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Wisconsin communities are making successful progress to enhance travel for biking and walking, including two recent ribbon-cutting ceremonies for bike/ped bridges: one on the west side of the state and one on the east side of the state. We are delighted to share updates on both of these meaningful investments that will provide enhanced quality of life for generations to come.

New West Salem Bike/Ped Bridge Increases Connectivity in La Crosse Region

On June 20th, community members in the La Crosse area got to celebrate a huge win for bicyclists and pedestrians: a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge along highway 16 in West Salem, WI. The 150 foot bridge crosses over the La Crosse River and will create safer passage for users from Onalaska to West Salem, connecting to a number of other trails and recreational areas in the region. Bike/Ped projects such as this are crucial to not only improve the connectivity of alternative transportation in the area, but to also showcase the impact and importance of funding projects around the state just like this bridge. 

On hand to celebrate the bridge opening included a number of community leaders such as State Senator Brad Pfaff, Francis Schelflout – WisDOT, Joe Langeberg – La Crosse County Highway Department, Dave Hundt – District 26 County Board Supervisor, Teresa DeLong – Village of West Salem, and Jed Olson – ORA Trails.

Update courtesy of Collin Mead – Wisconsin Bike Fed Government Affairs Manager. Feature photo at top courtesy of News8000.

Loop the Locks Ribbon Cutting in the Fox Cities

On June 5th, local officials and cycling advocates from across the Fox Cities gathered to celebrate the completion of Loop the Locks, a 13-mile bike & pedestrian path that connects five municipalities along the Fox River. Afterward, representatives from Fox Cities Greenways led a group ride on the new trail.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the same boat ramp in Kimberly’s Sunset Park where the ambitious project was announced almost exactly six years ago. Thanks to a combination of local, state, federal, and private funding that brought an aspirational vision of interconnected trails to life, cyclists, runners, walkers, and rollers will be able to loop through Appleton, Kimberly, Little Chute, Kaukauna, and Combined Locks. Interconnectivity, transportation, recreation, and connection to nature were themes of the ribbon cutting ceremony. As Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson pointed out, the Fox River has a long and challenging history of industrial pollution, but Loop the Locks represents an inspirational new way for communities to embrace our waterfront.

Update courtesy of Jason Brozek – Bike Fed board, Lawrence University Associate Professor of Government & Environmental Studies, City of Appleton Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Outagamie County Greenway Implementation Committee.

 2024 and 2025 are BIG years for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy!

With new legislative maps going into effect, the makeup of the state legislature is going to look a lot different heading into 2025. Not to mention, the 2025-2027 biennial state budget will be drafted and approved by about this time next year. If you care about projects like this one, bike and pedestrian safety, infrastructure, and funding, I highly encourage you to write or email your state legislators and let them know it is vitally important to you and your community. To make it easy for you, the Bike Fed has a form letter on our website where you can find your legislator, enter your information, and send your letter electronically! Please visit our website here to send your letter.