McDill road diet: report from the public hearing and related agenda items from Tuesday’s Whiting Public Works & Parks meeting

At their monthly Public Works & Parks Committee meeting on Tuesday, the Village of Whiting held a public hearing on “the Hwy HH/McDill Ave resurfacing project with revised striping based on the Portage County Countywide Bike/Pedestrian Plan recommendation, creating bicycle lanes and a center two-way-left-turn-lane (TWLTL) for driveway and cross street access.”

Whiting first discussed this topic during their April Public Works & Parks Committee meeting as part of a conversation on adopting the bike/ped plan for the village. Further discussion on the road diet took place at the May Village Board meeting, during which the board voted to postpone a vote on adopting the bike/ped plan.

Approximately 50 people attended Tuesday’s public hearing. The village received over an hour of feedback regarding the implementation of a road diet on the portion of McDill Ave that passes through Whiting and on related issues. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

Bike Fun Report: Shop & Donate by Bike

This past Saturday afternoon under clear sunny skies, Poky Pedalers shared charity-themed Bike Fun on Shop & Donate by Bike, which combined bicycling, shopping, and donating to a local nonprofit.

CAP S&DB assembly CAP

The conclusion of Shop & Donate by Bike: Poky Pedalers gather around the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier full of donation items upon arrival at CAP Services Family Crisis Center (photo credit: CAP Services)

The basic idea of Shop & Donate by Bike was to ride to shops, purchase stuff, load it all onto the PPSP Colossal Cargo Carrier (a 5’-long flatbed bicycle trailer that I towed), haul it all over to CAP Services Family Crisis Center – a vital local resource for domestic abuse survivors and their children as well as for runaway youth – and donate to them everything we purchased over the course of the afternoon.

Shop & Donate by Bike was also a celebration of Bike to Shop Day. I’ll have more to say about this later. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

This Tuesday, Village of Whiting will hold public hearing about traffic calming McDill Ave

The Village of Whiting has engaged in much recent discussion regarding the possibility of implementing traffic calming measures on McDill Ave, which is also County Highway HH. A no-cost opportunity to restripe McDill/HH is available this summer because Portage County is resurfacing this street. The cost of this project is the same regardless of the specific striping pattern put down on the new asphalt.

The portion of McDill/HH that passes through Whiting is mostly residential with a posted speed limit of 25 MPH. There are two notable crossings that attract much non-motorized traffic: the intersection with School St, which is a key foot and bicycle traffic crossing for students of McDill Elementary School who live north of McDill/HH, and the intersection with the Green Circle Trail, which sees a lot of foot and bicycle traffic traveling through the scenic forested stretches immediately north and south of McDill/HH.

McDill/HH between Post Rd and Hoover Ave is striped with two standard travel lanes in each direction. This sort of design tends to give the impression to those driving that this stretch is more like a highway than a neighborhood street. As a result, vehicles often travel at over 40 MPH. These excessive speeds are hazardous for those crossing by foot and bicycle. Furthermore, according to a petition circulated by one Whiting resident, the fast-moving traffic creates noise issues for those living along this street. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Stevens Point Area

Bike Fun with PPSP is back! Join us for Shop & Donate by Bike this Saturday

The long wait to again share Bike Fun with Poky Pedaling Stevens Point is almost over. The first Poky Pedal on the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar, Shop & Donate by Bike, is just days away. All signs point to a day of epic Bike Fun.

Shop & Donate by Bike will meet on Saturday May 21 at 12:45 PM in Bukolt Park near the skate park.

I’ve written at length in this post about Shop & Donate by Bike. So I’ll merely summarize here what to expect on Saturday and let you read that post for more detail. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

PABS will honor two recently departed musical icons: Bowie & Prince Tribute Party Ride is this Saturday

If you are like me, you were saddened by the news of David Bowie’s passing in January and then stunned by the death of Prince in April. Even if you weren’t a fan of their music, the influence of their creativity over the past several decades, not only in the realm of music but across our broader culture, is undeniable.

pabs bowie prince party ride pic

PABS will offer the Bowie & Prince Tribute Party Ride this Saturday (image from the PABS Facebook page)

For this reason, an opportunity to pay tribute to these two artistic souls is not to be missed. Just such an opportunity is taking place in Stevens Point on Saturday night.

Point Area Bicycle Service is holding the Bowie & Prince Tribute Party Ride on Saturday May 21. The ride will meet at 9 PM at PABS (1311 Strongs Ave in downtown Stevens Point), and will roll out at 9:15 PM. The ride is free of charge, and all are welcome. Here’s some info from the PABS Facebook page: Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

Village of Whiting postpones vote on bike/ped plan, announces May 24 public hearing on McDill/HH road diet

[Update May 12: I received communication from Trustee Bill Taugner that the May 24 public hearing will take place at 5:30 PM. This is a half-hour earlier than the time I speculated in the original post. I have edited this post to reflect this updated information.]

