Government Review

 St. Feriole Island Reuse Committee

Dale Klemme presented the committee with the draft plan on March 11, 2004, at which time the committee recommended a path on the island that would take pedestrians and bicyclists south of the Iowa Bridge, north along the riverfront, west to the marina, then back to the mainland via the Washington Street Bridge.  Minutes of the meeting are included in the appendix. 

City of Prairie du Chien Planning Committee

The city of Prairie du Chien Planning Committee received a presentation of the draft plan on March 29, 2004, at which time they reviewed draft recommendations, examined a preliminary Trail System Map, and provided guidance on eight issues pertaining to trail locations and improvements within the city limits.  A copy of the issues discussed is provided in the appendix.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee

We presented the preliminary plan to the Steering Committee on March 30, 2004, at which time we reviewed the plan objectives, funding sources, and the proposed trail system map.  Several issues pertaining to education and mapping were discussed.  A summary of questions and concerns is provided in the appendix.

Joint Meeting

Representatives from the City of Prairie du Chien and Town of Bridgeport met with Beth Price of the Department of Transportation on May 11, 2004 to discuss Bicycle/ Pedestrian Trail issues related to DOT planning.  The following issues were discussed:

·        Highway 18 improvements from Wal-Mart to Highway 60 – current DOT plans call for a four-lane highway with median, but without bicycle facilities.  A shared-use bicycle/ pedestrian path could be accommodated provided a need can be demonstrated.  Those present agreed that a shared-use path along the northeast side of Highway 18 from Wal-Mart to Bouska Rd. should be pursued.

·        Vineyard and Ward Rd. – the representatives agreed that Vineyard and Ward Roads should be included in the system to provide access to La Riviere Park and residential developments.  The plan will call for a shared-use path along the north side of Vineyard, while a shared roadway will be specified for Ward Rd. until such time that Ward can be upgraded in classification to a collector.

·        Marquette Road between Webster and Washington Streets – current DOT plans do not call for a bicycle/ pedestrian path, but one could possibly be accommodated by moving street improvements slightly eastward in the easement, allowing for a 10’ path along the west side.  A sidewalk on the east side could be added later after acquisition of properties slated for purchase. 

 

 Town of Prairie du Chien

We presented a draft of the plan to the Town of Prairie du Chien Board on May 13, 2004.  Items discussed relative to the township were improvements along County K and a possible secondary path along the river.  The Board suggested an existing dirt path along the BN Railroad right of way might be the best location near the river.  The Board was supportive of the plan, and no major objections were raised.  Notes from the meeting are included in the appendix.

Prairie du Chien Police Department – Bicycle Patrol

We met with Lt. Eric Ahrens of the Prairie du Chien Police Bike Patrol on May 28, 204 to obtain his perspective of issues relating to bicycle safety and enforcement.  We reviewed an overview of the plan, and addressed specific routes that would service children commuting to and from school.  Also addressed were the problems of enforcement with a limited budget and personnel.  Concerns expressed included access to the trail for emergency vehicles and the use of Frederick St. for the outer loop, since Frederick has experienced an increase in truck traffic.

La Riviere Park Committee

An initial presentation to the La Riviere Park Committee was made on December 8, 2003, with a follow up meeting occurring on June 2, 2004 to deal with the specific path location within the park and issues of concern.  Notes from the June 2004 meeting are included in the appendix. 

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Information Assessment

Having inventoried existing data and assets, as well as collected input from government committees and a variety of local citizen groups, we are now in a position to review the information that must be addressed in our final recommendations.  The following is a summary of issues identified in the previous sections that will serve as a guide as we begin to develop the recommendations leading to the final plan:

·        The layout of existing streets show the city divided into quadrants by the north-south (Marquette Road) and east-west (Blackhawk, Wisconsin, and Iowa) principal arterials, which represent significant barriers to a Bicycle/ Pedestrian Trail.

·        The highest traffic counts are at the vertices of these quadrants: at the intersections of Blackhawk, Wisconsin, and Iowa Streets with Marquette Road, and along south Marquette Road in general.  Traffic patterns corroborate these concerns, and show Prairie du Chien is a destination for inbound traffic, not just a “pass-through.”

·        The Prairie du Chien Area Transportation Study recommends a Highway 18 bypass along south Main Street to divert traffic from south Marquette Road.

·        Crossing Guard statistics quantify the high volume of pedestrians and bicycle riders crossing the Marquette Road corridor, and indicates the Mooney Street crossing has a higher volume than Wells Street.

·        Accident data indicates that south Marquette Road has the highest frequency of accidents.

·        Existing Commercial, Industrial, and Recreational assets must be accounted for in a bicycle/ pedestrian trail to allow access and encourage usage.  Future asset development must also incorporate bicycle/ pedestrian trail access in order to maximize trail usage.

·        Parents are concerned about their children’s safety in crossing the principal arterials and railroad.

·        Employer surveys show  a high potential for recreational use of the trail system – although low usage for getting to work, and identified several points of interest for path inclusion, including parks (especially La Riviere), the river, the bluff, shopping areas, the golf course, and Frenchtown Road.

·        Civic Organizations were concerned about the cost and potential usage of the system, and when trail construction might begin.  Several citizens expressed a partiality for shared-use trails versus bicycle lanes, and preferred recreational routes through remote, scenic areas.

·        The Bicycle Advisory Committee expressed safety concerns, namely the intersection of driveways with the path, the unsafe conditions on Vineyard Coulee Road, and the potential conflicts of a path through the downtown.  They suggested that steep portions of the trail have a more gradual-grade alternative.

·        Municipal and township committees provided valuable input regarding the availability of easements, the type of improvements preferred, issues of concern, and the specific location of trail routes.

Public Information Meeting

A Public Information Meeting/ Open House was held on Wednesday, July 21, at which time attendees were invited to inspect the proposed Trail Map, review the trail planning process, and ask questions about the plan.  Approximately 30 citizens attended the meeting, of whom 14 registered.  No written comments were received, although the following verbal comments and concerns were recorded:

·        A property owner questioned whether the alley between Talbot and Jackson could be used for the trail when the land is currently being farmed.  She also indicated that Taylor Street is not platted beyond Madison St., and thus cannot be used without the landowner’s permission.

·        Another property owner who has property on both sides of the alley between Jackson and Talbot said he could not support a bicycle path that went through his yard.

·        A citizen proposed that we talk with the DOT about maintaining the trail (through La Riviere Park) if the trail is shared with snowmobiles, as was suggested.

·        A resident on Randee Ave. expressed a concern about the path going by their back yard that fronts on the Pedretti property, and suggested that a visual barrier, either a fence or hedge, could lessen the problem.

 

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