Friday, May 28, 2021

Help plan the future of regional transit!

 At their May 27 public input virtual open house, SRF Consultants introduced the next access points for public input into their Regional Transit Development (TDP) planning process for the La Crosse Area Planning Committee (LAPC). Please take advantage of these opportunities!

From the Public Meetings and Materials web page:

Help us shape the future of transit in the La Crosse region! This 10-minute survey is one part of the La Crosse Regional TDP, which will provide a vision for transit over the next ten years. The survey will help the planning team understand existing travel behavior, help create service recommendations and prioritization, and provide La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility, Onalaska Shared Ride, and Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit with customer service feedback. Please provide your input by taking this 10-minute community survey:

Please help us spread the word by sharing this survey with your family, friends, colleagues, and networks. Responses will remain confidential and will not be shared or used for any other purposes.

You may also leave specific comments on the map of this interactive website. Add your ideas to the map by clicking on “Add Comment” or “Add Bus Route.” You can zoom in or out on the map to place points or draw routes in specific locations in the community.

More opportunities for public input are coming, including in-person events. You are also welcome to email. Again, from the LAPC TDP web page:

We want to hear from you!

  • What do you like about existing transit service in the region?
  • What don't you like?
  • How can service be improved?
  • What do you want service to look like in 10 years?
  • If you're not a current transit user, what would encourage you to start using transit?

If you couldn't make the May 27 meeting, you can view the presentation and its recording.

Comments and questions can also be directed to project staff:

Friday, May 21, 2021

What could K-Mart be?

Let's get some CREATIVE THINKERS at this event!


What: Public Open House & Input Session regarding the Kmart Re-Development

When: Wednesday, May 26th, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Where: 2415 State Road, La Crosse, WI (Inside the old Kmart building)

You are invited to attend a public open house session on Wednesday, May 26th, from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. in the old Kmart building, located at 2415 State Road, La Crosse, WI.

The purpose of this working session open house is to listen to surrounding neighbors and community members to receive input for the Redevelopment of the Kmart Site. Our goal is have community identify high-value neighborhood assets, define “what is missing,” outline areas of pedestrian constraints to the Kmart Site, and vision what the site could become.

Jack Zabrowski

Associate Planner

Be a transit advocate - May 27 open house

One of the most important ways individuals and households can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is to stop driving fossil fueled vehicles. Using "active transit," walking, biking, or taking the bus, not only is major climate action, but it also makes for less congestion, healthier people, cleaner air, and a more equitable community.

If you don't take the bus, why is that? To be sure, while our service is good for Wisconsin, it's not so great for those who don't live near a bus line, have to go places outside of service hours, or have other issues. But, that shouldn't be an invitation to forget about the bus. It should be a call to get involved in advocating for better bus service--more and more frequent service, more convenient routes, better connections.

Not everyone can, should, or can afford to own and drive a car (the national average cost to own and maintain a vehicle is more than $9,000!) Should that relegate them to living half-lives, unable to go to an event because the bus has stopped running, unable to take a job because the bus doesn't go there, unable to visit friends because there's no service?

If those of us who claim to care about the climate, about economic justice, about equity, about community would advocate for better public transportation, it would make a difference.

Here's your chance:

The La Crosse Area Planning Committee is embarking on a process to create a 10-year Regional Transit Development Plan, and your input is needed!

A virtual open house will take place through Zoom on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5 p.m. to discuss future transit service improvements for La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility (MTU), Onalaska Shared Ride (OSR), and Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT). We want to hear from the community – transit users and non-users alike – about how bus service could be improved, and what it should look like in the future. Please click the link below to register for the open house meeting.

Register in advance for the open house on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5pm here:

Passcode: LCRTDP

The TDP will report existing conditions, public feedback, community needs, and recommendations for how the area transit operators should align services to meet the needs of a growing region. We want to hear about your experiences with La Crosse regional transit services and gather feedback on how we should prioritize service improvements.

Share this open house invite with others in the La Crosse region! Please help us spread the word by sharing this open house invite with your family, friends, colleagues and networks.

The project is an initiative of the La Crosse Area Planning Committee (LAPC). Visit for more information.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

May 21 Bike to Work Day

And you don't have to dress like you're a competitor in the Tour de France, either!

