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 running  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