The Bike Fed believes that the deaths of two cyclists near Muskego on June 7th and serious crashes on Tuesday near Mount Horeb and on Wednesday in Madison point up the need for complete streets.
This is no time for Wisconsin to become the first state in the nation to actually repeal a complete streets law.
Each of the crashes indicates how a complete streets law could have improved the infrastructure and perhaps helped avoid the crash.
In the case of the deaths near Muskego rumble strips were installed in the center of a paved shoulder as opposed to more modern standards that call for the rumble strip to be on the left edge indicating earlier to a driver that he is crossing the line.
In the case of the Mount Horeb crash that section of Britt Valley Road near Highway JG does not have a paved shoulder.
And in the case of the crash on Raymond Road in Madison the crossing should be reviewed for the possible installation of treatments like flashing yellow lights or other strategies to alert drivers to the intersection with the bike path.
In the Muskego crash the driver may be charged criminally and in the case of the Mount Horeb crash the driver of the dump trunk was ticketed for unsafe passing.
Time will tell how much responsibility rests with the drivers in these cases, but certainly the roadways were not as safe as they could have been.
The complete streets law, passed in 2009, requires that bike and pedestrian facilities be considered when a road or street is built with state or federal funds. Governor Scott Walker’s budget would repeal the law, but Joint Finance Committee members are being asked to keep the law in place. The committee has scheduled votes on the transportation budget for Wednesday.
Please contact your legislators with a simple message: With so many tragic crashes just in the last week Wisconsin needs its complete streets law more than ever.