Green Bay's first safe walk and bike plan ready for next steps

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) Updated with Safe Walk and Bike plan's passage by city council.

Green Bay's first study documenting bike and pedestrian activity is now complete. The Safe Walk and Bike plan is now ready for execution after receiving unanimous approval from the city council, according to the Green Bay Bicycle Collective.

Click here to view the full plan.

It’s a collaboration between the city and the Green Bay Public School District to identify how people are getting around town.

“A lot of people really, really, want to walk and bike in their community, but a lot of people feel like it just isn't safe,” said Natalie Bomstad, executive director of Wello. The organization helped bring the city and the school district together on this study.

The plan identifies where Green Bay can do better when it comes to infrastructure and connectivity of safe walking and biking paths.

The reconstruction of Webster Avenue is a good example of how the two can come together in one project by the installation of multi-use trails alongside vehicle traffic.

“I think when you have the pedestrian and the bicycle infrastructure it's saying that we value one another in our community and we value active transportation and it really speaks to the type of quality of life that we have here,” said Bomstad.

The study also looked at the needs of each school in the district based on how safe it is for students to get to and from the school, how likely it is students will bike or walk to the school and looked at the equity of the neighborhood around each school.

“A lot of it is marking crosswalks, putting up signage, just making motorists aware that there are going to be pedestrians in the area so they can predict how their behavior should change according to that,” said Jeremy Wildenberg, transportation manager for the school district.

The study identified Fort Howard Elementary School as one that needs the most improvements.

“We have a lot of walkers at Fort Howard that could take advantage of those kinds of improvements and also we do have some economically disadvantaged students at that school as well. Those two factors really were big drivers of the high rating that that school got. Potentially that school would benefit most out of any of our schools from improved walking and biking conditions,” said Wildenberg.

The next steps will be to form a team to look at the recommendations in the plan and work to make them a reality.

This plan will also make the city and the school district eligible to apply for state and federal funding.

“This is all coming together so that we create this culture of safety and health so we can actually connect throughout our community,” said Bomstad.

The school board approved the plan at its meeting on Monday.

On Tuesday, the city council will have a chance to weigh in on the plan.