Alderman questions new bike-lane plan
The news coverage on item 12 on the agenda at the Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting Sept. 17, at first blush, is very incomplete at best. This is very understandable because no one, other than the mayor and Council President Vandertie, knew it was coming before the council. Everyone was prepared for another recommendation discussion, which was noticed and part of the council information packet.
News capsule summaries have sounded pretty desirable until you read deeper into the proposal. Here are some questions I immediately have, and tried to ask at the council meeting.
Why was this proposal allowed to be brought forward previous to the recommendation of staff that was advertised? Was the taxpayer expense of removing or changing every current line on the street looked at? What happens in the approximate seven months or more waiting period to safety with fading lines and an entirely new upcoming learning curve?
Were the increased pressure and time involved in police enforcement issues considered? How about a 15- to 25-mph speed limit, with a dashed center line and parking on both sides, allowing passing in both directions near our busiest school zone? How about a fatigued cyclist, like myself, riding home from church, uphill, eastbound on Michigan Street, without a bike lane, holding up traffic?
How about an experienced biker or organized group of bikers riding on the sharrows in one or both lanes at 8 to 12 mph holding up traffic? How about the bicyclist encouraged or forced onto the sidewalks, which are supposed to be for wheelchairs, mothers with strollers, elderly and youth to walk and ride on?
These and many other questions will now have to be addressed. All of these issues and more were discussed by staff when they made their Plan A recommendation. None were discussed with the passed recommendation.
Finally, I was so shocked and surprised at the council meeting, I could not and would not talk to the press for fear of what I might say. How could a councilman ignore 83 pages of council packet information and an excellent staff recommendation, to bring forward a proposal with no supporting information or drawings to be voted on with no advance notice to the public, media, or the council members? How could the mayor allow such a plan to come forward first? How could the council pass such a proposed plan? The staff recommendation should have been addressed first out of respect to them.
Nobody knows better than me that majority rules, and I accept this proposal's passage. I probably would have voted for this myself had it come through the proper channels and all the questions could have been addressed. We have bigger issues to deal with in the immediate future, but I hope the council and mayor learned something from this and will do a better job with the agenda in the future.
Bob Schlicht Jr.
The Lambeau letters
The decision by one-time "Golden Girl" Mary Jane Sorgel, lead cheerleader during the Lombardi era, to release to the public long-held personal correspondence with her friend Earl "Curly" Lambeau, will be rewarding for sports collectors long steeped in the fascinating lore and interesting tradition of the Green Bay Packers.
Presumably, they will be bought by someone who will also share them with fans in some historical presentation.
The Packers were founded in Green Bay by player/coach Lambeau and George Calhoun way back in 1919.
When the team first joined the American Professional Football Association in 1919, forerunner to today's National Football League, this organization had only then a handful of big-city team members at most.
The Packers remaining the oldest ongoing pro team, along with the Chicago Bears founded by George "Papa" Halas, and the two teams hold the longest continuous rivalry in all of professional football.