State Street, That Great Street

Note how the joints in the way the concrete was poured are outside the bike lane. On some streets where bike lanes are retrofitted, this is not possible and the crack is right where you want to ride. It is great that the City engineers understand the finer details of designing streets for bicycles as well as cars and pedestrians.

I was treated to a delightful ride in to work yesterday with the opening of State Street from 27th to 17th.  The newly reconstructed road segment has fresh smooth concrete and brand new bike lanes. This means State now has bike lanes from 27th St. all the way to 12th St.  The new bike lanes and smooth concrete with joint lines outside the bike lanes made for a great ride in to work and are a welcome addition to the City’s growing network of bike lanes.  Milwaukee now has a bit over 52 miles of bike lanes and has plans to at least double that by next year. It is great to live in a City that is making serious efforts to make bicycling more attractive and convenient.

But we still have a long way to go.  Milwaukee has about 450 miles of arterial streets, but only 52 miles of those have bike lanes.  Although bikes are legal and intended users of all roadways in Wisconsin, it is easy to understand how many people new to cycling might look out the door of their homes and not see a way to ride a bike to get where they want to go.  A motorist looks out and sees a complete network of major and minorr streets all designed to get cars anywhere in the City and beyond.  But a more timid  cyclist might only see streets designed just for cars and a few bike lanes with lots of gaps in between.  As the City works to fill in those gaps, cycling should seem a more obvious, convenient and attractive way to get around Milwaukee for more people.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

10 thoughts on “State Street, That Great Street

  1. Since I moved to Wauwatosa, State St. has become a favorite cross town route. It’s good to see it’s been improved so well. Thanks for the great work.

  2. Don’t get me wrong Dave, I am grateful for smooth roads and the commitment by the City to add more bike lanes, however I think we could be bolder.

    “We cannot continue to deceive ourselves, thinking that to paint a little line on a road is a bike-way. A bicycle-way which is not safe for an eight-year-old is not a bicycle-way.”

    - Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Columbia talking about New York City’s efforts with adding more bike lanes

  3. Pingback: Mucho Milwaukee » Blog Archive » Milwaukee Blog Roundup - 6/18/10

  4. Hey, I shared a link to this entry and photo on my blog. Hope that’s cool!

    I signed up for e-mail notification for your blog but I’m wondering if you are going to set up a twitter account. That would be an easy way to follow up on your new posts.

    • Cross pollination is encouraged, thanks. So far I don’t tweet. I suppose it is something I should do. Is there a way to link Twitter so it automatically tweets a new post, or do I manually tweet?

      • WordPress has a plug-in called Twitter Tools:

        One of the settings in Twitter Tools sets up automatic “tweets” whenever you make a new blog post. You can use the plug-in for nothing but that feature if you prefer.

        • Sorry, I hate to be a Luddite, but I can’t seem to figure that stuff out. I will have to ask a more computer savvy friend to help me. I don’t know how to add plugins or rss feed to my blog yet.

          In the mean time, I will try to tweet manually when I add a new post.

      • Yeah, I’m not too sophisticated either!

        I guess the first step is starting the twitter account. You can obviously share links on there manually. Later you can figure out how to set up automatic posts.

        Again, look forward to reading more on here. In an age where it’s easy to put together quick and sloppy internet posts (which have a time and a place), it’s good to check out a site where the entries are coherent, well thought-out, and informative.

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