With the formation of the Wausau Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Bicycle & Pedestrian Sub-Committee in 2006 and the adoption of the first Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in 2009, the Wausau Area MPO has made the commitment to improving bicycling throughout the community. The Wausau Area MPO Bicycle & Pedestrian Sub-Committee’s diverse membership has enabled the group to become the leader for all bicycle/pedestrian planning, engineering, education, and events in the Wausau metro area. The MPO Bike/Ped Sub-Committee has linked transportation planners, city planners, public works directors, park and recreation directors, law enforcement officials, and public health educators with local bike clubs, bike shop owners, and area bicycle enthusiasts.
In June 2012, the Marathon County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to become the healthiest, safest, and most prosperous county in the state. In support of this resolution and Marathon County’s goal to become a magnet community for young professionals, the Education and Economic Development Committee contributed a grant to the Health Department for the creation of a metropolitan bicycle route and signage system. This initial $13,000 grant was the impetus in creating a 105-mile bicycle route network throughout the entire Wausau metro area.
“To me, getting the arterial bike route system is a big first step. It will get more people saying, ‘Why don’t we do more for this?'”
John Nowaczyk, Sprocketz Bike Shop, from Signs of the Time: The bicycling reputation of the Wausau area just got a bump. The City Pages, May 2, 2013
Now, with over 600 custom bicycle route signs that are color-coded and numbered by route, the Marathon County Bicycle Route System is a prominent, visible representation of our communities’ investment in bicycling. The new bicycle route signage system has not only produced increase awareness for bicycling, it has transformed the Wausau metro area into a bicycle-friendly community.
The metro bicycle route signage project was a prime example of how through collective impact, all of the members from the Wausau Area MPO Bike/Ped Sub-Committee worked together to create a healthier and safer environment for bicyclists and to help make our community more bicycle-friendly.
To join or learn more about the MPO Bicycle & Pedestrian Sub-Committee please contact Aaron Ruff at 715-261-1935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.