Last night, the Whiting Village Board of Trustees considered the issue of adopting the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Two weeks ago, the Whiting Public Works & Parks Committee voted 4-1 in favor of recommending adoption of the plan. Approval by the Village Board would mean that it would become an official planning document for Whiting.

The discussion on this issue started with statements by three audience members. Two spoke in favor of adopting the plan and one spoke against.

whiting website mun bldg pic

Whiting will hold a public hearing about implementing a McDill Ave road diet on May 24

One of those speaking in favor, Susan Lasecki, focused her comments on the plan recommendation for a road diet on McDill Ave, also known as County HH. My post on the recent PW&P Committee meeting explains how the issues of adopting the bike/ped plan and implementing a road diet on McDill/HH are intertwined. The proposed road diet would restripe from the current four standard travel lanes on McDill/HH – two in each direction – to a configuration with one standard travel lane in each direction, a central two-way-left-turn-lane, and outer bike lanes. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

Shop & Donate by Bike, a charity-themed Poky Pedal, kicks off the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar

Big news! The 2016 Bike Fun Calendar has been released and is now available on the PPSP website. Between mid-May and late September, we’ll be sharing a heap of Bike Fun. This year’s Poky Pedals will provide the usual gamut of historical, scenic, cultural, and whimsical themes.

Yet there is even bigger news!! The 2016 Bike Fun Calendar will kick off with PPSP’s first charity-themed Poky Pedal. Shop & Donate by Bike will visit three local shops and ask each Poky Pedaler to spend a total of $15 ($5 per shop) purchasing donation items. Once we’ve finished all our shopping, we’ll ride over to a local non-profit and donate to them everything we’ve purchased.

There is so much big news to share that one blog post isn’t enough. I’m going to focus on Shop & Donate by Bike now, and I’ll post about the rest of the 2016 Bike Fun Calendar in a future post. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bike Fun, Stevens Point Area

Some musings on the fourth anniversary of the PPSP blog

Four years ago today, the Poky Pedaling Stevens Point blog was unveiled. My post on that day announcing its self-existence asked readers to “have patience as I figure out how to effectively inform, inspire, and amuse those interested in what’s happening bike-wise.”

I’m not about to claim that I’ve figured this out yet. Nevertheless, I continue to keep tabs on events happening around us that affect our urban transportation bicycling environment. And I write about what I discover.

Other media sources may cover the same news, but I feel I provide a richer perspective due to my experiences living in other bicycle-friendly cities, my exposure to news about transportation bicycling from advocates around the US and beyond, and my car-lite lifestyle which allows me to learn what local transportation all over our urban area feels like from the seat of a bicycle on a daily basis. (Daily in good weather, that is. Otherwise, I typically walk. I’m a multi-modal guy.)

The reason I started my blog four years ago is the same as the reason I continue adding new posts today. Without the availability of an informed voice providing a transportation bicycling perspective, people who bicycle can be a demographic who are, for all intents and purposes, invisible. Governmental bodies frequently make good-intentioned decisions while being completely unaware of the adverse consequences suffered by those who bike. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts

League of American Bicyclists rep visits Stevens Point to give Bicycle Friendly Community feedback

On Wednesday, Steve Clark from the League of American Bicyclists spent the morning and early afternoon visiting with Stevens Point elected officials, city staff, and other residents regarding the bicycling environment in our city. His visit included a group ride followed by a discussion that critiqued our experiences from the ride.

Stevens Point earned a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community award from the LAB in 2013. Our status as a BFC is what prompted Clark’s visit.

Clark has been visiting BFC’s all across the country on behalf of the LAB for the past couple of years. These visits allow BFC’s to get valuable feedback from a LAB representative with a wealth of experience observing all levels of bicycle friendliness across the US. These visits also allow the LAB to validate each city’s BFC application based on self-evaluation with independent on-the-ground observations. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Bikey News, Stevens Point Area

Talk of McDill Ave road diet dominates Whiting Public Works & Parks meeting on county bike/ped plan adoption

Tuesday evening in the Village of Whiting, their Public Works & Parks Committee met to discuss the adoption of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for Whiting. However, a large amount of the conversation at the meeting focused on the possibility of implementing a road diet on the portion of McDill Ave, also known as County Hwy HH, that passes through the village.

The two issues – adopting the bike/ped plan and traffic-calming McDill – are separate considerations, yet are intertwined.

whiting website mun bldg pic

The Village of Whiting is considering adopting the county bike/ped plan, which could be a first step towards implementing a road diet on McDill Ave (photo credit: Village of Whiting website)

For the record, during the deliberation on the agenda item listed as “Adoption of the Portage County Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan”, the Whiting PW&P Committee voted 4-1 in favor of recommending that the Whiting Village Board adopt the plan. My understanding is that this will now go to the Village Board for consideration. If approved by the board, the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan will become an official planning document for Whiting. Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, All Posts, Bikey News, Infrastructure