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ROLLING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: New Bike Route Signage Pops Up in the Valley

new route signage is part of multi-year project

McKenna Scherer |

HOP ON! Nearly 1,000 new bicycle route signage will be going up throughout this year, and likely in the coming years too.
HOP ON! An ongoing bike route signage project will ultimately include nearly 1,000 signs around the Chippewa Valley.

Folks may have noticed new street signage rolling out in the area in recent weeks, and you’ll continue seeing more of it in the coming years. A new system of color-coded, numbered, and signed bike routes are going up throughout Eau Claire, Altoona, Lake Hallie, and Chippewa Falls areas as part of a multi-year project spearheaded by Bike Chippewa Valley.

A collaborative effort between Bike Chippewa Valley and the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWPRC), the new signage indicates bike routes throughout the region, including the Old Abe and Chippewa River state trails,  labeled Route 1 and colored red.

The routes are a combination of street and trail routes meant to help people get where they need to go, including places that may seem difficult to get to on a bike – such as the Oakwood Mall area in Eau Claire – says Bike Chippewa Valley President Jeremy Gragert, who also serves on the Eau Claire City Council. 

The Chippewa Valley Bike Map was used to identify the bike route system, which the two organizations have worked on together for the past decade as a separate project. When the Valley’s new system of bike signage is put up in full, a map of it will be created.

From the Chippewa Valley Bike Map.
Routes in the Chippewa Valley Bike Map.
From the Chippewa Valley Bike Map.
Routes in the Chippewa Valley Bike Map.

“A lot of work has been done by local governments to create safer and more comfortable bike routes in all of the communities of the Chippewa Valley, so these routes take advantage of some of that work of the last few decades,” Gragert continued. “But more work needs to be done to continue to improve them in the coming years. The routes even go into rural parts of Eau Claire and Chippewa counties.”

So far, Eau Claire County has installed six signs – along Routes 1 and 5 – with hopes of installing more as its budget allows. The Village of Lake Hallie has about 10 signs installed, and Chippewa Falls has about 26 signs installed, completing its segment of Route 1. The cities of Eau Claire and Altoona have not placed their signs yet, although Altoona has ordered its portion of the signs with hopes of installing this summer.

Dean Roth, secretary and treasurer of Bike Chippewa Valley, said the entire project will include 988 route marking signs (barring any route reconfiguration or changes in marking methods).

It will take a few more years before the signage rollout is completed, Gragert said, as local governments prioritize the project among their other needs and additional fundraising for signs and posts continues. This project was inspired, in part, by Wausau’s similar signage system.

Keep up with Bike Chippewa Valley online.