Racine county revises its bike loop

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 8th, 2012

About forty years ago, Racine county designed and published a bicycling route circling the county. It followed low-traffic routes near the edge of the county. The county posted signs along the route.

Over the years, the route was left unchanged despite increasing problems. Traffic on county KR, along the Racine-Kenosha county line became increasingly busy. From the start, the route disappeared when it entered the city of Racine. The route was entirely on roads, even as bike trails in the county grew. And several years ago, 7-mile Road was closed at the railroad tracks yet the signs continue to direct bicyclists to the dead-end section of road.

The county has now published a new map with extensive revisions. The southern leg has been rerouted from KR to Braun, which is less busy. Where possible, it now follows bicycle trails. Most of the northern leg has been rerouted away from 7-mile to 5 and 6 mile roads. When I checked it last month, however, the signs had not been changed.

Generally the changes make sense, in my view. Those bicyclists who prefer pavement may wish to avoid unpaved trails (the MRK north of Racine, most of the 7-waters Trail, and the White River Trail) by taking the roads shown on the Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin map. Also some of the roads, particularly in the western part of the county, that were eliminated are quite scenic. Also there is one odd and unnecessary routing on highway 45; not terrible–this section has moderate traffic and good shoulders.

Update: I changed the link above to call up a pdf of the map.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News