Appleton is In It to Win It

By far the most exciting thing I saw while riding in Appleton this last Sunday for Fed Fest was the following improvement on Newberry Street.

As we all know, railroad crossings present one of the most potentially dangerous conditions for people who ride bikes. Tracks, especially wet tracks, must be crossed at as close to a right angle as possible to avoid the possibility that our wheels might slip out from under us.

Unfortunately roadways don’t always cross tracks at a right angle. The choice then is to adjust our steering to insure that we cross the tracks properly. Often times we’re required to change our lane positioning and our speed and behave in a manner that isn’t entirely predictable for other road users.

Along with providing a newly striped bike lane on Newberry Street the City of Appleton has greatly improved the safety of people who ride at the railroad crossing above. Note how the city widened the roadway and provided easy to navigate striping to allow people on bikes to cross the tracks at the proper angle.

Appleton is clearly working to distinguish itself as one Wisconsin’s most bicycle friendly cities. The improvement above is one of the most simple, thoughtful and context-sensitive bicycle designs I have seen in Wisconsin. If you live in Appleton, bike over to city hall and give the engineer responsible for this improvement a big kiss. For those of you that live outside Appleton, print out these pictures, pedal over to your city hall and show your public works director and city engineers how simple and inexpensive it can be to create a more bicycle-friendly community.

Next Thursday evening none other than Andy Clarke, the President of the League of American Bicyclists, will be in Appleton to meet with the community to fuel their bicycle-friendly ambitions. If you’re in and around the Fox Cities this event should not be missed. Here are the details:

Creating a Bicycle-Friendly Appleton and Beyond
Thursday, September 27, 2012
6 -7 p.m.
Lawrence University
More details here.

Ride On

About Kevin Hardman, Former Executive Director

Kevin is the former Executive Director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed. He lives in Wauwatosa with his wife and three daughters. Kevin is happiest on a bike, any type of bike!

2 thoughts on “Appleton is In It to Win It

  1. Would this same thing be happening in the Milwaukee area? There are a lot of bad places in Waukesha and there are not a lot of good places to park or rest area’s along some of the trails “Hank Aaroon and the trail that connects to the interuban from the Milwaukee county trails”. I did have a very rough ride in Waukesha will there be a “better way between the Glacier trail and the New-Berlin trail”??

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