Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Parking Reform Network

2018 parking space downtown La Crosse
Red=cars only. Pink= includes retail/housing.
We just learned that the President of the Parking Reform Network will give a Zoom presentation to the Neighborhood Revitalization Commission on May 1 at 6:00 p.m. The PRN is a national organization that educates the public about the impacts of parking policy on climate, equity, housing, and traffic.
Below are the links for the May 1, 2024 6:00 pm Neighborhood Revitalization Commission meeting. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall or online via Zoom: https://cityoflacrosse-org.zoom.us/j/82155464093?pwd=aGw1NWRRUE4xM1RxajJxaTM0QkNUQT09
Meeting ID: 821 5546 4093
Passcode: 543969
Dial in: 1-312-626-6799

We give up a whole lot of public space to cars, especially car storage. All those on street spaces, surface lots, and parking ramps have a cost. It's not just the money, though that's a big chunk of change (especially for people who don't own cars), but it's also the cost in safety, equity, induced driving, and removal of space for other public use - walking, biking, meeting and talking, playing, and living.

The great book MOVEMENT: How to take back our streets and transform our lives discusses the history of losing this public space to cars, the auto-centrism that maintains this unfair system, and the steps we can take to make things change.

An eye-opening webinar by Marco te Brömmelstroet, co-author of MOVEMENT, looks at how language and framing drives the way we consider a situation, decide what the problems are, and prioritize solutions. A "car brain" focus gives us car-priority results. So, we end up with important government and social services that are not accessible unless you have a car, a whole wide lane of Losey Boulevard reserved for occasionally turning cars rather than one for bicyclists, or too-wide paved spaces in low-traffic neighborhoods reserved for car/boat/utility trailer/dumpster/other wheeled vehicle storage rather than repurposed and protected for pedestrians to use.

Several years ago, the Wisconsin Bike Fed and others hosted Open Streets events, where cars were temporarily blocked from driving on a couple of city streets so people, including all the non-drivers in our community, could experience a few hours of fun on the streets we all pay for. These events were not meant to be one-time recreations. They were meant to wake people out of our car brain stupor so we could start making car-free or car-lĂ­te/cars-as-guests streets the norm in parts of our community.

As part of a demonstration protected bike lane (pbl) in 2017, we included a display of all the downtown space reserved for parked cars (see map above). The map is eye-opening. All the space that could be parks, outdoor shopping and dining, benches, businesses, shops, housing, offices, services, and more is just sitting there, waiting for a car, and adding to the heat island effect and storm water runoff.

But this program is part of the discussion about reducing or eliminating some parking minimums, which could free up some parking space for other uses. We have to be careful, though, about residential parking requirements. Requiring less off street parking for apartments is fine if there's good transit in a community but maybe not so great if transportation choices are limited.

Check it out.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

May 5 - MMIWG


M.M.I.W. (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women) 5K

Join the Ho-Chunk Nation La Crosse Youth and Learning Center for a 5K run/walk to raise awareness and honor the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women.
  • 11:00 - Registration opens
  • 12:30 - Introduction to the missing & murdered indigenous women and girls epidemic
  • 12:35 - Mayoral Proclamation
  • 12:40 - La Crosse City Council Resolution
  • 12:50 - Wisconsin M.M.I.W. Taskforce
  •   1:00 - 5k run begins
  •   2:00 - Closing remarks

Friday, April 26, 2024

Earth Fair Rain Plans

Yesterday, the Earth Fair committee decided to reduce the scope of the event due to forecasts of rainy, possibly dangerous, weather. Outside events like the animals and EV car show are cancelled. And, there will be no tents put up so the groups that usually table there won't be there.

Learn more at


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Ride SMRT 2 Viroqua

The Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT) bus is a regional public transportation supported by public-private partnership in a multi-county area. In Wisconsin, with no Regional Taxing Authority for public transit, this is kind of a miracle. 

SMRT brings and takes workers, patients, elders, teens, and tourists from La Crosse to Tomah, Viroqua, and Prairie du Chien almost every weekday for $4 per ride. Those who live in rural communities along the routes may take the SMRT to an appointment at a La Crosse Clinic or to a job at a nursing home in the next community over. 

La Crosse Area Transit Advocates, a grassroots organization that educates about, supports, and advocates for better public transportation in our area, will host a ride on the SMRT bus to Viroqua on Wednesday, May 1. We'll catch the mid-morning Yellow route as it winds through La Crosse and land in Viroqua at about 11 a.m. From there, participants can visit the Vernon County Museum, Viroqua parks, fantastic local-food restaurants, and unique shops. There are several options for return times. There's even a public shared ride taxi in Viroqua.

