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Although this Bike to Work Week was a feel-good opportunity to bring a few more bike commuters to the streets, huge numbers of bikers won't take to the pedals until they feel safe doing it, says Tim Keneipp from the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition. He says that safer feeling comes with bike lanes or dedicated cycle tracks or bike paths. Keneipp says, although special bike facilities can cost a little more extra to add, more people on bikes saves considerably on overall street wear. And saves much more, he says, on parking shortages in a city.
Some old couches and mattresses destined for a dumpster will instead find their way from UW La Crosse to Alabama to help tornado victims. It's about a semi trailer full of stuff that had mostly come out of the old Baird and Trowbridge halls. The school had used it in spaces leased to deal with a dorm shortage on campus this year. University Residence Life head, Nick Nicklaus says now that Eagle Hall is opening up, there's no use for the furniture leftovers on campus. The Lion's club will pay to send about 80 mattresses, 15 couches and 40 desk chairs from the university to Alabama.
13 city council members in La Crosse? Forget about it. The council re-districting committee has rebuffed a plan by the county board to shrink the number of board reps in La Crosse by four, pressuring the council to do the same. Council member Jim Bloedorn, on the committee, says although they prefer to keep the current 17 council seats, the message sent to the county board is that a minimum of 15 seats is acceptable.
Maybe a much higher parking fine would get drivers to use ramps in downtown La Crosse...
The city's parking utility board has been looking at ways to increase ramp use by people who work downtown, but prefer curbside parking to the ramps. Board member Dick Swantz says if you get two parking tickets in a short period of time, the second ticket should be much higher than the first. A regular ticket costs 12 dollars, but Swantz would like to see the second fine go as high as 45 or 50 dollars. One problem with enforcing such a plan...city police do not have a quick way to keep track of one person's parking tickets.
It seems unlikely that a La Crosse city council redistricting committee will agree with the county board. The committee meets tonight to discuss whether to go to 13 council members or to stay pat at 17 or to do something in between. The county appears to be ready to drop six board members, four of those in La Crosse. That's pressuring the city council to also cut four council members. The council committee meets tonight to hash out options and then again tomorrow to vote on what option to offer to the county board.