Bike To Work Week Gets Off To Rainy Start

Bumpy Roads In Milwaukee Reflect Need For Pothole Repairs Across State


Bike to Work Week got off to a rainy start Monday in parts of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett led a group of bicyclists from the west side of the city to downtown. Joining the mayor was Alderman Nick Kovac, who noted that it was a bit of a bumpy ride.

“I noticed that east of Teutonia (Avenue), the center needs a little work, and west of Fond du Lac (Avenue) it’s pretty smooth, and it was the opposite just a few years ago,” said Kovac. “Bicyclists actually notice road conditions more intimately and more quickly than cars do.”

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Kovac says the tough winter has made potholes more prevalent. Milwaukee recently beefed up its pothole repair crews. Dave Cieslewicz, former Madison mayor and current director of the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation, says many communities and bicyclists around the state are dealing with a larger than usual number of potholes.

“The way to fix them really is to repave streets,” said Cieslewicz. “So one of the things that we support is getting more state money to local government so that they can take care of the miles and miles of local street.”

Cieslewicz wants the state Department of Transportation to shift some gas tax dollars from building or expanding highways to taking care of existing roadways. Meantime, he says pothole concerns should not stop people from biking.

“We want to remind people biking is fun,” said Cieslewicz. “Biking is safe, for the most part.”

Editor’s Note: Gov. Scott Walker’s office referred a question about gas tax funding to a DOT spokesperson. That agency did not reply before the radio version of this story aired.