Cyclists Skeptical Of Budget Provision That Would End ‘Complete Streets’ Law

Repeal Of Law Would Mean State-Funded Road Projects Would Not Have To Take Cyclists, Pedestrians Into Consideration

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A statewide group of bicyclists and pedestrians says Gov. Scott Walker’s budget could result in fewer safe places to ride and walk.

The “Complete Streets” law mandates that cyclists and pedestrians have to be taken into account when roads are built using state or federal funds. Walker’s budget, however, would repeal the law.

Dave Cieslewicz — the former Madison mayor and current executive director of the Wisconsin Bike Federation — said Complete Streets is a reasonable law that’s not a burden in building highway projects.

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“They don’t necessarily have to do it — there are all kinds of ways to get an exemption if the cost is too high or if they can show that the likelihood of someone biking or walking on a given street is very low,” said Cieslewicz.

Walker’s budget estimates that getting rid of Complete Streets would save $7.4 million over two years. The Bike Federation is skeptical of the estimate, saying the savings probably amount to far less.