Downtown Mainstreet and Drift Cycle are hosting Bike to Work Day on May 21. You could also Bike to the Library, Bike to the Grocery Store, or Bike to School.

Stop by the DMI office at 422 Main Street for a little treat and to learn more about Drift Cycle Bike Share Program.
  • 7 am to 8:30 am
    360 Nutrition will have power teas and power bars.
    DMI will distribute OJ and treats from downtown businesses.
  • 11:30 am to 1 pm
    Meet Mayor Mitch Reynolds!
    DMI will distribute sub-sandwiches and lemonade.
  • 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
    Drift Cycle Swag and Membership Special – half off an annual membership, $50 only $25 at our event.
    Membership includes unlimited half hour rides with each additional half hour is only $1
    Drift Bikes can be returned to any of the six Drift Bike stations in downtown.
  • There will be a Drift Cycle demonstration at each time slot.
    Drift Cycle is offering:
    FREE 1-hour ride Referral Code for new members
    FREE 1 hour Promo Code for existing members.
Go for a solo ride. Take a photo. Share it with the world. Show how #BikesUnite.

Tips for bike commuting:

* Get a comfy upright bike with fenders (or get some light-weight clip-on fenders)

* Wear normal clothes (invest in a rain suit for wet days#)

* Don't race! Easy pace!

* Have a basket, panniers, or rack trunk to carry your lunch, water, wallet, phone, etc. Backpacks work, too, but they might be uncomfortable.

* If it might be rainy, take a bag or seat cap to keep your saddle dry.

* Agitate for secure covered bike parking close to your workplace or classroom.

* Agitate for PROTECTED BIKE LANES on all major routes so anyone of any age or ability (AAA riders) can safely and joyously ride to work, school, or wherever they want to go.

* If needed, you can put your bike on the bus.

And pick a route that you'll feel comfortable riding--as straight as possible. Often, one street over from the busy street is a super quiet street you'll have mostly to yourself. But don't be satisfied with crappy routing and second-class status.

# There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

Fair Maps & Equal Access


The May meeting of Our Wisconsin Revolution will feature presenters from the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition talking about adopting and implementing non-partisan redistricting to end gerrymandering in Wisconsin. This meeting will be conducted virtually. Please complete the RSVP to receive the zoom link!

On Wednesday, May 26, join the ACLU of Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley Votes and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin for a statewide training and discussion on conducting voter registration and absentee ballot request events within county jails. This training will prepare you to take action in your area of Wisconsin!

Each of the 72 counties in Wisconsin have a jail where individuals are detained. Of the population incarcerated in county jails in Wisconsin, upwards of half of these individuals retain their right to vote. The ACLU of Wisconsin has made two public records requests to identify the processes in place within these jails to ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast their ballot in an informed manner. The results of these requests were disheartening to say the least. Democracy works best when all voices can be heard - including those of us who have made mistakes in our lives.

Find out how Chippewa Valley Votes, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and the ACLU of Wisconsin are teaming up to protect access to the ballot for one of the most marginalized demographics in Wisconsin. If you are a fellow voting rights advocate, this training and discussion will prepare you to take the first steps in conducting a voter registration and absentee ballot request event in your county’s jail.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May 18 Transit Talk

Join local transit advocates ONLINE on Tuesday, May 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a Transit Talk with La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds and MTU director Adam Lorentz. Hear how COVID-19 affected the MTU; what's new as stimulus funds come to our area; what's planned for the future; and how the mayor, council and city can support and strengthen our public transportation system. Participants will have the chance to ask questions during the event.

To get access information, please REGISTER at this link: ( or call 608-315-2693 (leave message for call back) for instructions about dialing in to participate by telephone.

Co-sponsored by the Coulee Region Sierra Club, Citizen Action Driftless Co-op, and La Crosse Area Transit Advocates.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Support future gardeners!


GROW La Crosse manages school gardens throughout the region. Children get to plant, weed, and harvest food right at school. But GROW does much more, helping connect children to the natural world, hungry families with food, and community members to a wonderful opportunity to do good.

Help GROW if you can. Attend the plant sale or volunteer to help out at a school garden in your neighborhood.

They have started their lessons in the gardens with the students. They are doing some caring work like tilling soil and planting with the students, but there is much more work to be done to keep the gardens looking good and producing lots. That's where community volunteers come in.

