Wauwatosa panel approves another bike lane waiver request

Jan. 30, 2013

A second request from the Department of Transportation to be excused from building a bike lane had the Traffic & Safety Committee knotted in frustration Tuesday night, before finally voting a grudging approval.

Zoo Interchange engineers petitioned the committee for approval to leave out a bike lane alongside Glenview Avenue from Bluemound Road to Wisconsin Avenue. Federal funding rules require bike lanes except in special circumstances and with the approval of the local community.

A similar request in October, to leave out a bike lane at the intersection of Bluemound and Mayfair roads, was greeted indignantly by the committee, which saw it as not in keeping with the city's desire to be bike-friendly and follow a "complete streets" philosophy.

In that case, the parties agreed to compromise with a "share the road" approach.

Tuesday night, committee members acknowledged a bike lane would not fit. The city worked hand in glove with DOT over a long period to keep Glenview no wider than it was in that stretch, to preserve property and the character of a historic district.

Alderman Jeff Roznowski said he hated making exceptions to the bike lane requirement - and hated especially doing it for the second time.

"I don't want the road widened, but I don't want to make exceptions all the time," he said.

Alderman Bobby Pantuso concurred. "Two is two more than I'd like," he said.

Alderman Craig Wilson, attending as an audience member, said perhaps the city could leverage the money that would've gone into a bike lane to mark an alternate route.

Alderman Dennis McBride said this case was significantly different than the Bluemound Road case.

"Here we're doing this at our request," referring to the effort to keep Glenview narrow.

In final form, the committee approved the waiver of the bike lane requirement, and asked Public Works Director Bill Porter to discuss with the DOT the use of "share the road" markings before next week's Common Council meeting.


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