Legislature Approves Anti-Trails Provision

Just moments ago the state senate voted down an amendment which would have restored the authority of the DOT and local governments to use eminent domain in those rare instances when it is necessary to build a recreational trail, a bike lane or a sidewalk.

Sen. Fred Risser stood up for cyclists and pedestrians.

The vote was 20-13 along partisan lines with all the Republicans voting against the amendment (and therefore voting against cyclists and pedestrians) and all the Democrats voting on our side of the issue.

Our thanks go to Sen. Fred Risser of Madison who gave an impassioned speech on our behalf and to all the senators in the Democratic caucus who voted for the amendment.

The anti-trails amendment was slipped into the budget literally under cover of darkness last week. Its author won’t even come forward to claim this and defend it. And despite Sen. Risser’s repeated requests on the senate floor this afternoon no one on the Republican side bothered to stand up and explain their support for this provision. It’s all pretty shameful.

We’ll now focus our attention on the governor and ask him to use his line item veto authority to remove this provision. Look for an Action Alert on this issue early next week.

About Dave Cieslewicz, Executive Director

Dave Cieslewicz served two terms as mayor of Madison where he set the city on a path for Platinum status as one of the best biking cities in North America. Before that he started his own nonprofit, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, which focuses on land use and transportation policy. He has been an adjunct professor at the UW Madison's Department of Urban and Regional Planning where he teaches a class called Bikes, Pedestrians and Cities. He pronounces his name chess LEV ich, but nobody else does.

One thought on “Legislature Approves Anti-Trails Provision

  1. One thing that’s missing from the discussion is “who benefits” from the insertion of this nasty little provision? I can imagine a few scenarios where this would be beneficial to the occasional person, but I have to believe that there was serious lobbying and/or pocket-lining going on to have this thing get inserted by a still-unknown legislator. Why? Where’s the big buck?

    I suspect that the infamous legislator truly fears 10,000 cyclists riding across his/her front lawn in protest.

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