Wisconsin DOT says "no" to Hoan Bridge bike lane

MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation decides not to go ahead with the proposed bike lane on the Hoan Bridge. Many cyclists are not happy about the decision.

The proposed $9.4 million plan was cancelled, according to DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb, because the money could have been better spent elsewhere. Here's the statement from DOT:

"Given the need to prioritize the top economic development projects, after careful study, WisDOT is not  moving forward with a bike path on the Hoan Bridge. “The Hoan Bridge is

a vital part of the Milwaukee-area freeway system. However, the alternatives presented in the feasibility study would impair our ability to provide safe, efficient travel and deliver less value than other possible department investments in economic development in Milwaukee,” Secretary Gottlieb said."

Kevin Hardman of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin says relative to population has the largest bicycle industry in the nation, and a connected bike path could have added jobs.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says the bike lane would add to deputy concerns, calling it the "dumbest thing (he's) ever heard of."

The comments by Sheriff Clarke followed the death of 39-year-old Boby Jiles. On October 4th he was hit by a car and was sent flying over the side of the bridge.

FOX6's Jeremy Ross spoke with Senator Chris Larson, who has long been a supporter of the bike lane. He says there could be some hope to restore the bike lane during the 2013 budget process.