Rapid Response Grant Supports Urgent Bridge Campaign
Aug 29, 2011
In 2009, Wisconsin enacted a statewide Complete Streets policy, ensuring all roadways are designed and constructed with all users in mind. In 2010, its neighbor, Minnesota, passed a Complete Streets bill, too. But in 2011, when transportation officials started work on a bridge connecting the two states, they failed to include accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN), Active Living LaCrescent (ALL) and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin worked hard for the passage of Complete Streets in their respective states. Now they’re fighting to make sure transportation officials implement those policies on the Drebach Bridge.
To aid their urgent and immediate efforts, Advocacy Advance has awarded a $3,000 Rapid Response Grant to BikeMN and ALL for their Dresbach Bridge proposal.
The Interstate 90 Dresbach Bridge — connecting LaCrescent, Minnesota and LaCrosse, Wisconsin over the Mississippi River — is being replaced with a bridge that has a 100-year design life. Currently, that design does not include bicycle pedestrian accommodations, even though both states have Complete Streets policies and bike-ped accommodations are included in the LaCrosse area 2035 Transportation Plan.
Local and state advocates have already taken successful action. Working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), advocates forced the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reexamine bicycle pedestrian accommodation on the bridge. Advocates now have five weeks to convince MnDOT to include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on the Interstate Bridge and work with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to create a plan that connects the bridge to the three popular Wisconsin trails.
The stakes are certainly high. If transportation officials don’t include bike-ped accommodations now, " there will be no bicycle pedestrian connections across the Mississippi River at Dresbach for the next 100 years,” says Nick Mason, Education and Technical Assistance Program Manager for BikeMN.
The $3,000 Advocacy Advance Rapid Response grant will allow the organizations to continue to advocate, raise public awareness, bring experts to the table, address legal issues, and demonstrate the need for bicycle pedestrian connections across the Mississippi River at Dresbach.
Rapid Response grants have funded the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin’s successful campaign to restore $2 million in state Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Program and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s current campaign to bring bike sharing to Portland, OR.
Thanks to the support of SRAM Cycling Fund, Advocacy Advance has $16,000 remaining to fund organizations met with urgent and unexpected opportunities to win, increase, or preserve funding for biking and walking. Visit the grants page or e-mail us for more information on our grant program.