May 5, 2015
MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to help identify and develop a network of mapped bikeway routes in Wisconsin at a series of upcoming open house meetings.
The Department of Natural Resources, in coordination with other state agencies and the Wisconsin Bike Fed are partnering to work on a statewide Bikeways Project. Toole Design Group has been hired as a consultant on the project. A bikeway is a road, street or path that is specifically designated for bicycle travel, may be designed for bicycle travel and may be shared with other modes of transportation or recreation.
This project will develop recommendations and guidelines for identifying, designating and signing intrastate bikeways that will connect with the interstate U.S. Bike Route (exit DNR), a network of long-distance bicycle routes across the country linking urban, suburban and rural areas through a variety of bicycling facilities.
While the focus of these open houses is on providing feedback on possible routes that will cross the state and route attributes, the effort recognizes the role that intrastate routes have as regional connectors between the interstate routes. The project will evaluate roadway and trail systems to identify the best candidate routes within the U.S. Bike Route identified corridors.
In addition to the open houses, a Wisconsin Bikeways Project Wikimap (exit DNR) will be available from May 21 - June 30, 2015. The Wikimap is an online interactive mapping tool that allows users to draw routes and points on a map and add comments about their entries. The tool will allow users to highlight good routes for bicycling in Wisconsin, routes that need improvement, barriers to bicycling, and bicycling destinations.
"Wisconsin has some of the best roads and trails for bicycling of any state in the country," said Brigit Brown, DNR state trails coordinator. "By tying together the best of what exists today, everything from short to moderate to long distance bicycle route opportunities can be greatly enhanced and we are excited to hear from state bicyclists how this can take form."
Brown said there are numerous factors to consider when selecting and designating bikeway routes within the identified corridors, and the purpose of the open houses is to have participants provide feedback on possible routes and what they consider to be important route attributes. The draft corridors are quite wide and one of the prime considerations is to keep the proposed routes within or close to the limits of the corridors.
The meetings are open to the public and will have an informal open house format. There will be no formal presentations, but there will be different stations where the public can learn about different aspects of the project, including the possible route corridors, different types of bikeways, potential route selection criteria, mapping possible bikeways in the corridors, and an area for participants to fill out and submit written comments.
The meetings will all run from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. and will be held:
"Bicycling is growing nationally and in Wisconsin for both recreational and transportation purposes. Wisconsin continues to be a popular state for bicycle touring because of its beautiful scenery and quiet country roads. We expect that many of the comments we will receive will help us build on those assets," Brown said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brigit Brown, 608-266-2183 or Paul Holtan, office of communications, 608-267-7517