Milwaukee is Moving Forward with New Bicycle Plan
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Milwaukee’s first bicycle plan came out in 1993. Since that time the city has realized most of the plan’s major recommendations and has added over 115 miles of bicycle lanes and routes to the city. The new plan lays out a Vision for Milwaukee 2020. That would include adding over 170 miles of new on-street bike infrastructure and almost 7 miles of new paved trails.
Of note, within these new lane miles the addition of Bike Boulevards is a design feature that Milwaukee hasn’t utilized in the past. Bike Boulevards makes residential streets safer for residents and bicyclist alike by slowly automobile traffic with traffic calming measures while allowing bicycle traffic to move quickly through the neighborhood. In addition to new Bike Boulevards the city will also experiment with Raised Bike Lanes. Raised Bike Lanes create an element of safety and separation by elevating the riding surface slightly from the automobile lane. For more information here is a video of Bike Boulevard’s:
The plan is broken out into two areas of recommendations. Facility Recommendations, which focuses on the physical infrastructure, and Program Recommendations which focuses on encouragement and safety efforts. Some highlights from the Facility Recommendations include the previously mention Bike Boulevards and Raised Bike Lanes as well the testing of bicycle boxes, providing ample bicycle parking throughout Milwaukee, and even the creation of officially designated places for mountain biking and BMX riding. Within Program Recommendations the suggestion of piloting a bike-sharing system stands out as does working towards better enforcement of existing traffic laws for both motorists and bicyclists.
The plan still needs to be approved by the Common Council and signed by the Mayor. To learn more about the plan there is a a public information meeting Wednesday July 14 from 4pm-7pm, with a presentation at 5pm, in the first floor conference room of the Zeidler Municipal Bldg., at 841 N Broadway. Additionally, Dave Schlabowske, City of Milwaukee Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, is running a great series of articles on the Bicycle Plan on his blog Over the Bars in Milwaukee.