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Last Chance: Let Planners Know How Much Bugline Project Bugs You

The next Bugline Trail meeting has been scheduled, and officials say this could be the last time to make comments before the budget is prepared.

Have something to say about the Bugline trail paving project? The last time to voice your opinion is coming up quick.

Jim Batzko, a trustee on the Sussex Village Board and member of the Waukesha County Board, said the recently scheduled public information meeting on August 29 will be the last time for residents to make comments before the budget is drawn up.

"This is the last meeting before budget time, so if you have comments, that is going to be the time to do it," said Batzko during Tuesday's Village Board meeting.

County officials say they’re ready to release new and updated designs for the Bugline Trail paving project at the meeting at the in Sussex.

Running from 5-7 p.m., the public gathering will be very similar to . Residents are welcome to come any time during the meeting to look at the new designs and ask county officials questions about the paving project.

Dave Burch, Waukesha’s Enterprise Operations Manager, says his team updated the trail’s design after the last public information meeting, and he’s looking forward to discussing the new details with residents.

“We’ll have updated designs and cross sections of the trail, specifically looking at some of the constrained areas and opportunities for multi-use,” Burch said. “This meeting will just kind of reemphasize our schedule, and we are on schedule. We’ll also have some new photos and boards for people to look at.”

“We’ve been hearing from a variety of people that this is a really beneficial project."

Burch said the meeting will be broken down so residents interested in things like the environmental or financial implications can hold a mini Q&A session with the person best qualified to answer their questions. County parks officials will also be there to answer questions on the .

“We’ve been hearing from a variety of people that this is a really beneficial project,” Burch said.

But some area residents are quick to disagree. Between the comments at the last public information meeting and on Patch, a large group of individuals are still strongly against the paving project.

For example, although a majority of the project is being funded by federal transportation grants, some are citing the country’s shifty economy as the reason to save, not spend.

“Someone has to be the voice of reason and say no,” wrote Patch commenter Nick Oliver. “Now, I personally don't have an issue with the bug line as it is, or as it's proposed (I don't use it enough to make a decent argument either way), but I do know that we don't have the funds to pay for projects like this today, and since we don't, it should be tabled until we do…”

However, while some may disagree with the project, Waukesha County officials say this project is a done deal.

“We’re pretty much set on the process of getting this done. We’re trying to work with people, but this is happening,” said Waukesha County Parks Manager Duane Grimm . “There are out there trying to make it stop, but we’re in the process to do this work.”

And a few voices are rallying with developers, rather than against them. During the meeting in May, a handful of locals said they supported the paving project to make it more accessible for bikers, rollerbladers and . Others voiced their support in the comments on Patch.

“I don't really see what the big deal is,” wrote Patch reader Angie. “I mean, we live in the burbs, not the boonies, of course it's like second nature to pave things. Hello, this is a metropolis!!!”

Residents interested in learning more about the revised Bugline Trail paving project should attend the public meeting on Aug. 29. If you’re unable to attend that meeting, send Waukesha County Senior Landscape Architect Steve Brunner an email with your comments.

Editor's Note: This article was updated with information from Tuesday night's Sussex Village Board meeting at 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 15.

ken newman August 15, 2012 at 09:32 PM
ken newman--pave the bug line. i do a great deal of biking on bike trails. all other trails are paved. it is safer, more usable and will encourage people to bike for recreation and work benefits. it could also benefit the communities along the trails, as it would bring more tourism /guests to the areas. handicapped individuals should have the same options and benefits using the trail as others do. after rains, the trail is not usable for to long because of wet areas. loose gravel and potholes are also a hazard. we spend tons of money on other various forms of transportation, the bugline paving is miniscule compared to those expenses. pave the trail--it is a win-win situation
sjredwood August 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Federal money is taxpayer money, not "free money" and its use for a non-urgent "want" by a minority (albeit loud & "connected") segment of Waukesha county residents is appalling. Paving the Bug Line trail will reduce its unique charm, as a respite from urban life. My husband and I ride the trail 1-3 times every week in the summer. We can get there after dinner and be home before dark. The tree canopy is such a beautiful feature and makes the trail's use enjoyable even on the hottest summer days. There are many miles of paved roads and streets for people who prefer them -- paving the bug line adds nothing to its appeal, it will destroy it. And it forces people who enjoy its value as the beautiful nature preserve that it is to travel to other parts of the state (Sugar River trail, Military ridge, etc.). What are you thinking? Concrete and asphalt... yeah, that's what we all want to get away to... There's a reason it's called the "bug line trail" and not the "bug line sidewalk. Once again, imaginary hazards and imaginary users. The people who do not appreciate or use this resource want to change it. All other bike trails are paved... good, go use THEM.
M C September 04, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Once again, on every poll the Patch has put out, there has been overwhelming opposition to this project. It seems that "free" federal money can bribe our officials to do most anything, regardless of the will of the people. To you county commissioners, et al, YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO US!! You are obviously going to pave the Bug line regardless of our opinions. I, for one, will remember this next time any of you are up for any election.
M C September 04, 2012 at 06:22 PM
You are exactly right sjredwood. So many paved options, why can't the county leave this one alone as an alternative and natural trail?
DM September 05, 2012 at 01:35 AM
I have used a number of trails in the County, for both biking and jogging, and have NOT found that the paved paths lack charm, naturalness, or desirability. I DO live only a couple blocks from the Bug Line, and use that frequently. I'm all for paving the path as it should reduce maintenance, problems with shifting/eroding gravel at various times, and the puddling effect after heavy rains. Beyond this, it will make the paths more accessable for those with accessability issues. I think the County is forward thinking on this, vs. only worrying about today and letting the work wait until it's more expensive in the future.

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