Jeremy

Jeremy Gragert

Recent Activity

Working Together on Hastings

Jeremy

Very cool. Good to see small business folks come together for something positive. Perhaps they would be interested in forming a Business Improvement District (BID) in order to fund improvements? The bicycle and pedestrian access (and therefore Eau Claire Transit access) has been the best recent development up there, but more needs to be done.

Checking in with Community Television

Jeremy

CTV is incredibly important to the Eau Claire community, and the WI legislature and the corporate lobbyists from AT&T and others should be ashamed for gutting it. Maybe the City of Eau Claire should invest some money in CTV? Or maybe they already do? Given the cuts, however, I think the focus on civic programming is the right choice.

WPT Presents: History of Eau Claire's…

Jeremy

Good stuff... I hope the theatre can remain for a meaningful purpose even if a new art center is completed. An "arts district" needs multiple venues for different purposes and audiences!

Where you gonna vote today?

Jeremy

replied to: You do NOT need a photo ID to vote (yet),…

One may vote at their previous Wisconsin address and polling place if they just moved at the end of May. If you had never voted at your previous address bring proof of residency.

Wisconsin drops to #6 best state for…

Jeremy

Since Governor Scott Walker took office Wisconsin dropped from #2 to #6 in the national bicycle ranking. He shifted money to large highway projects like the St. Croix bridge, which is costing us 300 times the cut in bicycle infrastructure funding alone. He's also pushing through the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee, which will cost over $1 billion (that's just for a reconstruction of the current interchange). And, we all remember Scott Walker's canceling of $700 million in passenger speed rail funds from the federal government, part of which will now have to be picked up by the state to maintain current service. What an absolute disaster of a Governor.

Eau Claire climate change activists appear…

Jeremy

Thanks for posting this -- very important to have local folks self-aware that our own planet is not just facing a future threat, rather climate change is already having negative impacts around the world. How can we, as beings given the great gift of foresight, let our planet be destroyed by the burning of fossil fuels and ancient forests?

Tuesday: “New community arts center”…

Jeremy

This IS huge. Everyone who can should be there for the announcement. This sounds bigger than Phoenix Park! Public-private partnerships can be very tricky to plan completely in the public realm, but I trust that the Clear Vision process over the past few years was able to gather enough public input and engagement for this project to make sense for our downtown. I think we should be thankful that our community still has room for bold proposals. It is great to see UW-Eau Claire with a strong interest in downtown!

Theatre Guild plans for open air riverside…

Jeremy

This is a great idea -- I'm hoping that the section of First Ave would be closed to car traffic during plays so that people can actually hear the play. Also, I imagine a play could gather quite a crowd and cause bicyclists, joggers, walkers, etc. to stop and watch, therefore the trail should be built wide enough of far enough away from the stage so that it is not blocked when there is a play. This is a key transportation route for bicyclists and pedestrians so careful planning needs to be done so that the theatre stage is compatible with the trial.

New Downtown Master Plan [w/ PICTURES]

Jeremy

The plan fails completely at addressing bicycle access to downtown businesses, even the Live on Grand concept (which is awesome) appears to cut off a major bicycle access point at the Grand Avenue bridge. None of the roads downtown are planned to allow better or safer bicycle access. With the bus transfer center being moved further from the core of the downtown, across Farwell Street and onto Dewey Street, the plan does nothing to encourage people to come downtown without a car. To add insult, the location where the bus transfer station is now will be a large car parking lot in this plan. Were transit riders interviewed for this plan?

New Downtown Master Plan [w/ PICTURES]

Jeremy

I appreciate the pedestrian-oriented approach to the downtown, because the walking experience needs to improve drastically. No one is going to want to walk on Farwell Street for example unless the sidewalk is widened and planted with trees, and they can cross the street easier. The only way to do that is to get rid of a car traffic lane in each direction -- it has the same traffic volume as Water Street so it should go on a diet. Perhaps bike lanes could also fit on Farwell. Why does this plan have such a half-assed vision for Farwell? A median isn't going to cut it.

Hastings Way Redesign Update

Jeremy

All three alternatives are lacking in how they accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians for traveling the corridor between north and south Eau Claire, and to get across the roadway itself. Due to the persistence of so many turn lanes (and the insanely dangerous dedicated right turn lanes where drivers only look left when they are turning right) the road really doesn't get that much narrower when you go from 3 to 2 travel lanes in each direction, and on the southern end of the corridor there are still 3 lanes, causing bike lanes to not even exist in Alt. 3. Crosswalks need to be painted to cross at many more intersections such as Valmont, Altoona, Pleasant, and Kirk St. - it is a joke not to include crosswalks where it is legal to cross. Also, why is the Spooner Ave. bike trail from Altoona not connected to this corridor in any way? The speed limit of 35mph is laughable right now (people are going 45mph without consequence) and once the pavement is smooth they will certainly not slow down. The speed limit needs to be brought down to 30mph. As far as which alternative is best, I think having bicycle lanes the entire length of the corridor with sidewalks on both sides is the best (Alt. 3 is closest to this). Sidewalks can still be legally traveled by bicycle to accommodate families and kids, but a roadway bicycle lane is a must in order for someone to actually travel the length of the corridor safely and quickly. Otherwise there are conflict points at every driveway and intersection when you force bikes onto a sidewalk or path. There are endless problems with all three alternatives if you look at them closely – they are a great improvement on first glance but they break down quickly. We need to demand a lot more from the planners.

Jeremy

I commend the organizers of this event. We need to do everything that we can to address climate change.

Candidates Ask WEAU, WQOW to Yank…

Jeremy

I've attending numerous town hall meetings about Healthy Wisconsin and similar proposals, and the ads are quite dishonest. It is sad to see our local TV stations be complicate and still run the ads.

These ads are not surprising coming from the desperate Republicans and their allied interest groups wanting more of the same. Money talks and it is almost always lying.

Check out the websites of the groups who sponsored the ads, which of course, you've never heard of: http://www.coalition4families.com/

http://www.wilead.org/

Let's Get Political!

Jeremy

Ralph Nader's visit to town yesterday was a great addition to the political debate. What other candidate would allow Q/A from anyone in the audience, and then spend nearly an hour talking to attendees and signing books afterward? Nader even stopped for a photo at Joel's Water Street Auto before he left town!

http://www.leadertelegram.com/blogs/blog.asp?id=217