Comment on the August 8 Decision by WisDOT
Eric Damien Berna
One important point Ryan Luck mentioned at the press conference is that this path will require a private sponsor to come up with the first 20% of the cost so the federal government will supply the remaining 80%. The Hoan path would require the same 20% private sponsorship.
If the "Luck" path doesn't get private sponsorship it won't be built, so the Hoan Strategy Committee could stop that path by insuring it doesn't get sponsorship. Let any potential sponsors know that bicyclists don't like the plan and won't use the path so it is a waste of their sponsorship dollars.
At the same time the Hoan Strategy Committee should come up with funding for the Hoan path. The Hoan Strategy Committee should set up the proper tax and legal structures to raise the money to build the path. (Maybe the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin can help with this, holding the fundraising and bank accounts under their organization.) Then raise the money before Ryan Luck can raise the money for his path. Either seek sponsorship from local corporate donors, or have fund raisers such as the Hope to Ride the Hoan Ride.
Eric Damien Berna
Eric's follow-up letter.
Let me put my comments in perspective. I am a bicycle commuter. I commute to work all year, almost every work day. I miss about a dozen days a year. I live in Cudahy and work in the Third Ward. My route takes Bay Street to KK to First Street. This route follows the southern on-street portions of the proposed route and parallels the railroad right of way.
I thought the purpose of a connecting route from Bay View to downtown is primarily for commuters. I thought this route was something aimed specifically at me and the few others I see out on First Street battling traffic. I thought it was aimed at getting more people to join me on our bikes.
So I judge any path by asking the simple question, "Would I ride that route?"
When I ask that question about the proposed rail right of way route my answer is a definite, "No." I'm a 290 pound, moderately fit, hulk of a man, so I should not have much to fear out on the street. Yet I wouldn't go down that path for fear of being mugged. It is the wrong area of town to seclude riders. Also, being 290 pounds, riding over seven railroad crossings would be exceedingly rough on my bike.
If I, the target audience for this bike path, won't ride it who will? If nobody rides it how can building it be good for the bicycling community? Will any other bike friendly facilitates be built in the area if this one is built but nobody uses it? I fear that this is an all or nothing issue. If this path is built and nobody uses it government officials will squash any other facilities such as the Hoan path.
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