street

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Citizens fill a conference room at La Crosse City Hall Monday for a meeting of the Board of Public Works

A busy street in north La Crosse is on track to get bike lanes going in both directions, over the objections of some residents and business owners there.

The city’s board of public works voted 3-2 in favor of putting bike lanes on Gillette Street, which would require a ban on parking on the north side of the street.

It’s the elimination of parking that upsets business people such as Darrell Dickinson, whose family has one of its funeral homes on Gillette.

“I, as a business owner, cannot afford to lose the parking spaces,” Dickinson said at the meeting.

Others who spoke to the public works board Monday argued that it would be safer to have bike riders use a different street with less traffic.

Action by the board does not have to be reviewed by the La Crosse city council. North side council member Scott Neumeister said he plans to look into a way of challenging the vote by the board.

The two dissenting votes on the board came from the two council members who serve on the panel — Gary Padesky and Phil Ostrem.

In other business, public works will take one more week to review plans for replacing power lines in the marsh area.

The Friends of the Marsh group and other citizens have concerns about the Xcel plans to put new lines through a wooded area and near eagle-nesting sites.

The utility wants to take soil samples in the marsh next month, before construction of the line happens in the fall.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Randy J Hubert

    February 13, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Why do we keep putting bike lanes on busy streets. First they don’t pay road taxes fuel taxes or even licence registration. Why don’t we have bikes use other side streets paralleling busy streets a designate them for bikes. We make truck routes why not make bike routes and leave the busy streets to vehicles like they were meant to be. Hell I think the interstate could use a good bike lane.

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