By Tom Held
June 15, 2011
Construction will begin later this month on Milwaukee’s first raised bike lane, a section of pavement built up four inches above the traffic lane on Bay St., roughly from Beulah Brinton Park off E. Potter St. to the Wrought Washer plant at S. Lenox St.
The bike lane is part of a larger project to improve cycling between the Bay View neighborhood and Downtown Milwaukee, and the alternative picked by the Department of Transportation after it rejected proposals to install a bike path on the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge.
When tied to the Kinnickinnic River Trail, the route will include the bike lane, an off-street path on a former rail corridor and lanes marked for bikes on S. 1st St., Kinnickinnic and S. Water St.
Scheduled to be completed in 2012, the bicycle route will link the Oak Leaf Trail in Cupertino Park to the connection in Lakeshore State Park.
It has been studied since 1997.
Other large cities, including New York and Portland have experimented with various approaches to separate bikes from motor vehicles. Only Vancouver, B.C., and Bend and Eugene, Ore., have installed the raised bike lanes used more commonly in Europe, according to Dave Schlabowske, the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator in the Milwaukee Department of Public Works.