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Bike-pedestrian committee conducts last public meeting on improvements before La Crosse city council receives plan



A bicyclists goes through the intersection at State and Second streets in downtown La Crosse, using the cycle track (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

It may not be easy to get La Crosse area residents to agree on ways to improve travel for bicycles and pedestrians.

Should the city install more “greenways” — traffic-calming measures — for bike traffic, like the cycle track recently installed down 2nd Street downtown?

That was just one of the topics covered for people attending the city’s final public meeting reviewing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan draft Monday, where there were mixed feelings about changes to heavily-used streets. 

The plan is a big revision from the last bike-ped plan from 2012. This one sets up projects looking ahead about a decade.

The two-hour meeting at the Main Street library included a presentation that looked at eight potential projects.

Three people review some of La Crosse’s bicycle and pedestrian master plan documents during a public meeting on May 20, 2024 (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Steven Fisher has doubts about plan for future bike lanes, but he does favor putting a bridge over railroads:

“They do need a way to cross over” train tracks, Fisher said, adding the bridge idea’s time has come.

Others also had objections to ideas for potential improvements to allow for pedestrians and bicyclists to easier navigate the city.

They were concerned about the cost of some construction plans and converting more lanes used by cars into bike-only lanes.

Jim Cavanaugh, who said he is a bike rider, would like to see an emphasis on safety, such as “giving new cyclists, or cyclists that are apprehensive about using roadways and such, to get around.”

Cavanaugh favors giving cyclists “a buffer zone from the cars.”

Jenna Dinkel, an associate planner for the city, said last week on La Crosse Talk PM, part of the emphasis on this plan is to create spaces for bicyclists that is safe to use for anyone 8 years and older.

The city council could be presented with a plan soon, according to associate city planner Jenna Dinkel, possibly as soon as July.

While the last public meeting did conclude, people are still welcome to take a quick survey on the plan through June 3.

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. Kent Porter

    May 21, 2024 at 4:50 am

    I drive on 2nd st for Dairyland Power and never see bikes in the bike lane , Just ride on the side walk like we did when we were kids, BIG WASTE OF MONEY !!!!!!!

  2. R Head

    May 21, 2024 at 10:07 am

    Why not make 23 ST a bike freeway, close it to bike only street they could wave at Mitch on there way threw.

  3. Timothy Welke

    May 22, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    As an avid biker I avoid the city at all cost .The amount of use on the existing bike lanes does not warrant constructing more. A ficus on train bridges would make more sense.

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