As a Milton native and nearly lifelong resident, I was overjoyed when the city added a bike lane down Madison Avenue connecting the main drag to the beautiful Glacial River Trail along Highway 26. This joy, however, has turned to frustration as the bike lane has been ignored by residents and the city.
Bike lanes are supposed to create a safe area on the roads for cyclists. But full of cracks, potholes, leaves, grass, gravel, and other debris, the bike lane is nearly useless as cyclists are frequently forced to swerve into traffic to avoid these hazards. What is the purpose of the bike lanes if cyclists cannot safely use them? The city and its residents need to be held accountable for maintaining the bike lanes.
Residents can do their share by keeping leaves, lawn clippings and other yard debris out of the bike lanes so they do not pose a hazard for bikes. The city should regularly sweep the bike lane to ensure that it is clear for cyclists and perform annual maintenance to keep the bike lanes free from dangerous potholes and cracks.
As a Master in Public Health student at the University of Wisconsin, I understand the importance of exercise as well as road safety. The bike lane connecting to the Glacial River Trail is one of my favorite parts of Milton and I would like all residents to be able to enjoy it safely.
Molly Wecker, Madison