The Wauwatosa bike and pedestrian steering committee held its first meeting last week to begin to put into action an ambition city leaders have had for some time.
Led by Tom Huber, Madison regional project director for consultant Toole Design Group, the 15 or so community members present were asked to think about what the city's goals are, and where the city wants to be in 20 years.
Mapping the future
Perhaps the most concrete step forward is the creation of a community mapping tool, an online site that allows local residents to suggest routes, make comments and suggest improvements.
The map can be found at http://wikimapping.net/wikimap/project80.htm#
"The idea is that people can log on there and they can map out places that they think are routes to be looked at or added to the plan, or areas that need to be made safer, connections, things like that," said Alderman Jason Wilke, who has led the drive to develop a biking plan.
"It's a really great way to gather data that users in the community already know about," he said.
Alderman Jeff Roznowski, who also attended, said connectivity, safety elements, and the economic benefits of non-car travel to local businesses were among the themes discussed.
Former aldermen, triathletes, physicians who advocate exercise, serious and casual bikers, and Safe Routes to School founders are some of the steering committee members, Roznowski said.
"The reason for having the diversity of the committee is to let people know about this," Roznowski said, referring to the mapping project.
Roznowski noted that that Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin awards grades - bronze, gold, silver and platinum - to communities related to their bike friendliness. Madison is a gold city, Milwaukee is bronze. Wauwatosa isn't listed. That's something the committee would like to change, he said.
The committee will next meet April 24, and a community meeting will be held in early May, he said.
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