Bike paths next step in non-motorized program

IT WILL BE EASIER to get to the southeast industrial park and other areas on the city’s south side soon.

Plymouth will be enjoying another benefit of the $25 million federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program grant this fall or next spring with the construction of bicycle lanes on Highland Avenue/ County E from Larkspur Lane south to County PP and on County PP from Highland Avenue/County E east to State 57.

The City Council approved a contract with Northeast Asphalt to construct the bike lanes earlier this month and Public Works Director William Immich told the council he is hopeful the work can still be done this fall. If not, it will be done next spring, along with repaving the stretch of Highland Avenue/County E from Larkspur to County PP.

The $300,000 project is just the latest benefit to come to the city from the federal money which first came the county’s way eight years ago.

People who ride or walk the Sunset Road trail out to Sargento and other industries on the city’s northwest side, or to the Quit Qui Oc recreational complex, are beneficiaries of the NMTPP funds. Bicyclists who can safely make their way out Eastern Avenue to businesses on the city’s east side, or north on Highland Avenue/County E to the Generations building, are utilizing bicycle lanes that were made possible with NMTPP funds.

And it isn’t just the city of Plymouth that has seen benefits from the grant money.

Residents of Sheboygan Falls will soon be able to safely and easily bike or walk just about anywhere in their fine city thanks to a city-wide sidewalk and path project funded through the NMTPP.

School children in Oostburg, Random Lake and other villages are able to walk or bike to school safely on sidewalks and paths built with NMTPP funds.

In the city of Sheboygan, bicyclists and pedestrians will soon be able to get around the city on a dedicated rails-to-trails path along the old Union Pacific railroad tracks, a widened Eisner Avenue and more.

The NMTPP projects in Sheboygan County have had a measurable effect in reaching the project’s goals – to get people out of their vehicles and on bicycles or on foot for much of their everyday local transportation, making us all healthier, more active and less dependent on motorized and fuel-based transportation in our everyday lives.

Sheboygan County was the smallest of the four communities selected for the initial pilot program.

The other three communities in the pilot program were larger metropolitan areas – Marin County, Cal.; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; and Columbia, Mo. There, the opportunities were different than in a more spread-out, rural community like Sheboygan County, and the ability to change people’s modes of transportation was easier.

But Sheboygan County has succeeded in achieving the program’s goals and will continue to build on that success in the future. The program has had a quantifiable and substantial impact on lifestyles and transportation throughout the county.

People bicycling on the Highland Avenue and County PP bicycle paths, when they are completed, will just add more to those outstanding numbers.

At issue:
New Plymouth bike paths
Bottom line:
Continuing the positive impact

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