Bike Fun yesterday straddled the realms of urban planning and traffic engineering. The Bike/Ped Plan Vision Ride allowed Poky Pedalers to visualize how much better biking and walking will be once the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is implemented.
Dark gray skies and a very light mist greeted us as we assembled at Bukolt Park. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon for bicycling – not too warm, not too cool, and not too wet – for the 13 Poky Pedalers who set forth to learn what the bike/ped plan is all about.
Our 11-mile route took us to 14 locations where we assessed current conditions and learned what the bike/ped plan recommends to improve biking and walking. A handout with images helped Poky Pedalers understand the many types of innovative accommodations recommended by the plan.
Here is a sample of the locations we visited and the accommodations discussed at each (by the way, there’s info later in this post about how to access that handout so that you can learn what each of these accommodations is):
- sharrows on Prentice St,
- HAWK signals to improve foot crossings of Division St at Briggs St,
- buffered bike lanes on the commercial stretch of Division St north of Fourth Ave,
- bicycle boulevard on Prais St.
At other stops, we spoke about broader topics:
- a summary of selected bike/ped plan goals, objectives, and policies,
- a mention of how a bike share system might serve the central area of Stevens Point,
- an overview of the Safe Routes to School portion of the plan that makes recommendations for each of the 23 K-12 schools in Portage County.
Two of our stops discussed options for overcoming existing barriers to bicycle travel in Stevens Point:
- a biking and walking bridge or tunnel across the railroad tracks to connect Minnesota Ave north of the tracks to Minnesota Ave south of the tracks – this would create an excellent north-south bicycle corridor through the city,
- a biking and walking bridge across the Plover River connecting Hofmeister Dr (where the Green Circle Trail along the northwest bank of the Plover River can be accessed) to the area behind Target on Golla Rd – this would give a great alternative to the current terrible connection along Main St/Hwy 10 over I-39.
Through the many topics we discussed, Poky Pedalers gained a better understanding about the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Our Poky Pedal inspired a vision of a better place for Poky Pedalers to live.
In case you didn’t join us yesterday, you can download the 12-page pamphlet handed out during the ride. This page describes the contents of the pamphlet and contains a link for downloading it. Among the information it includes, it lists the locations we visited and the plan recommendations at each. Thus, you can use the pamphlet to recreate an approximation to our route. I can’t promise such a route recreation will provide as much Bike Fun as being on the Bike/Ped Plan Vision Ride itself, but I encourage Poky Pedalers to find out for themselves.
The remaining opportunities for Bike Fun with PPSP this year are few. So Poky Pedalers certainly won’t want to miss the Poky Pedals in September and October. You can get info about these via the Upcoming Poky Pedals page and the 2014 Bike Fun Calendar.
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