Morris City Council Member Kevin Wohlers. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

What started out as informal comments about the 7th Street road project in Morris, turned into a full blown discussion about bike paths in the city of Morris at last week’s Morris City Council meeting. With the street’s repaving, an opportunity presents itself to turn part of the street into an official bike lane. Council Member Kevin Wohlers was in favor of getting something started in Morris for bicyclists, to fulfill another goal of the city’s sustainability efforts.

“If we’re trying to truly go the Green direction and promote that type of traffic, we’ve got to take the lead in that area, for sure,” said Wohlers.

Council Member Brian Solvie, however, expressed some concern about going down a slippery slope of creating bike lanes all over town, at increased expense. “We start a bike lane there, where does it stop?” asked Solvie. “Are we going to go down California, too? Go on Columbia? We going to go all the way down 2nd Street to the University?”

Morris Mayor Sheldon Giese voiced his support for the creation of a bike lane on 7th Street by the Chizek Field stretch, telling Solvie that “we gotta start somewhere.” Currently, citizens can ride their bicycles on city sidewalks, except downtown. But Council members agreed the condition of the sidewalk on parts of 7th Street was in rough shape for cycling.

Recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Germany, City Manager Blaine Hill noted the Germans are far more adept at sharing much smaller roadways than what Americans are used to. He suggested Morris residents need to learn how to drive with more bicycles around them and the roads are plenty wide to accommodate all users.

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