News that the state will move ahead with a $300 million makeover on the Hoan Bridge energized bicyclists who see the project as an opportunity to fulfill their desire for a high-level bike lane.
Dave Schlabowske detailed the history of the bike lane drive on his Over the Bars blog and noted the time to strike is now.
"Outside of waiting for peak oil to clear the roads of motor vehicles, if we are ever going to see a path for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Daniel Webster Hoan Memorial Bridge, it is going to have to happen with this project," Schlabowske wrote. "Governor Walker is right on target describing the bridge as a 'landmark.'
... Like every other landmark bridge in the country, the Hoan should be open to people on foot and bicycle."
Schlabowske, the bike and pedestrian coordinator for Milwaukee, wrote that city officials plan to press the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to consider a bike and pedestrian lane in their early planning.
The challenge, though, will be to sway Walker.
With the authority to appoint the secretary of the Department of Transportation, the governor has the final word on major highway projects in the state.
And when it comes to a bike lane on the Hoan, Walker's word has been 'no.'
He opposed a bike lane on the bridge as Milwaukee County Executive, maintained that posture during his campaign, and has not wavered.
His spokesman issued this statement on Wednesday: "His stance on this issue since January hasn’t changed. Governor Walker supports allowing cyclists (for events like Miller Light Ride for the Arts) to use the bridge during the time it is shut down to traffic. He does not support adding a bike lane on the Hoan Bridge."