The Milwaukee-Racine county line gap

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 1st, 2013

The area around the Milwaukee-Racine county line remains the biggest obstacle to a bicyclist riding between Milwaukee and Chicago. In recent years, fresh paving on highway 32 has improved conditions, but the gap has grown with the closing of the railroad crossing on 7 mile Road. Several new sections of bike trail in the gap are promising, but they do not yet add up to a coherent solution. To illustrate, consider the route of a south-bound rider wishing to use the new trails:

From the Oak Leaf trail take 5th Avenue south through South Milwaukee and Oak Creek. At Ryan Road take the shoulder of highway 32 southbound. At Oakwood, go east, crossing the railroad tracks, and then south on a WE Energies service road. Take the new bike trail, crossing the tracks through the maze and then follow the trail to the end of Elm Street. Go west on Elm Street until reaching the bike trail. Follow this trail south to the end of 7-mile Road (the pavement stops at the county line). Go west on 7-mile, south on highway 32 (the shoulder will narrow), and east on 6-mile Road to the Racine county trail.

The rider in a hurry may regard this route as adding considerable distance plus delays at traffic lights and the maze and may choose the highway 32 shoulder. The rider wishing to avoid traffic will find there is still considerable shoulder riding as well as four extra crossings of highway 32. To make this route work there needs to be a bike trail through Bender Park on the north and one connecting 7 and 6-mile roads on the south.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News