by Belle Bergner
If bicyclists are a sign of a good neighborhood, then Riverwest is well on its way to becoming a great one (as if it werent already). We surveyed neighbors through the Riverwest Neighborhood Association email listserv to see what they think about the state of biking in Milwaukee, and heres what we found:
Over 35% of survey respondents bike 3 5 days per week and another 25% bike 1 2 days per week. Over half of all respondents bike to work at least sometimes, and travel 1 to 5 miles each trip. A little less than half said they moved to the neighborhood because of its good biking or close proximity to good bike trails, and many responded that although biking wasnt a primary reason for moving here, it was an increasingly important reason to stay.
But with all this cycling going on, many residents gave a below-average rating of the quality of bike lanes in the neighborhood and Milwaukee as a whole. Many comments reflected big safety concerns that drivers are not aware and respectful of bicyclists, inadequate bike lanes, severe lack of bike racks around town, strong desire for bike racks on buses, and a downtown bike station like Chicago has.
Overall, the state of biking in Riverwest appears to be good to average, but residents want to see much more attention toward creating a more bikefriendly and bike-safe city. Be sure to check out Bike To Work week and other bike activities in May on pg 18 to build awareness, safety, and momentum for better cycling.
Riverwest Currents online edition – May, 2006