BPSSC discuss possible pride crosswalk between Reserve and Isadore Street
By Taylor J. Hale
Special to the Gazette
STEVENS POINT — The Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Street Safety Commission (BPSSC) met on Dec. 5 to announce the proposed resolution to create a pride crosswalk between Reserve and Isadore Street on the UW-Stevens Point campus.
This walkway would feature an inspirational display of art and color to catch the eye. The UWSP Student Government Association (SGA) initially proposed the idea to the city.
“It is a larger crosswalk, and it sees easily the largest pedestrian count in the city every day,” said BPSSC Chairperson, Trevor Roark.
The commission did not go into a full discussion on the topic during the assemblage due to Roark’s set engagement with the city public works director and SGA Representative, Chris Benny, sometime next week. Their coming meeting will outline the project in further detail.
“We will be meeting to discuss the possible improvements to the crosswalk,” Roark explained. The BPSSC is passionate about non-motorized transportation and goes as far as to distinguish it from “alternative” transportation.
“To some people, walking and biking isn’t their alternative. It is their main means of getting from point A to point B,” Roark said. “Generally speaking, our city and cities across the united states, have been designed to be really car-centric. Many times, safety and other modes of transportation are left behind.”
Roark’s outspoken zealousness for cycling and walking are organic and genuine. He believes that the traditional transit modes offer more than just a healthy exercise session, too.
“When you walk or bike, you actually connect with people randomly more often,” he explained. “Like when you are driving with your window up, you won’t talk to anyone unless you roll that window down to start yelling and honking in road rage. So sociability is a big thing when not in a vehicle.”
Mayor Mike Wiza supports the pride crosswalk. He understands it would aid the community’s aesthetics and functionality, but knows the Department of Transportation has strict stipulations on projects involving pedestrian street paths. Wausau has similar walkways in their downtown area, so the idea is not foreign to Portage County.
“The standards that the DOT has laid out are available online. We are working on the possibility of staying within those guidelines to make this happen,” Wiza said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to make something happen. I think it is a good idea to raise awareness. But we do not want to jeopardize pedestrian safety, vehicle safety and bike safety in the process.”
Final designs and colorations of the pride crosswalk are still undecided. Roark and others are thrilled to continue with the endeavor and hope the public takes an interest. It comes down to safety issues and legal hurdles.
The pride crosswalk would give students and denizens of Stevens Point a beacon of the city’s ardent spirit. It shows the power of the community when people work together to accomplish a goal.
To see the commission agenda visit https://stevenspoint.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3390.