Hey bicyclists! Washington County wants to hear from you about bike routes, current trouble spots for riders, and more. A $145,000 study has been funded to create a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The county is responding to a public opinion survey indicating there is a demand for safe and connected carbon-free transportation options.
The bike routes being designed are for recreational use and transportation usage and apply to county roads only, not city roads nor state highways. In Stillwater, county roads include Manning and Osgood Avenues, McKusick Road, and Myrtle St. west of Owens. Actual maps of Washington County highways are here
County officials and a consulting firm will use the info gathered from the public to create a blueprint for bike route development. They will build off of the existing network of trails, paved shoulders, and sidewalks and create new portions of trails where there are gaps.
The resulting recommendations will be short-term, medium-term, and long-term, although no funding has yet been set aside for implementation of the plan once it is complete. However, there will be opportunities for local bike enthusiasts and nonprofits to contribute to the infrastructure with grants and donations to help fund peripheral aspects to bike trails, such as bike repair stations, she said.
Take the Survey
Important note on the online survey: The way this works is that icons are placed on an interactive map. Icons are generated when you click the “Add Comment” button. Select the icon you’d like to add to the map, such as “Areas of Concern,” “Bike/Ped Routes I’d Like to See in the Future,” or “Biking and Walking Destinations,” and then drag the map to a location directly under the icon to place it on the map. You can place multiple icons per category. The designers have also offered the option to draw a line segment to show a desired future bike route.
The survey is here
Rick Heidick and Wendy Gorski, board members of Sustainable Stillwater MN, visited with Emily Jorgensen, a Washington County planner working on the project, on September 6. She said the 8- to 10-foot shoulders on county highways would be employed in the bike network. Other data being gathered is the location of future bike racks, signage for the routes, and branding and advertising for public awareness of the project.
Once all the data has been gathered online, Hoisington Koegler Group of Minneapolis, an architectural and planning consulting firm, will analyze it and create a suggested plan for the county.
The $145,000 cost of the study is being financed with county funds, a Statewide Health Improvement (SHOP) grant, and levy proceeds.