The cost per ride is $4 cash, paid to the driver. More details can be found at https://lacrosseata.blogspot.com/p/smrt-2-viroqua.html  Space is limited!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

3rd CD Candidate Forum


Listen to this evening's 3rd CD Democratic Primary Candidate Forum live from Stevens Point. 6:30-8:00pm tonight, Wednesday, April 24. https://civicmedia.us/vote

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Spring into Sustainability


APRIL 24 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Are you interested in sustainable lawn care practices? Want to help preserve our pollinators? Learn about the benefits of leaving your lawn long, make native seed bombs to support local biodiversity, register for the No Mow May challenge, hear from Wisconsin Master Naturalists and our friends at La Crosse Area Waters and more! This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Jail Ministry Fundraiser

From La Crosse Jail Ministry:

Culver's at 4101 Mormon Coulee Road is helping to support La Crosse Jail Ministry. On Tuesday, April 23, Culver’s will donate 10% of all sales at their location between 5 and 7 pm.

When you eat at this location during those times, you will help to support the effort!

As Culver's says, "There's no limit to how much heart you can put into the community - and we're always looking for ways to help our friends and neighbors.

Join us and consider giving what you can to our local cause today. Thank you for your support!"

Tell all your friends, family and community about this important fundraising event for the La Crosse Jail Ministry.    Thank you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ride the bus to the fair!

If you are going to the La Crosse Earth Fair at Myrick Park on April 28 and you can't ride, roll, or walk there, take the bus!

The MTU #4 will divert its route on that day to get you right to the park. Even better, fares will be FREE!! 

If you don't live on the #4 route, there are several large parking lots along the way where you can park and hop on the bus. Big lots are by the old Shopko South, near the Village Shopping Center, and by the Western TC Apprenticeship building on 21st Place S.

Or, you could park at the Jay Street ramp which is just across the street from the Transit Center. Or, you can take another bus to the Transit Center and transfer to the #4.

There will be no driving around looking for a parking place, no walking blocks to get back to your car. And it'll be so much fun (and safer and less stressful!) You never know who you'll meet on the bus!

If you are going with a group, you don't need to worry about how many people fit in your car. If you have little kids, riding the bus can be part of the fun of the fair. And it's a great opportunity to talk with them and others about the climate benefits of public transit.

If you've never ridden the bus before, LATA (La Crosse Area Transit Advocates) offers Rides with a Guide. We'll ride with you, make sure you understand the apps and maps, and answer your questions so you can become a bus riding pro. Contact us to set up a guided ride by email (lacrossetransitadvocates@proton.me) or by phone: 608-315-2693.

See you at the fair! See you on the bus!

Monday, April 15, 2024

La Crosse SOUP

Broth, bread, and big ideas: Uniting La Crosse through SOUP

LA CROSSE, Wis., (April 15, 2024) - La Crosse SOUP is back with another exciting event, inviting the community to join hands in supporting creative projects aimed at enhancing our city. La Crosse SOUP isn't just a dinner; it's a collaborative celebration, a platform for connection, and a testament to the power of community-driven change.

The upcoming La Crosse SOUP event is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, at The Main - An Event Space located at 424 Main Street in Downtown La Crosse. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., offering attendees an opportunity to mingle over delicious food and drinks before the main program kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Presentations from diverse groups will showcase innovative ideas designed to make La Crosse an even better place for all. The winning project, chosen by the audience through votes, will receive the funds raised during the event to bring their vision to life.

For just a $5 suggested donation, attendees will enjoy soup and bread while actively participating in the selection of our next funded community project. This is a chance for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to make a tangible difference in their city while enjoying an evening filled with creativity, collaboration, and fun.

The lineup of pitches for this event includes:

YAB Coulee Region: Empowering young individuals aged 14 to 24 to combat youth homelessness through feedback and collaboration with state and federal agencies.

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA): Creating a safer environment for children who have experienced abuse by offering support and empowerment through a united force of bikers.

The Penguin Project: Celebrating diversity and fostering friendships among children aged 8 to 18 with specific needs and disabilities through theatrical performances and mentorship.

In addition to the inspiring pitches, attendees will be treated to delicious soups and bread courtesy of the Beer By Bike Brigade, along with sweet treats from the bake sale provided by the La Crosse Polytechnic School community.

This event wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: @properties La Crosse, Altra Federal Credit Union, Rural Mutual Insurance: Kevin Carlson, Style by Kathy and Charisma Salon, and Driftless Recovery Services.

For more information, to submit a pitch, or to become a sponsor, visit www.SoupNation.org

Let's come together on April 25 to support innovative projects and strengthen our community, one bowl of soup at a time.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Bad River film screening


FREE screening of an important new documentary. BAD RIVER chronicles the Wisconsin-based Bad River band of Lake Superior Chippewa and its ongoing fight to save Lake Superior.

Monday, April 29 at 5 p.m.
at the Rivoli
in downtown La Crosse. 

Free but must register.


Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Co-opCoulee Region Sierra Club, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse Public Library, La Crosse Youth & Learning Center, UWL ALANA, UWL Students for Sustainability, Viterbo University Student  Sustainability Club

Learn more about the film: https://www.badriverfilm.com/

Learn more about Line 5: https://www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin/line-5

TAKE THE BUS! The number 4, 5, and 6 MTU stops nearby.

Monday, April 08, 2024

April 9 - How to reduce your fossil fuel use

From Coulee Region Sierra Club:

Don't forget - find out how you can become more energy efficient, reduce your fossil fuel use, and save money!

Tuesday, April 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Myrick Park Nature Place in La Crosse, learn how you can use federal Inflation Reduction Act funds and other incentives to upgrade your home or business with cleaner, more efficient appliances and building components. Find out how much you might be eligible for and how to finance the upgrades. There is no charge for this event

You may have heard that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the single largest investment in climate and energy in American history, but what does that mean for you? It could mean a more comfortable living space, lower energy bills, and reducing your household's carbon emissions! On April 9 from 6:00-8:00, join us at The Nature Place (789 Myrick Park Dr., La Crosse) for a program on the financial incentives available through the IRA - from solar panels and insulation to HVAC and electric vehicles. AND find out how your actions can help the City of La Crosse reach its ambitious community climate goals. We will have a presentation from approximately 6:15-7:00, followed by time to chat with co-hosting organizations and fellow attendees.

Co-hosted by Coulee Region Sierra Club, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Citizen Action of Wisconsin's Driftless Co-op, Citizens' Climate Lobby's La Crosse Chapter, and the City of La Crosse. Please RSVP here (not required but appreciated).


Friday, April 05, 2024

4/11: The Right Kind of White

 From Pearl Street Books

Pearl St. Books is excited to share that Garrett Bucks will be in store on Thursday, April 11th from 6:30-7:30pm, speaking about his new book - The Right Kind of White.

Below please find more information about the book:

As the product of progressive parents and a liberal upbringing, Garrett Bucks prided himself on the pursuit of being a “good white person.”

The kind of white person who treats their privilege as a responsibility and not a burden; the kind of white person who people of color see as the peak example of racial allyship; the kind of white person who other white people might model their own aspirations of being “better” after.

But it’s Buck's obsession with “goodness” that prevents him from building meaningful relationships, particularly those who look like him. The Right Kind of White charts Garrett’s intellectual and emotional odyssey in his pursuit of this ideal whiteness, the price of its admission, and the work he’s doing to bridge the divide from those he once sought distance from.

Garrett Bucks is the founder of The Barnraisers Project, which has trained nearly one thousand participants to organize majority-white communities for racial and social justice. He is also the author of the popular newsletter The White Pages. Originally from Montana, he lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and two children. The Right Kind of White is his first book.

We hope that you can attend. We also hope that you will help us spread the word and encourage Waking up White members to attend.

Listed below is a link to the Facebook event and attached you will find a poster for your use.

Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Thanks in advance, as always!

323 Pearl Street
La Crosse, WI 54601


Thursday, April 04, 2024

What can I do about climate emergency?

Free download: 

"I tried to lay out the range of activities in an orderly way, from hyperlocal to national and local (not leaving out regional and statewide), addressing the categories (and yeah, climate footprints & move your money at the end)." - Rebecca Solnit


Ironically, we just finalized a local screening of the new film BAD RIVER, about the Bad River band's fight to keep a dangerous fracked-fossil fuel pipeline off of its land and watershed. We will put more up about that soon. 

But now, this urgent request comes fron the Sierra Club, which has been fighting alongside the Bad River band to end this disastrous pipeline project. Please act now!

What: Call the White House Today

Why: The Biden Administration will file a legal brief on Monday April 8th at the Court of Appeals in the Bad River court case. A lower federal court ordered Enbridge to stop trespassing by removing Line 5 from the reservation by June of 2026—earlier if flooding exposes more of the pipeline. But Enbridge has appealed that order and the court has requested that the Dept of Justice file an amicus brief on this issue. 

We need the DOJ to support  the Bad River Band, acknowledging that the Tribe has sovereignty over its land and in its fight to shut down and remove the pipeline from their land .

When: We need a strong push before the deadline.  The White House comment Line is only open Tuesday - Thursday from 10am - 2pm CT.

We know this is last minute, and we appreciate your action today!

Sample Script:

Hello, my name is _____.  I live in_____.

I urge you to support the Bad River Band in their fight against the Line 5 oil pipeline. Please act to permanently shut down Line 5.

[UPDATE:] The comment line number, 202-456-1111, is hanging up on people, but you can call the WH switchboard at 202-456-1414 and tell them you want (or choose the option) to leave a comment.

You can stay on hold to talk to an operator, or if the lines are busy it will give you an option to leave a message.

Report back:

Want to tell us how it went? Email Natalie to tell us that you made a call and how it went! Natalie.cook@sierraclub.org