County is currently undergoing a planning process to help improve biking and
walking conditions for pedestrians.
county has been gathering information on areas that could use improvement or
change by publically posting an interactive map where users are able to
indicate the routes they use the most often, and point out any issues they feel
need attention. The map was developed by Tool Design Group out of Madison and
is built on Google Maps. The map can be located on Portage County’s blog for
County-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning’s site, www.
the comments and all the information is going to be utilized by our
consultants,” said Sarah Wallace, Associate Planner. “They are going to review
everything that is input—all the comments, questions and concern—and that is
going to be part of our identification of route, destinations and needs. It is
one more way for public involvement.”
county has held meeting in the past where citizens could come in and discuss
these issues, as well as mark their biking and walking routes and issues
they’ve encountered out on a large paper map. They hope that the convenience of
this online map will draw in more feedback.
planning process is going to identify for the rural area and the urban area
very specific facilities, whether they are on-road accommodations, offshoot
accommodations, shared use paths, bike lanes, intersection redesigns or sidewalks,”
Wallace said. “They are going to be very specific recommendations with
timelines. And they are also going to specific funding mechanisms for that.”
the consultants, a group from Madison made up partly of Toole Design, complete
their recommendation, it will be up the City Planning department to figure out
how and when they want to implement the suggestions. The funding will come
partly from money they were awarded from the Wisconsin Department of
transportation, as well as a 20 percent match from the County budget.
county also hopes to gather information through a bicycle and pedestrian count
on May 7 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The count will be conducted by volunteers
standing at various intersections around the county.
a society do traffic counts for vehicles,” Wallace said. “Those traffic counts
on roads filter into the equation of funding criteria for design, based on the
volume of the vehicle traffic. We do not do bicycle and pedestrian counts, so
it’s hard to understand or get information for what you would specifically
need. So we started doing the bike and pedestrian count so we would have a
better handle on the amount of use that we are currently having.”
have been trying to count the same intersections for a few years so they can
identify trends or patterns in traffic. If they were to do a redesign or
reconstruction, Wallace said that information would be loosely tied to the
bicycle and pedestrian count.