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Muskego trail to be completed by 2017 under revised plan

Trail will connect fifth of city's population to trail system

March 17, 2013

Muskego - A recreational trail looping around Little Muskego Lake could be completed as early as 2017, under changes made to the long range trail plan by the Parks and Recreation Board recently.

The trail would not be right beside the water, running alongside major roads such as College Avenue and Martin Road. But it would connect about a fifth of the city's population to the city's trail system, said Alderman Daniel Soltysiak, who pushed for the change he said would make the trail system more cohesive.

The loop would connect bicyclists and walkers to parks around the lake such as Idle Isle, Park Arthur, Lions Park and Horn Park, not to mention all 12 of the city's lake accesses.

The entire loop was already in the city's trail system plan. Soltysiak offered a way to move construction of loop sections forward so that a cohesive loop trail could be created. Sections would be completed each year, including this year, when the Janesville Road trail will be extended as part of the Janesville Road widening project.

And it all could be done without using taxpayer dollars, Soltysiak said. The city could use landfill fees paid to the city by Veolia Environmental Services for operating a landfill in Muskego. The city should use landfill fees for enduring improvements that will enhance quality of life, such as trails and parks, he said.

One day the landfill fees will be gone, so it would be wise to not rely on them for operational expenses.

Part of the reason for proposing that the trail loop be moved up is that it provides a safe route for bicyclists and walkers along busy streets, Soltysiak said. College Avenue, for example, carries 8,400 cars per day. Racine Avenue carries 5,900 cars per day; Lannon Road, 3,400; Martin Drive, 3,000 and Hillendale Road, 2,500.

Some along those main roads have expressed concerns over safety that the recreation trails will address, he said.

In addition, the nearly 6-mile loop would provide safe access to the bulk of the trail system now south of Janesville Road to the 20 percent of Muskego residents who live north of Janesville, he said.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

Little Lake Loop

The Little Lake Loop of proposed recreation trails for bicyclists and walkers consists of:

Lannon Road (Janesville to Martin Road), proposed 6-foot wide path

Martin Road (Lannon Road to College Avenue), 8 feet wide

College Avenue (Martin Road to Hillendale Drive), 8 feet wide

Hillendale Road (College Avenue to Field Drive), not available

Racine Avenue (Hillendale Drive to Lions Park), 6 feet

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