Jefferson Banner - Opinion
Greg David
Greg David


Bike path proposal for USH 26 corridor

May 16, 2000

Anne Monks, District Project Manager
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Transportation District 1
2101 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-3869
Fax 246-3819

Re: Bike Pedestrian Trail

Dear Ms Monks,

I think it is important that the WisDOT establish a bike and pedestrian trail within the USH 26 corridor right-of-way, but separated from the motorized vehicle lanes. This bike lane would run the entire length of the utility expansion and allow for inter-connectivity between the existing Drumlin and Wild Goose bike trails. It would also allow for connectivity of the metropolitan areas along the entire USH 26 facility expansion.

Jefferson County has taken a state-wide lead in the establishment of a comprehensive bicycle route plan. It has created a series of bike routes and trails that connect places of interest and municipalities within the county. Though this is a good start toward multi-modal transportation, the bike trails are mostly on county, town and city roads. This condition is not as favorable or safe as would be a separated biking lane within the USH 26 facility expansion right-of-way.

While a bike lane along a major freeway is not the bicyclist's first choice for serenity and natural experience, it is a definite improvement from what we have now. I believe that an alternative and additional corridor for a bike path, that is not within the proposed USH 26 right-of-way, is an unlikely event for Dodge, Jefferson or Rock County residents. It therefore seems prudent to take advantage of the USH 26 facility expansion for multi-modal transportation forms, by simultaneously establishing a bike, pedestrian trail.

This premise is further supported by the mandates and funding set forth in the TEA 21, the national transportation policy. Tea 21 has specifically charged that bicycles be recognized as a legitimate form of transportation and has enumerated funds for the purpose of building safe and efficient trails for non-motorized traffic.

I believe we are at an opportune and strategic moment. We are now in a critical time of planning of the USH 26 facility expansion. This facility expansion project will have great bearing on the future devilment of the USH 26 corridor. 

By planning a biking route along this corridor, the future recreational and non-motorized transportation needs can be better anticipated and met. Therefore it seems reasonable and prudent to now request that planning for such a separated bike and pedestrian lane be incorporated into the USH 26 facility expansion planning process.

Greg David