September 2015 Common Council – Adopting the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

My name is Bob Fisch. One of the actions taken at the September 8th Stevens Point Plan Commission was a 5-0 vote in favor of adopting the portion of the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan pertinent to the city of Stevens Point.

I ask our alderpersons to confirm the recommendation of the Plan Commission and to vote to adopt the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan as an official planning document for the city of Stevens Point.

Over the past couple of years, I have spoken several times at Common Council about the benefits of improving biking and walking in our city. At the September Plan Commission meeting, I gave a statement that summarized many of these benefits.

Successful cities across the United States understand that improving biking and walking in order to provide good transportation alternatives to private automobile travel is critical. Two contrasting high-profile case studies make this point plain. Minneapolis, which has been very aggressive in improving their bicycling and walking environment for many years, enjoys a vibrant and booming economy. Detroit, on the other hand, has stubbornly continued to design their city around private automobile travel, resulting in an unprecedented bankruptcy that they recently emerged from.

In evaluating the merit of planning for better bicycling and walking in Stevens Point, the question each of our alderpersons needs to ask themselves is: Do we want to be more like Minneapolis? Or do we want to be more like Detroit?

For those with fiscal concerns about the plan, I want to emphasize that this plan does not come with any commitment for expenditures. Voting to adopt the plan does not obligate our city to spend a dime on its recommendations. The plan merely provides a blueprint for how to improve bicycling and walking that can be implemented opportunistically as fiscal priorities allow.

Creating a better biking and walking environment is critical for the future prosperity of Stevens Point. I look forward to learning of unanimous support from our Common Council for adopting the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

A transcript of these and my past comments to Common Council can be found on my website,, under the Speak Your Poky menu bar item.

Thank you for listening.