Appleton panel moves Fremont Street lanes forward

Appleton’s Municipal Services committee voted 4-1 Tuesday evening to move forward with a bike lane plan on Fremont Street that has neighbors concerned.bike

The panel listened to nearly two hours of input from more than two dozen residents on the issue that were split on the proposal. The 5- and 6-foot lanes would be marked from Oneida Street east to Telulah Avenue and would remove some parking on the route.

“One point being used is that biking in Appleton isn’t safe,” said Alderwoman Patti Coenen. “If that’s the case, we need to do something about it with these lanes.”

A group of residents submitted nearly 100 signatures in a petition opposed to the plan last week.

Residents opposed to the lanes stressed the hazards associated with encouraging bicyclists on the route that is used by ambulance traffic to nearby St. Elizabeth Hospital. They also expressed concerns about losing the parking and maintenance of the lanes in winter.

Patrick Jacklin, of Appleton, said the council would continue to battle neighbors until the overall bicycle plan is overhauled.

“We’re going to have this debate every year until the city backs up and revises the study because it’s not popular with people,” Jacklin said Tuesday.

Cycling supporters argued that the lanes will help the city appeal to a generation looking for transportation options.

“Where do young professionals want to move?” asked Mark Priddis, of Appleton. “Young workers and talent want to move to areas that have certain characteristics that cater to them like multi-modal options.”

Others called for compromise on the plan – such as installing bike lanes on just one side of the street.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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