Professor helps create master plan for bicyclist

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE Wis, (WEAU)- A UW-La Crosse professor is taking action trying to make the city more bike friendly.

Professor James Longhurst has been helping out the city create a bicycle and pedestrian master plan and hopes to have something set in place later this year.

The streets of today leave little to no room for bicyclists.

“A young girl, I think she was texting and she was going a little bit to the right. I was on the side so I had to stick my foot down and try to get my bike up on the curb as she went by,” said bicyclist Aaron Young.

Adding more bicycle lanes would be appreciated.

“I’d like to see more lanes, especially on 3rd St. I’d like to see them down there on the one-ways,” said Young.

The master plan would help guide the city in its development plans for the future.

“The Master Plan is a vision of what La Crosse citizens would like to see in 20-30-40 years. A good plan would be flexible for a future we can’t really see,” said Longhurst.

Longhurst would like to see the city change from being a silver designation for bicyclists to a gold one.

“A gold designation is a moving target because the entire nation is improving bicycle designation at the same time,” said Longhurst.

According to Longhurst the recent popularity in biking is part of a 4th generation boom.

“The 1890’s was one boom. WW2 during the automobile and gas rationing was another, and during the 1970’s,” said Longhurst.

A master plan wouldn’t benefit just bicyclists but drivers as well.

“The worst thing you want as a driver is unpredictability. When you don’t know when a bicycle will cross the road or a walker will cross the road. Having lanes makes them make more logical choices on the road and makes it safer for everyone,” said Longhurst.

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