Plans to improve Fox Cities & Oshkosh bike travel

OSHKOSH – There is a push to enhance the bike and pedestrian experience in the Fox Valley.

Right now, there might not be clear bike routes from Oshkosh to Neenah, Menasha to Appleton, or anywhere in between. However, that soon might change with help from a new bike and pedestrian plan.

“You may be on a bike lane for a little bit, then maybe you go onto an on street facility, then you go to a trail, so we don’t have consistency across the municipalities and that’s really what this plan is hoping to accomplish,” said Melissa Kraemer Badtke, the principal transportation planner for the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

The plan is to connect bicycle and pedestrian trails and routes in the Fox Cities and Oshkosh. A $120,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation helped come up with possibilities.

“With the 41 project over Lake Butte Morts we have the new trail facility over there and its fantastic, but how are we going to connect that trail to the UW Oshkosh campus?” said Kramer Badtke. “How are we going to connect it to downtown? Those are the types of connections we’re really looking for.”

Improving the bike and pedestrian network isn’t just about adding more bike lanes or more trails. People also expressed interest during the study for educational resources for things like road safety tips or classes.

“Having the resources is great, but unless people know how to use them and that includes vehicles knowing how to drive around that, it’s not worth anything,” said Ben Krumenauer, a planner for Oshkosh.

The next phase is putting the study’s recommendations to use.

“The funding resources really open up when you have bike plans, pedestrian plans, things like that,” said Krumenauer.

“There’s grants out there, but sometimes there’s a lot of red tape, so we really want to ensure that some of these things get built, maybe that’s working with local businesses and local companies to build some of these things,” said Kraemer Badtke.

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