Bike and Pedestrian Plan Specifics

The posts are suggestions from bicyclists and pedestrians for improvements in the City of Waukesha.  Because of the routes people travel, these may overlap into other jurisdictions (Town of Waukesha; Waukesha County; Brookfield).

A summary of the results was submitted at the May 25 Bike and Pedestrian Plan meeting.

Several members of WBA were present at both the afternoon and evening sessions.

Ann Freiwald of ALTA Planning expressed appreciation for the detailed suggestions submitted by WBA, which will be included in the plan documents.

General condition of streets used by bicyclists

posted Jul 27, 2011, 7:06 PM by J P

A truly bicycle-friendly city will maintain all streets potentially used
by bicyclists in good repair, especially those with designated bike lanes
or shared use lanes.  The current condition of many streets in the city
has cyclists swerving and weaving to avoid cracks, bumps, holes, grade level
changes, and other features usually found only on dedicated mountain bike
trails.  A realistic implementation plan will include correction of these

City of Waukesha Trails Maps

posted Jul 20, 2011, 3:31 PM by J P

There are maps located at various parks and trail locations throughout the city.  Dated 2000 from the city's engineering department, most are so badly faded as to be unreadable, or are missing.  WPRF distributed an excellent map at the Waukesha Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan public input session; these more up to date and readable maps should replace the older ones.  In addition, they could be made available at city events: Carl Zach races; Friday Night Live's BID brochure cart.

Questions on city planning policies regarding bicycle parking

posted Jul 20, 2011, 2:48 PM by J P   [ updated Dec 18, 2011, 6:16 PM ]

Is it currently required and enforced that all new commercial (retail and other businesses) construction include bicycle racks within reasonable proximity to the building's public entrance?  If not, this should be included in the plan.

At the new Shoppes at Fox River development, not all businesses have bicycle racks, even though this shopping center is located just off the Fox River Parkway and easily accessible by bike.  Those businesses that do have them located them at some distance from their main entrance.

Do all parks have bicycle racks?  Are they located near the activities?  Example:  at summertime's Wednesday night Jazz in Cutler Park, many bikes are scattered about the grounds and near the seating area, as the nearest racks are in the library parking lot.

Many Waukesha County buildings do have racks but many city buildings do not.
Examples: E B Shurts building at Glacial Drumlin and the City of Waukesha Fox River Recreation Trail heads; the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry headquarters building on Aviation Drive.  All city buildings open to the public should have bike racks.


posted May 24, 2011, 7:38 PM by J P   [ updated May 24, 2011, 7:41 PM ]

Summary of suggestions from Waukesha Bicycle Alliance (WBA), addressing both
bicyclist and pedestrian concerns.

General suggestions:

Bad Intersections
Access Routes Needing Improvements
Pedestrian Concerns
WBA's General Priorities

In the above list, most suggestions apply to both pedestrians and bicyclists. 
Included are specific recommendations regarding ADA/ wheelchair access.

Specific suggestions:

A new connector between New Berlin and Glacial Drumlin Trails.
Mountain bike trails at Missile Park.

See details in the posts below.

General Pedestrian Concerns

posted May 24, 2011, 2:40 PM by Sonia Dubielzig   [ updated May 24, 2011, 3:05 PM ]

Here are some general suggestions to improve pedestrian crossings in downtown Waukesha.

--As they need to be replaced, replace all the walk crossing lights with countdown timers.  This could also be done this at the intersections of College Avenue and East Avenue and College Avenue and Grand Avenue, if not already done. 

--All crosswalks downtown should be striped with a "ladder" or "zebra"-style paint to improve visibility.

--All corners, especially with "bulb-outs" should be considered for re-engineering with 2 wheelchair ramps in each direction, rather than the minimum 1-wheelchair ramp at the apex of the curb.

--Pedestrian walk buttons at intersections with high numbers of pedestrians should be able to pre-empt the regular traffic signal routine during off-peak hours.  All downtown intersections and intersections near Carroll College and Elementary, Middle, and High Schools should be considered for this policy.

