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.