State to fund Milton, Whitewater bike trails
State transportation funding will give a boost to bike and walking trail projects in Milton and Whitewater.
According to a news release last week from the governor's office, the state is granting $32.5 million for local bicycle and pedestrian trail projects. Under the plan:
-- The city of Milton was awarded $244,000 for a $305,000 asphalt bike and walking path that would connect Milton's east side downtown to an existing state bike trail to the north.
-- The city of Whitewater was awarded $40,000 for updating its comprehensive bike plan and creating a pedestrian transportation plan. The city will put up $10,000.
Nancy Lader, a member of the Milton City Council, said "the city has planned on putting money in the (2011) budget" for a bike trail project and that state funding is a boost. She said city officials plan to discuss the project in a budget workshop this week.
Under current plans, a paved asphalt path would run from Milton's east side downtown to Storr's Lake Road. It would then run parallel to the future Highway 26 bypass, connecting to the Glacier River bike trail, which runs south out of Fort Atkinson.
Meanwhile, Milton city officials are planning a streetscape and parks improvement project. And under a related plan, bike trails in Milton and on the north side of Janesville could become connected, officials have said.
Milton officials envision a bike trail as one facet in a plan to turn the city's east side into a foot- and pedal-friendly area.
"There's always been interest in getting more tourism traffic passing through Milton, but it's been piecemeal. A bike trail could really tie some of those pieces together," Lader said.
Whitewater City Manager Kevin Brunner said officials likely will discuss expanding bike trails to include routes to the new technology park and Whitewater High School.
"Some of the surveys we've done, we knew our bike system is pretty important to the people," Brunner said. "It's also a safe route to school, so we're really happy to get some planning assistance on that."
Part of the comprehensive plan calls for healthier transportation alternatives throughout the community.