Hobart board approves pedestrian, bicycle master plan
By Kevin Boneske
HOBART – The village board gave final approval Tuesday, Dec. 3, to a pedestrian and bicycle master plan drafted by Brown County Planning to be used as an official planning document for Hobart.
Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said a memo he developed related to the plan assigns certain tasks to staff and committees.
For the Planning and Zoning Commission’s consideration, Kramer said revisions are being proposed to the village’s zoning code to make it more “pedestrian-friendly.”
For the Public Work and Utilities Advisory Committee or Community Development Authority, Kramer said the master plan proposes improvements, along with funding sources and cost estimates.
“Some of these are pretty pricey, some of these things are very simple to do and don’t require anything more than striping and signage,” he said.
For the Hobart-Lawrence Police Department, Kramer said the plan calls for an educational component, such as teaching bicycle safety at Hillcrest Elementary.
With the bulk of village growth happening in the northern half of Hobart, Kramer said there are opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian connections between different residential areas and to Centennial Centre.
“There’s no connectivity (between subdivisions in north Hobart),” he said. “I live up there, so I can attest to it. It makes Halloween trick-or-treating very interesting.”
Kramer said building a pedestrian and bicycle network through the existing population centers in north Hobart and tying it to the planned County VV interchange could someday result in a route extending north over State Highway 29 to the Mountain Bay Trail.
“That’s the ultimate dream I think here, but it’s not going to happen overnight,” he said.
Kramer said the main goal now for the plan in northern Hobart is getting people to Four Seasons Park.
“A lot of that is signage, education and striping,” he said. “That can be done for a minimal cost.”
Kramer said it currently is difficult to get pedestrian and bicycle connectivity from the northern half to the southern half of the village.
“Really, the only existing infrastructure is Oneida, and I’m not very confident there is going to be a receptive response to us proposing or sharing or interacting those components into our plan,” he said.
In the southern part of Hobart, the plan calls for creating connections to Lawrence, Ashwaubenon and Green Bay, but Kramer said those connections, such as into Ashwaubenon, could cost more than $100,000 and require grant funding to do.
“The south (of Hobart) is changing…,” he said. “There’s more development being planned. Lawrence has got more development planned right on our border. It’s easier to get this stuff put in before the houses are built than after.”
Kramer said implementation of the plan will begin next year.