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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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A separated bike path on the Hoan Bridge would move cyclists out of the way of heavy moving vehicles and other dangerous situations.
A separated bike path on the Hoan Bridge would move cyclists out of the way of heavy moving vehicles and other dangerous situations.
Senator Chris Larson and Representative John Richards address the group before the ride.
Senator Chris Larson and Representative John Richards address the group before the ride.
The Hoan Bridge multi-use path was supported by a wide assortment of individuals
The Hoan Bridge multi-use path was supported by a wide assortment of individuals
The black vehicle featured in this image veered into oncoming traffic and made an illegal turn around the group, causing confusion and honking.
The black vehicle featured in this image veered into oncoming traffic and made an illegal turn around the group, causing confusion and honking.
A small cross section of the various people who rode in support of the path.
A small cross section of the various people who rode in support of the path.

The final days: Will the Hoan Bridge redevelopment include a multi-use path?

The days of waiting for a decision on whether or not to include a bicycle and pedestrian path on the Hoan Bridge are nearing an end.

In an effort to display the inadequate connector between the north and south portions of the downtown Milwaukee Oak Leaf Trail, Senator Chris Larson and Representative John Richards invited members of the Department of Tranportation to meet with a group of cyclists - some even riding in all the way from Johnson Creek - at the Humboldt Park Pavilion. Members of the DOT did not show up for the ride, but a group of around 50 cyclists took to the streets anyway and rode the trail as described by the DOT.

But really, calling it a trail is a bit of a stretch. This part of the trail is a trail in name only. It starts on Russell Avenue in Bay View, heads south via mostly industrial roads such as Bay Street, Kinnickinnic Avenue and Second Street then curls around the Third Ward and back onto more industrial roads before finally reconnecting at Lakeshore State Park or the Milwaukee Art Museum.

"This route is complicated and it’s dangerous," said Senator Chris Larson. "The traffic contains a lot of heavy construction vehicles, it’s faster moving, and portions of the road narrow at dangerous intersections. This is a 40-year opportunity. If it doesn’t happen now, we would have to wait until 2050. We likely wouldn’t see it happen in our lifetime."

Visit Milwaukee, Milwaukee’s official convention and visitors bureau, believes that an attraction such as this would be great for visitors. Imagine being able to walk up the bridge and get a look at a unique perspective of Milwaukee’s skyline, an overhead view of Summerfest, a breathtaking, expansive view of Lake Michigan and a straight line down the Menomonee River Valley.

"You could practically see Miller Park Stadium from up there," said rider Sam Dodge.

Former Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and current Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin Communications Director Dave Schlabowske added …

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