Click on the link below to fill out the 2021 volunteer form.  This form will gather important contact and task comfort info needed. GROW will contact volunteers soon with scheduling and other information.

There are other opportunities to increase the supply of free, fresh, healthy, locally-grown food in our neighborhoods. Community victory gardens are growing again this year and can always use volunteers. See for details. 

The Kane Street Community Garden relies on volunteers, too, during open hours: M & The from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., T, W, F from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Public input for country's comprehensive plan


La Crosse County is a diverse and growing place with a rich history and an exciting future. Our Comprehensive Plan - ENVISION 2050 - will be a vision for how we build that future together. The plan will be a collective effort that will reflect our diversity and prioritize our values. We will create a vision for a sustainable and thriving La Crosse County and a roadmap for how we get there. ENVISION 2050 will guide La Crosse County’s budgets, land use and natural resource policies, and general direction for the next generation and beyond.

A Comprehensive Plan is:

  • A long-range planning document that must be updated at least once every 10 years.
  • A description of the existing condition of the county, including land use, demographics, and the local economy, and a vision for the future, taking into consideration various risks and opportunities.
  • An opportunity for the community to agree on the values and vision that should guide the county’s decision-making process.
  • A combination of data, statistics and public input that includes expertise, personal stories, and values

The State of Wisconsin’s 1999 comprehensive planning law requires that all land use decisions in the county be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

We encourage PUBLIC PARTICIPATION throughout the process.  Please go to for opportunities to provide input.

We also encourage you to explore data on the County, using our DATA HUB -


CP comment: Please rank sustainability on top. 

This survey is one of those frustrating no-alternative, we pick the universe of choices, ranking exercises. It starts in the wrong place: Rank your choices-Who would you save in a fire? yourself? your mom? your daughter? your partner?  your son? your father?

Instead, a useful survey would start with: Please rank what our top priority should be: Put out the fire that's burning down our house? Make plans for our next vacation? Try to talk crazy uncle Bob (who doesn't believe in fire) into quitting smoking? Decide where to roll over our IRA investment?  Change the curtains in the living room?

So, the County's planning survey should start with: What should be our top priority over the next thirty years? 

And science has already answered that question. 

"Stabilizing Earth’s temperature to significantly reduce risks to societies now requires greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero by 2050. This translates to cutting greenhouse gases by about 50% by 2030 alongside significant removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere." - from A Roadmap to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50 Percent by 2030, Stanford University, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, September 2019.

We must save ourselves--by working as quickly as possible to reduce, cut, eliminate greenhouse gas emissions--above all things. If that doesn't happen, all the other priorities and plans and dreams will be ash.

PLEASE participate in these surveys, especially if you live in the City of La Crosse, the county's population center. Too often in regional planning decisions, it seems, much smaller bedroom communities demand a vote and say way out of proportion to their populations. On the planning committee, the City of La Crosse (51,227) gets one vote and so does the City of Onalaska (18,943) and the Town of Onalaska (5,766) and so does the Town of Campbell (~4,300). Even Medary (~1,506) gets a vote. 

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Housing Day Resource Center meetong

The Downtown Neighborhood Association and Washburn Neighborhood Association invite you to attend a special joint meeting on Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30pm to hear about a new Housing Day Resource Center being proposed for 212 11th St. South, the former Mayo Behavioral Health Clinic building located at 11th & King. 

What: Washburn & Downtown Joint Neighborhood Meeting
Topic: Proposal for a Housing Day Resource Center at 11th & King (former Mayo building)
Date & Time: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:30pm
Location: Sanctuary on King, 721 King St. (in the old sanctuary space)
Masks & social distancing required - enter through doors on King Street

The Housing Day Resource Center is a collaborative project of YWCA La Crosse, Salvation Army, Couleecap, Catholic Charities, and Independent Living Resources. A project overview is attached for your review. 

The purpose of this meeting is to facilitate transparent dialogue between neighbors and the project partners, as we recognize this topic is of special concern to many living in the Washburn & Downtown neighborhoods. We encourage you to come prepared with questions and feedback. A full agenda will be shared at least one day prior to the meeting.

Please email or with questions.


Downtown Neighborhood Association Executive Board &
Washburn Neighborhood Association Executive Board

Read the project overview.