Once Wisconsin was a national leader in bicycling with the most miles of trails and ranked second best state overall for bicycling by The League of American Bicyclists in their Bicycle Friendly State rating system. In the ten years that the LAB has been ranking bicycle-friendly states, Wisconsin has fallen from 2nd place to an embarrassing #25 in this year’s Bicycle Friendly State Progress Reports. Today both Minnesota and Michigan have hundreds of miles more trails and Pennsylvania is poised to have more than Wisconsin soon.
For a state that is home to much of our national bicycle industry (Answer, Bontrager, Borah Teamwear, Hayes, Fyxation, GT, Manitou, Mongoose, Pacific, Planet Bike, Sun Ringle, Trek, Wheelsmith, and Waterford Precision Cycle), the fall from grace is a real black eye.
- the diversion of 50% of Transportation Alternative Projects funds (TAP) to highway projects
- the repeal of Complete Streets
- the inability to use Eminent Domain for bicycle infrastructure
- the change rules of federal funding which has eliminated the funding for safety education
We can do better!
The Wisconsin Bike Fed is working to restore our Bicycle Friendly status because we believe Wisconsin is still a great place to ride a bicycle. Recently, the Bike Fed staff, board member Steve Arnold and staff from the Rails to Trails Conservancy were in Madison to discuss these issues with incoming Governor Evers’ staff and staff for 27 legislators. We will continue to meet with our state leaders to try to get cycling back on track here.
But we can use your help. Please make a donation to our Safe Streets campaign to allow us to continue to provide education in communities throughout the state. Over the last eight years, we have taught 982 classes, attended 1,541 community events, reached 228,880 people with safety messages in person and millions more on social and broadcast media.
Our statewide safety education and encouragement program to make walking and biking safer needs your support. Our goal is to raise $100,000 to continue this important work. Any donation helps. We can reach our goal quickly if 1,000 people donate $100 each for safety. Thanks to those of you who have already donated $1,025 dollars to our Safe Streets Wisconsin Campaign, but we have a long way to go.
We are tracking where people are from who donate to our Safe Streets Wisconsin campaign and we will do our best to reinvest your donation to improve the area where you live and ride.
If you are one of many people who has been passed too closely by a car, been honked at for trying to cross the street in a crosswalk, or frustrated by scofflaws who give all bicyclists a bad reputation, here is your chance to take some action and make a difference!