--Pedestrian crossings should be allowed at all intersections.  For example, the sign indicating "no pedestrian crossing" at the intersection of South Street and East Avenue should be taken down, and a crosswalk should be painted on the street to connect the two ramps on both sides of East Avenue.

Neighborhood connections to trails in parks

posted May 23, 2011, 9:48 PM by Sonia Dubielzig   [ updated May 24, 2011, 7:14 PM by J P ]

Some miscellaneous connections should be made to paths in Waukesha parks to better connect them to their neighborhoods:

--By the Waukesha Post Office, the street and sidewalk in the post office cul-de-sac should have a ramp that connects directly to the path that goes through Waukesha Springs Park (it is not currently wheelchair accessible).

--By Fox River Park, the park path should have connections to the neighborhood around it.

--The Fox River Parkway in general should have more wheelchair ramps to permit access at street intersections (here's an example)

Pedestrian Concern: Access to the Transit Center

posted May 23, 2011, 9:39 PM by Sonia Dubielzig

The downtown transit Center draws a lot of pedestrian traffic.  There should be clear, ADA-accessible "paths" to access the transit center from the north, south, east, and west. For example, the connection from the Riverwalk (and by extension, downtown Waukesha) goes through the Waukesha State Bank parking lot, where vehicle and pedestrian movements are not kept separate.

The connection from the Walgreens area and the condominiums on Ann Street does not have wheelchair-accessible sidewalks (and in some cases, doesn't have any sidewalks). 

WBA's General Priorities

posted May 23, 2011, 7:10 PM by J P

One of our top priorities for this plan is identifying
better bike routes through the city, and thinking about both short- and
long-term ways to better connect the Glacial Drumlin Trail, the Lake Country
Trail, and the New Berlin Trail.

Another top priority is to get the City to actually paint bike lanes on
those bike routes, where they are on busy streets.

A final priority is to plan for safe connections to surrounding communities,
especially across major barriers like I-94, STH 164, the Les Paul Parkway,
and the future West Waukesha Bypass.

Pedestrian Concern-- Snow/ Ice on Sidewalks

posted May 23, 2011, 6:58 PM by J P   [ updated May 25, 2011, 9:09 AM ]

Many of us also walk or run in the city as well as bike. 

A chronic problem in winter is the prevalence of unshoveled sidewalks, which usually turn to ice as the winter wears on.  Some homeowners are fastidious about clearing the sidewalks; right next door the property may not be shoveled for weeks.  The city apparently does not enforce the ordinance (6.12(1) ) requiring that sidewalks be cleared within 12 hours of a snowfall, unless they receive complaints.

The worst offenders are the railroads.  Last winter there was a 4' high pile on the N side of Broadway by Pleasant St for over a week.   Some of the sidewalks adjacent to the tracks (i.e., Carroll St) are never cleared.  The City itself is also often tardy at clearing snow by some of its properties, such as by the downtown parking ramp on Wisconsin Avenue.

People who need to use the sidewalks, including runners, walkers, people in wheelchairs and people pushing strollers, are forced onto the streets with these conditions, annoying to motorists and dangerous for the pedestrians.

New Berlin to Glacial Drumlin Trail Connector

posted May 19, 2011, 6:54 PM by J P   [ updated May 19, 2011, 7:13 PM ]

This is a proposal to create an entirely new connector between these two heavily used trails.  It solves one major problem: by moving the Hwy 164/59 crossing to Pearl St,  it offers a safe crossing on this very busy road.  It also has no hills and is the most direct route between these two trails.

It assumes that the railroad spur south of Cooper curving over to Pearl St will be torn out and converted to a "Rails to Trails" section.  A one block long section of blacktopped trail connects the New Berlin Trail to Pearl St on the east side of 164/59.

It follows the rest of that abandoned railroad grade west, parallel to Lincoln Ave, which crosses Carroll University property and ends at Grand Ave, where city streets complete the connector to the Glacial Drumlin trailhead.

Check the map for details on the route.

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