Bike lane efforts roll forward
Thursday, August 08, 2013 7:00 PM
MENOMINEE - A few lines of paint are providing encouragement and excitement to area bicyclists. A small portion of 13th Street in Menominee has been marked for a bike path, it's the area that was just reconstructed between 25th and 31st avenues.
Bicyclists with the Tour de Taco group in Menominee embark on their weekly Thursday night trek heading north on 13th Street. The cyclists are shown inside the newly painted bike lane, designed to accommodate parked cars and bicycle riders. The city is looking to create numerous routes through town by this fall.
"The solid white four-inch line is what they call an edge line. That's the edge of where you're supposed to be driving," explained City Manager Michael Cramer. "Anything farther to the right of that is a multi-use facility which can be parking and biking."
The city's Public Works/Public Safety Committee will meet Monday to make a recommendation on hiring a company to mark 10 streets based on the results of a bid of $15,000 for 97,000 linear feet of paint. That recommendation will then go to the council for the final say.
The streets scheduled to be marked are 48th Avenue from M-35 to 18th Street, 18th Street from 48th to 38th Avenue, Henes Park Drive from M-35 to the park, 38th Avenue from 10th to 22nd Street, 22nd Street from 38th to 18th Avenue, 13th Street from 48th to 10th Avenue, 18th Avenue from 13th Street to Memorial Drive, 14th Avenue from 1st Street to Memorial Drive, 26th Street from 10th to 18th Avenue and on 1st Street from 3rd Avenue to the Menekaunee Bridge.
Bill St. Martin, owner of the Cycle Path bicycle shop in Menominee couldn't be happier to see progress being made.
"I think it's fantastic," he said after he saw the new lines near his shop. "There's very little else the city can do for that little bit of money that does more for the city than bike lanes. It really makes the city a people friendly city."
St. Martin said it's something tourists look for when they visit and that local residents will appreciate it all biking season long. He noted the special lanes make cyclists feel safer.
"It will also bring people across from Marinette who have bike lanes themselves but don't come here because they're not comfortable riding bikes on our streets," he said.
St. Martin and a group of cyclists go out for a ride each Thursday night in what they call the Tour de Taco. The group has already used the lane in the five-block stretch and is looking forward to the day when the city is filled with bike routes.
The civic-minded shop owner first approached Cramer about a year after he was hired and made a pitch for the path, along with a suggested route.
"With some minor changes and a lot of his expertise he (Cramer) turned that into very usable bike lanes that will be all over the city of Menominee," said St. Martin. "We're looking at this as an initial phase. Hopefully as streets get improved in Menominee, streets like 14th Avenue that consideration for bike lanes will be put in."
St. Martin said he sees no reason why just about every street in the city couldn't eventually have bike lanes. He said it's not just a benefit for bikers but that it provides a place for cars to park and designates a safe zone.
Getting the word out for how the lane is supposed to be used may take a while. The area to the right of the white line is not a driving lane for cars and bicyclists should be riding in the same direction as traffic.