Monday, April 29, 2013

Sidewalk on Allouez Avenue? Some Residents Along Road Oppose Idea

For the past three years the Village of Bellevue has been implementing its Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safe Routes to school plan.  The plan which provides an outline for achieving pedestrian and bicycle  goals of the Village was adopted in 2009. 

Since 2009, several improvements have been made throughout the Village.  These projects include pedestrian and/or bicycle facilities on Verlin, Manitowoc, and S. Huron Roads, as well as, portions of Allouez Avenue.

To achieve the goals of the plan the Village adopted several policies as it relates to planning for pedestrian and bicycle accommodations.   One policy states:  "Roadways that function as arterial or collectors, which urban street cross-sections are being completed, shall have sidewalk installed on both sides where none exists and sidewalk repaired or replaced where the existing sidewalk is unsafe, defective, or insufficient, and/or where sidewalk grades no longer match new street grades...Each year, as part of the succeeding year’s budget preparation, the Village Board shall establish a target area (identified as walking routes), within which sidewalk shall be installed on both sides where none exists along urban street sections and sidewalk repaired or replaced where the existing sidewalk is unsafe, defective, or insufficient.  Target areas shall be designated according to need."

Understanding that the Village would not be able to financially construct all of the identified improvements immediately, installation of sidewalks and bicycle accommodations would be completed in phases, based on when roads were scheduled for resurfacing or reconstruction.   
 In 2013, the Village is planning to extend sidewalk on Allouez Avenue between Manitowoc Road and Main Street.  The installation of sidewalk is in conjunction with the road resurfacing project also scheduled for this year.  The following link includes a map detailing the sidewalk as proposed

Several residents along Allouez Avenue are opposed to the sidewalk and have submitted a petition to the Village Board for reconsideration.  According to the petition, the signers are opposed to the sidewalk as it does not provide a direct connection to any park, school or other recreational facility owned by the "City of Bellevue."   They are also opposed to the idea of being required to maintain the sidewalk in the winter months. 

The Village is planning to provide temporary, alternative accommodations in the form of visually narrowed lanes on Allouez Avenue from Main Street to Hazen Road however.   A visually narrowed lane is a paved portion of a street along the curb or shoulder that is marked with a stripe and simultaneously used for traffic calming (speed reduction), on-street parking, and space for non-motorized transportation (walking, bicycling, wheelchairs, etc.).   This alternative accommodation will connect the new sidewalk on the east end of Allouez Avenue to sidewalk constructed in 2012 from Hazen to Lime Kiln Road.

The Village Board will reconsider installing the proposed sidewalk along Allouez Avenue from Manitowoc Road to Main Street at its next scheduled meeting on May 8, 2013. 

For more information on the Village's adopted Pedestrian, Bicycle and Safe Routes plan, go to the following url:  http://www.villageofbellevue.org/community-development/planning/pedestrian-bicycle-a-safe-routes-to-school-plan.html