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Cyclists want to ride a century, not wait a century
Health and bicycling advocates are teaming up to fight a battle that will determine whether an Interstate-90 bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin will accommodate cyclists for the next 100 years or be a barrier. Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN), Active Living LaCrescent (ALL) and Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin have worked hard to get Complete Streets policies passed. Now the policies are being put to the test.
Brighid O’Keane writes on the Advocacy Adavance blog:
The Interstate 90 Dresbach Bridge — connecting LaCrescent, Minnesota and LaCrosse, Wisconsin over the Mississippi River — is being replaced with a bridge that has a 100-year design life. Currently, that design does not include bicycle pedestrian accommodations, even though both states have Complete Streets policies and bike-ped accommodations are included in the LaCrosse area 2035 Transportation Plan.
Local and state advocates have already taken successful action. Working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), advocates forced the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reexamine bicycle pedestrian accommodation on the bridge. Advocates now have five weeks to convince MnDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on the Interstate Bridge and work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to create a plan that connects the bridge to the three popular Wisconsin trails.
The stakes are certainly high. If transportation officials don’t include bike-ped accommodations now, ” there will be no bicycle pedestrian connections across the Mississippi River at Dresbach for the next 100 years,” says Nick Mason, Education and Technical Assistance Program Manager for BikeMN.
Agency staff and advocates reached out to us after reading our report, Bridging the Gaps in Bicycling Networks: A advocates guide to getting bikes on bridges. The League wrote a letter of support for the projects and worked with advocates to talk through strategy. Now, Advocacy Advance has awarded a $3,000 Rapid Response Grant to BikeMN and Active Living LaCrescent for their Dresbach Bridge campaign. Read more on the Advocacy Advance blog.
Advocacy Advance is a dynamic partnership of the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists aimed at dramatically increasing funding for biking and walking projects and programs.