Archive for December, 2012

Petrifying Springs Park

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 31st , 2012.

This charming park with the odd name has recently been upgraded with a new bike trail running the length of the park and connecting to an existing trail running eastward by the UW-Parkside campus and the Kenosha county bike path. But, still an opportunity was missed, I think. The bicyclist who wants to continue west can take county A, a surprisingly rural and low-traffic road passing through farm country. But county A jogs at the very busy Green Bay Road, forcing the rider to briefly join Green Bay and then get into the left turn lane. This potentially dangerous maneuver could be avoided with a short stub trail from the new trail to Green Bay directly across from the intersection with the west-bound county A, which would allow the bicyclist to cross Green Bay without joining it.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Another missing link: Port Washington Road

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 31st , 2012.

A bicyclist traveling between Milwaukee and Port Washington can take Lake Drive for most of Milwaukee county and Lake Drive for most of Ozaukee county. The problem is joining the two. The only connector between the two counties is Port Washington Road, which is busy and has lousy shoulders, particularly in the Mequon portion. Southbound the shoulder is gravel; northbound there is a curb and no shoulder. The Bayside portion has been improved with some bike lines and worked to slow down cars leaving I-94. With heavy bike use, this is a stretch that is calling for improvement: a bike lane or a parallel bike path.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Brookfield’s Lisbon Road (missing link)

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 31st , 2012.

A bike trail runs from Brookfield Road west to the Brookfield city limits along Lisbon Road. About a mile west a bridge closed to traffic connects Lisbon to the low-traffic River Road. But in between the two-lane Lisbon Road has ugly gravel shoulders and sometimes heavy traffic. Ideally the bike trail would be extended to connect the two–or the shoulders paved. The present connection is doable but not great.

This may be a case where the political fragmentation of Waukesha county helps prevent coordinated efforts that lead to through bike routes.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Milwaukee’s Northwest Side (more wishes)

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 31st , 2012.

The far northwest side is Milwaukee’s bike desert. Despite a common border that runs several miles there is no good connection between Mequon and Milwaukee. The streets running north and south are busy, old, and have no shoulders or broken-up ones. While there is an extension of the Oak Leaf Trail on some planning maps that would connect to Mequon, it is likely many years away. At some point presumably these roads will be rebuilt with the shoulders needed for safe riding.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Missing Links-Part 2: Hales Corners

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 15th , 2012.

My Wisconsin Bike Routes site describes a route between Milwaukee to Elkhorn. From Milwaukee to Hales Corners the traveller has a choice of following the Oak Leaf Trail or using a combination of low-traffic city streets. Southwest of Hales Corners the route is mostly on bike trails, principally the Seven Waters Trail and the White River State Trail. The problem is getting through Hales Corners.

The most direct route, on Forest Home Avenue, is scary, forcing the rider to either ride in traffic or on dangerous, unpaved shoulders. The route I recommend, south through Whitnall Park and west on Rawson Rd to the Franklin Trail is a bit circuitous and Rawson can have busy traffic. Hales Corners has constructed bike-friendly streets, notably 114th St. It is too bad it has not added bike lanes to the part of Forest Home west of Highway 100.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

New Bridge in Menomonee Valley

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 15th , 2012.

Here is a nice post from Urban Milwaukee on a new bridge that will connect the Mitchell Park Domes to the Hank Aaron Trail. The whole project is a case study of where bike infrastructure can be a tool in economic development.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Missing Links

Posted by Doug Shidell, December 13th , 2012.

Each time I research southeastern Wisconsin update the Milwaukee bike map, I come across spots where a bit of improvement could open up miles of attractive bicycling. Often a low-traffic road ideal for bicycling comes to an abrupt end at a busy highway unsuitable for biking with no connection to the next good section. Identifying and correcting these bottlenecks would seem to be a cost-effective way to expand bicycling opportunities. Too often, however, I find the same obstacles when I return a few years later to update the map. In the next few, I plan to describe a number of these unrealized opportunities.

An example is the intersection of Bain Station Road and Green Bay Road in Pleasant Prairie. Bain Station is a somewhat funky road that follows railroad tracks between Wilmot Rd and Green Bay Road (Highway 31). It passes by the site of one of the original settlements in the area, built around a railroad station. Good bike routes runningĀ  west from Kenosha are scarce and Bain Station Rd could be a solution. The problem is that there is no good way to get on it without riding on a stretch of Green Bay Rd, whose builders did not even see fit to add shoulders. But just a few feet to the east of the junction is the dead-end Old Green Bay Road. A curb cut and a few feet of bike path would all that it would take to connect Old Green Bay Road to Bain Station Road and points west.

Why hasn’t this been done? Part of the reason may be that the boundary between Kenosha and Pleasant Prairie runs right through the middle of this area. Both communities have quite ambitious bike plans, apparently contemplating bike paths paralleling most of the major roads. But it is not clear whether they plan to connect Bain Station Road to Old Green Bay Road.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News