City of La Crosse Complete Streets Update

Downtown La Crosse CC sleepycat5 Flickr

The City of La Crosse is about to take a big step towards adopting a Complete Streets ordinance! Our advocacy efforts are paying off. Read on…

As we told you previously our first attempt in October to get a Complete Streets resolution introduced in the La Crosse City Council hit a few road blocks. As promised we have kept on working to get the process to move forward. As you can see by previous posts we focused on gaining public support from institutions and organizations such as the University of Wisconsin La Crosse to demonstrate the high level of support within the community. We also remained in contact with various members of the city staff and council.

On Tuesday I received information from reliable sources at City Hall that the Complete Streets resolution had come back to life and that staff was working with the city council member who originally agreed to introduce the Complete Streets Resolution at our request. From the information we received, it looks like a resolution in support of Complete Streets will be introduced at the March La Crosse City Council Meeting of the Whole. We were able to confirm this information with Councilman Bob Seaquist Thursday. Cpuncilman Seaquist confirmed his intention to introduce the resolution at the March Meeting of the Whole.

Bob Seaquist

Councilman Bob Sequist

We will be working closely with the councilman and others to help the resolution through the process. The resolution will have to go before several committees including the Public Works Board before going to the Council for vote. The earliest a vote on the resolution could happen would be in April, but minor delays could set that date back to early May. Either way it looks like we will have a Complete Streets Resolution in time to celebrate during Bike to Work Week!

As currently proposed the resolution will declare the council’s support for Complete Streets and then direct staff to draw up a Complete Streets ordinance for the City. This last part is important, if it was just a resolution in support of the concept it would have no teeth. Passing a Complete Streets ordinance will put real legal power behind Complete Streets in La Crosse. It will be late Summer or early Fall before the ordinance will come before the council. Sadly the lost time between October and today will mean that the new ordinance will not have real impact in 2011.

Our next steps are to continue to build support for Complete Streets within the community, watch the process as the resolution moves through La Crosse City Hall and keep you informed. There will be several points in the process where we will be asking you to take some form of action, from attending meetings to calling or emailing city councilors. There is still a lot of work to do, in La Crosse and every other community in the Driftless Region, but we can do it!
The DRBC advocacy committee is currently seeking people who are will to help with our Complete Streets and other efforts. If you are interested please contact us.

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