Shorewood officials OK measures to improve cycling in village

Many measures are simple, low cost steps

Kristen Lasasso of the Mellow Mushroom cycling team takes Don Becker Pink and White Pro Womens Leader Jersey as she wins the Womens Pro category at the Shorewood Criterium race June 16.

Kristen Lasasso of the Mellow Mushroom cycling team takes Don Becker Pink and White Pro Womens Leader Jersey as she wins the Womens Pro category at the Shorewood Criterium race June 16. Photo By John O'Hara

Oct. 2, 2012

Shorewood - Shorewood is taking steps to ensure it stays on the path to becoming a more bicycle-friendly community.

The Village Board on Monday approved the adoption of the Village Bicycle Study and Implementation Plan, which outlines actions that could be taken to improve and expand bike routes throughout the village, as recommended by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Streets and Buildings committees.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Ericka Lang said the plan stemmed from the 2008 bicycle study completed by Graef Engineering as part of the Capitol Drive street reconstruction project. The study was not adopted at that time.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee reviewed that study and drafted a separate implementation plan last year, Lang said, which was then referred to staff for review and completion, with Graef also updating the bike study.

The primary goals identified by the implementation plan, according to a memo from Lang, include promoting better street design, safer routes to school, improved bicycle education, expanded cycling encouragement programs, and measurement and evaluation of the plan.

Thomas Kuhlmann, who serves as co-chair of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee, said many of the steps included in the plan are simple, low-cost recommendations.

For example, Kuhlmann said, the village could add fog lines on certain stretches of Downer Avenue and Oakland Avenue to indicate designated riding areas for cyclists.

"A lot of the recommendations are the minimum of what's available out there," Kuhlmann said, noting that the village may be able to do more should grant funding become available.

The plan also considers areas where Shorewood's bike path system could connect with Milwaukee's, Kuhlmann said, and has been submitted to the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin for review.

Trustee Patrick Linnane, the Village Board liaison to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Committee, commended the group as well as village staff for their thoroughness and thoughtfulness in defining the plan.

Shorewood is currently recognized as a bronze level bicycle-friendly community, said Sandie Pendleton, one of the founders of Greater Shorewood Bikers. Simply having a bike plan in place and beginning to put into action some of the plan's recommendations will likely help the village move up to the silver or gold level, Pendleton said.

Should any proposed plan actions require significant changes or funding, they would come back to the Village Board for approval before implementation, Village Manager Chris Swartz said.

Separate from the discussion, Trustee Ellen Eckman also suggested that the village revisit discussion on the concept of having a shared bicycle system in Shorewood.

"It's not in here (the plan), but we could add to it if we get to that point," Eckman said.

She requested that an update on shared bicycles be presented to the Village Board in the near future.

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