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2007 News Archive
07/18/2007 | Authorized Vehicle Crossing to Move Forward
In an effort to decrease response time for emergency responders and to lessen the risk for loss of life and damage to property, the Kenosha County Board has approved a right-of-entry for authorized vehicles crossing the Kenosha County Bike Trail between the Prairie Trails West and Prairie Trails East subdivisions in the Sheridan Woods Neighborhood. Authorized vehicles would include fire and rescue vehicles, police vehicles, and vehicles required to maintain the crossing, such as a snowplows.
Because a portion of the funding used to construct the Kenosha County Bike Trail was a $10,000 federal grant received in the 1970’s, the trail falls under the jurisdiction of both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Department of Interior. These two agencies will not allow for a public crossing of the trail with a street, however, they have authorized Kenosha County to allow the trail to be crossed with an emergency access crossing.
A “Master Conceptual Plan” for the area was first approved by the Village Board in July of 1990. At that time, a street crossing the Kenosha County Bike Trail, connecting the two subdivisions (both East and West) was proposed and approved. Since that time, further planning has taken place, and up until April of 2004, no concerns regarding the crossing were brought before the Village Board or Plan Commission.
In April of 2004, a group of residents in a subdivision to the west expressed concern about 122nd Street crossing the bike trail between 30th and 32nd Avenues. In response to residents’ concerns about the speed and safety of traffic crossing the bike trail, Village Staff reevaluated the plan and proposed five alternatives to address the residents’ concerns.
In December of 2005, a separate group of residents from a different subdivision to the north of Prairie Trails East requested that public access be allowed to cross the bike trail so as to equitably distribute the flow of traffic through both neighboring subdivisions (one on the west and one on the north). Police and Fire and Rescue concerns were also cited as reasons for allowing the street to pass the trail in order that they may have a more efficient route to homes in the subdivision in the event of an emergency.
After further research revealed the restrictions placed on projects that have received federal grant funding and the inability to cross the trail with a public road, only the emergency crossing was proposed and approved. The authorized vehicle crossing will allow authorized vehicles immediate access between the east side (30th Ave.) and the west side (122nd St.) of the Kenosha County Bike Trail. The crossing will be paved, gated and locked to prohibit any use by the general public. Emergency and maintenance vehicles needing access at the crossing will able to remotely operate the gate from their vehicle.
View previous years news below.