Hello to all of you Fond du Lac Loop users and supporters,
This year, 2017, has been a real Loop year for Fond du Lac. The new Lakeside Park and Camelot area trails have put the Fond du Lac Loop into the top category for small to medium sized pedestrian/bike infrastructure projects. We now have more than 90% of the Loop on off-street (separate from automobiles) trails. Our Loop Friends group will continue to partner with local government, businesses, and community groups to advocate for a safer, more accessible and a beautiful place to unwind, get healthy, and to get around using zero pollution transportation.
To get an idea of what we are working on please take a look at our recent volunteer efforts.
Friends of the Fond du Lac Loop meeting notes
Meeting date: Monday November 6, 2017
In attendance: Rick Moulten, Paul DeVries, Sandi Roehrig, Mike Soffa, Sam Tobias, Amy Hansen, Dan and Debbie Hencke, Jeanne and John McDowell, and Jordan Skiff. Gratitude also to Evelyn McLean-Cowan for her work as our Loop social media and website lead person.
Based on meeting conversations and feedback about the Loop…
1. Update from Jordan and Paul on road construction projects that pertain to The Fond du Lac Loop.
2018–2019: Fond du Lac to Pioneer section of County Hwy V will be resurfaced and an 8-foot trail will be added to the west side of this section. Installation of roundabout is also on this proposal.
Comment: Good news!
2. Timeline on completion of the Loop path on the west side of Main Street and Pioneer Road.
Progress is slower than hoped for due to resistance by property owners. Final details will be completed by 2018.
Comment: This is unfortunate and compromises Loop user safety.
3. How on-street bike lane will be positioned from west side of Main/Pioneer (as referenced in #2) to connect to East Lane.
Not clear yet.
Comment: For safety reasons, as soon as possible, install path continuation from Pioneer path onto S. Main sidewalk to gas station/Walgreens entrance on Main St. Then use paint (Arrows/Sharrows/Lines) to get Loop to East Lane.
4. Bike shoulder lane on 4th Street connecting the Loop to National Avenue? If possible – when?
Shoulder “fizzles.” County highway jurisdiction. No project planned. There is an urban section where a bike shoulder could be installed as a future project.
Comment: Sad that the expensive 4th Street bridge has been built complete with bike lanes and a nice connection path for the Loop, but a short stretch of 4th Street does not have a narrow pedestrian/bike shoulder.
5. Plans to connect Country Lane to 4th Street and Rienzi Road?
There is a bridge needed and the city is looking into the possibility. These improvements could/would take place when development occurs.
Comment: Let us know when plans are drawn up so we can support the addition of pedestrian/bike bridge.
6. Loop links: As neighborhoods are developed between Rienzi Road and Fond du Lac Avenue (Hwy 45) and between County Hwy V and Martin Avenue can we hope that Loop links will be included in these developments? The link installed between Fond du Lac Avenue (Hwy 45) and County Hwy V is very popular.
When any land gets developed in this area, it is up to the subdivision developer to get these connections done.
Comment: let us know whom we can contact when this development is planned.
7. Brooke Street Trail continuation: Several years ago a discussion was held about continuing the Brooke Street Trail along the old rail bed all the way to the Hwy 41 pedestrian overpass.
Comment: Is there a possibility that this can be a future reality?
The city owns the land to Hickory Street, but as for the rail bed right-of-way, this cannot be crossed unless the rail company would give up and abandon the line.
8. Another rail link that doesn’t seem to be progressing is the Canadian National Eden Spur that goes by the water tower on Martin Avenue. Any possibility that this could be incorporated into the Loop as a future rails-to-trails facility?
This is a possibility if/when the line is abandoned. DNR owns the land. If the line is abandoned it will become a trail.
Comment: Hopefully before we also become moribund!
9. Prairie Trail maintenance. What can we do to support efforts to minimize degradation – particularly ways to keep the weeds that eat into the trail at bay? The willow root problem has been pretty effectively dealt with and we laud Mr. Tobias’s efforts in this area.
Continuing work will take place to control Prairie Trail weed encroachment.
10. Peebles Trail surface improvement plans.
Peebles Trail will have surface maintenance upgrades as needed. No hard surface plans.
Comment: keep up the good work. We will monitor the trail and make sure major deadfall events are reported.
11. Scott Street/Doty Street crossing: any chance of installing a pedestrian crossing sign in the middle of the street?
Currently, there are no plans. There is conversation about four two-lane turning lanes.
Comment: Since lane markings are just paint, we want to go on record as supporting this plan! Additionally, adding a vertical pedestrian crossing sign could potentially prevent serious injury.
Note, we strongly support the addition of vertical bicycle signs with the “Yield to Pedestrians, State Law” sign at all busy Loop intersections. The sign already installed on the Military Road Loop crossing is very effective.
12. Also, can the flashing lights there have brighter bulbs installed?
Comment: Above all, we continue to support the idea of reinstalling a proper all-traffic stop light system at Scott and Doty Streets with Loop crossing button control.
Interim suggestion: Run the Loop path east along Scott from Doty to the Main and Scott light and use that as a safe crossing point. The flashing cross light could be moved to the Peebles Lane and Winnebago Drive crossing, a two-lane street where it would be much more effective.
13. Other notes: North Main St. between Merrill Avenue and Johnson Street will have on-street bicycle lane.
Comment: Keep adding these lanes up the entire length of Main Street.
Final Comment: Thank you Jordan, Paul, and Sam for being such good Loop partners with us.
Have a very good winter season. Look for a spring 2018 meeting where we will continue efforts to make The Fond du Lac Loop an asset our community can celebrate and be proud of.
John McDowell and the Friends of the Fond du Lac Loop