On Monday, October 12, 2009 members of the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition’s (DRBC) organizing committee, lead by Scott Hoffman, presented the La Crosse MPO Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) with a position statement (full text below) in support of including the I90 corridor where it crosses the Mississippi River in long range plan. Members of DRBC had brought this issue to the attention of the BPAC at last month’s meeting, at which it was decided to place the issue on this month’s BPAC agenda.

Scott read the DRBC’s prepared statement and along with many other members of the DRBC engaged BPAC members in a lively conversation. After more than an hour of discussion and input from technical staff and representatives from WisDOT and MinDOT, a BPAC committee member made a series of motions that resulted in the inclusion of the I90 corridor in the long range plan and for letters officially noting this change in the plan be sent to both WisDOT and MinDOT. Both motions where passed with only the BPAC board chair dissenting.

While DRBC considers this a victory worth celebrating, in fact our first as an organization, we will remain cautious and observant to ensure that the plan is not changed without our participation and that the spirit of this effort is not lost on our elected public officials and the people on the ground who will actually be implementing these policies. A big thanks goes out to Scott for volunteering to present our position and to the other member of DRBC who attended the meeting, resulting in the words “impressive” and “intensity” being used by the BPAC chair to describe our participation in the meeting.

Great work everyone!

What can you do?

  1. Check back here often for news and updates.
  2. Become a member of DRBC!
  3. Attend DRBC meetings and become active on issues you are interested in.
  4. Attend public meetings.
  5. Alert the DRBC board about issues.
  6. Be an active, educated and involved citizen.
  7. Ride your bike!

DRBC Position Statement
October 9, 2009

Re: Inclusion of Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities on I90 in BPAC Plan

It has come to the attention of Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition (DRBC) that within the next few years the I90 bridge crossing the main channel of the Mississippi river will be replaced. There are also other I-90 corridor facility improvements planned/programmed by the Wisconsin DOT between the I-90 Dresbach bridge project and the Wisconsin State Highway 53/35/I-90 interchange. The DRBC believes this is an opportunity to include bicycle facilities in the planning and development stages of projects in the I90 corridor to improve transportation opportunities between communities on both sides of the river. Both the Wisconsin and Minnesota Department’s of Transportation have noted that the current MPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans does not include any mention of facilities in the I90 corridor.

DRBC respectfully recommends that the BPAC immediately reconsider including bicycle facilities on the I90 corridor in its long range plan where it crosses the Mississippi River. DRBC also asks that written correspondence be sent to the appropriate Minnesota, Wisconsin and U.S. Department’s of Transportation regional representatives, notifying them of the inclusion of I90 bicycling facilities in the Regional Bicycling Plan long range plan.  This change in the plan is information that should be included in the planning and execution of upcoming projects on both sides of the river.

DRBC understands that there may be not be an opportunity to fully connect both sides of the river in the immediate future. DRBC also understands that if the requested facilities are not in the Regional Bicycling Plan, then no opportunity will exist even if circumstances where to change. DRBC is not asking for any special status for the I90 facilities other than their inclusion in the Regional Bicycling Plan to take advantage of future opportunities. Failure to include these facilities in the plan will have long term effects on our region’s ability to access federal funds and impact future projects.

Further DRBC offers the services of its board and members to the BPAC and both the Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Transportation as interested parties and users of these types of facilities. We look forward to working with you in the future on issues surrounding bicycling in our region. DRBC’s board and members are working towards getting more people on bikes, more often by advocating for an improved bicycling infrastructure, and a dynamic bicycling culture.

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