During our recent meeting with our City/County partners, a group of nine Loop Friends (thank you!) were able to get updates and questions answered from Director of Public Works Jordan Skiff City Engineer Paul De Vries and County Parks Director Terry Dietzel.
We came away from the meeting feeling that our city/county partners appreciate the value of the Fond du Lac Loop and they will work to make sure that our Loop stays intact and in good shape. I have been told that it really helps if it is known that the Loop has a watchdog and development lobbying group. Thanks, Friends!
Our main agenda questions were answered as follows:
- Maintenance issues: lumps, bumps, and deteriorating trail edges and tree fall along Peebles Trail.
Answer: We did ask Mr. Dietzel if he could inspect the bumps and trail degradation along the Prairie Trail and to develop a systematic plan to cut back the willow bushes and stop weed encroachment along trail edges. Loop friends will continue to pursue this.
The County Parks Department can be called at ( 920) 979-9059 about downed trees/branches on the Peebles trail. They are pretty good about clearing these blockages within a few days.
There is a possibility that the highway department will take over the Prairie Trail maintenance. We will meet with them if/when this happens. Also, the Wild Goose Trail and Downtown stencils will be updated.
- Loop signs.
We have about a dozen signs and Dave Hornung will add his remaining signs to our inventory. We will get with Jordan or Paul to position new signs on the new connecting path from East Lane to Main and Pioneer. A question about making sure the Loop is more clearly marked through Lakeside Park will be addressed by our Loop Friends sign folks.
Stop signs are getting faded and in need of replacement. Not addressed, but will be pursued.
Intersection street signs needed in several locations. This was not addressed, but will be submitted as a request.
Stencils including Loop connection signs and upgraded Sharrows. Sharrows on WH up to St. Peter? Meeting time constraints kept this from being addressed. We will ask Mr. Deitzel about adding Sharrows on WH up to St. Peter.
- Wild Goose Trail. Good for now. Will ATV issue come up again?
Unfortunately, the ATV/UTV community seems determined to continue to try to get on the Wild Goose Trail. One landowner who allows pedestrian access on the WG trail that is on his land did so with a specific rule to keep motorized wheeled traffic off the trail. This is a tenuous situation if (for example) the land ownership changes. We must be prepared to continue to protect the safe, tranquil, and beautiful Wild Goose trail. The EEAR committee has backed the ATV request, but a new member has joined this group who is very much a supporter of keeping ATV/UTVs away from the WG Trail. We look forward to working with her. Note: Rick Moulton also mentioned that he encountered ATV traffic on the Eisenbahn Trail and these folks claimed to have permission from the Sheriff’s Department….?
Finally, the City Highway Safety Committee meets quarterly and we can use this opportunity to air our concerns about the safety of allowing ATV traffic on the WG. We will continue to watch and monitor this situation and let you know when meetings are held.
- Trail improvements. Main and Pioneer Loop connection area looking much better. Thanks. This was a major safety concern and the improvement is truly spectacular.
We asked if the Loop signs could be moved to adjust to the new connection and Jordan and Paul gave their approval.
- Brochures. Demand has picked up for our excellent brochure, so we need another batch. I spoke to Amy Hansen about this and she still has 1800 copies in her office, so we will get those from her and keep putting the brochures in the Loop holders. New batch printing will be delayed until these start to run out.
- Bike repair station. The unit by the water tower needs a new pump and some other repairs. I attempted to detach the broken pump from the concrete slab and failed miserably. If any of you would like to try, please let me know. In the meantime, I will nail down the exact replacement pump cost.
- Loop connections. While the Loop has wonderful protected trails, getting to the Loop is still dangerous in some locations, particularly for children and parents with baby carriages. Ideas on where these are needed.
We discussed the need to get from the eastside 4th Street area to the Loop using neighborhood connections. The city will look at the possibility of either a sidewalk or shoulder from Mary Lee Drive to the Loop along 4th Street, putting a pedestrian path and bridge from the new park on Primrose/Country lane to 4th Street (T). In addition, a Loop connection from Rienzi Road via Country Lane is being considered as an alternative by Jordan and Paul.
10. City/county map incorporating cross town quiet street corridors. Jordan will contact Gene Olig about tools available including a JAS mapping system to incorporate safe routes on the city map.
- Accessibility to shopping locations. A safe streets map would make this a much more practical possibility.
That’s it for now, Loop Friends. I have an important request for all of you: Keep riding, walking, running, skateboarding and generally moving your body on the Loop and get friends/family out there too. The more Loop users we have, the more valuable the Loop will be and we get the added bonus of being happier, healthier people.