No more bikes

Dear Editor,

Over three weeks ago, I sent a letter to Rob Goetz, director of parks and forestry for Lake Mills and I was surprised when I did not receive a reply. I am hoping that given the critical status of Tyranena Park others will express interest and join in an attempt to halt its destruction.

At issue is the conversion of this woodland retreat into an off-road bicycle course. A recent visit to this park revealed that there is already considerable destruction of the natural habitat and it has only been weeks since the snow has melted. As such, a single summer promises a level of devastation that will take decades to repair and the time to call a halt to this is now.

The conversion of this woodland park into a bicycle course is a violation of the stated purpose of the park’s benefactors, that purpose being the enjoyment by the entire community, not a small group of cyclists. Speeding mountain bikes are wholly incompatible with pedestrians.

Given the previous is the city prepared for considerable liability issues that will inevitable arise when there are incidents between the cyclists and pedestrians? Has the city’s insurance carrier been consulted?

What were once narrow, natural footpaths are now three-foot-wide compacted soil raceways scattered with stones. These raceways have eaten into the vegetation and are a blight upon the surround forest. There is also clear evidence of bicycle incursions into the surrounding forest, the inevitable result of confrontations between cyclists with one another or pedestrians. Heavy rains will convert these raceways into rivers of mud, not only making them unusable for any purpose but also accelerating the erosion of the forest floor into Rock Lake.

The DNR has very strict restrictions on the modifications of shoreline property in Wisconsin. Have these restrictions been observed? Was the DNR consulted?

But even beyond the legalities and practical considerations, what would compel us to ravage this marvelous bequest to the people of Lake Mills? Speak out, Tyranena Park is not there for exploitation. It is there by the vision of its benefactors for their children and ours.

Keith Wheeler

Lake Mills

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