Three years ago, the city started talking about a plan to improve human-powered transportation in Superior.

The Superior City Council adopted the Active Transportation Plan on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The plan identifies policies, programs and infrastructure recommendations to provide a transportation system that is safe, convenient and comfortable for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

“It’s really meant to layout a big picture vision for biking and walking, and active transportation in the city,” said Kevin Luecke, Madison office director with Toole Design. “The vision itself is supported by goals and specific actions and recommendations that will help Superior achieve this vision over time.”

The firm specializes in designing active transportation systems and was retained by the city and Wisconsin Department of Transportation to develop the grant-funded plan.

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The plan identifies activities to encourage walking and bicycling, educational opportunities, enforcement activities to ensure safe streets for all users, policy changes to promote active transportation and recommends evaluation of outcomes.

It also highlights priority pedestrian areas and bike lane and trail networks that would help improve access to different parts of the city.

“This is kind of an ultimate vision,” Luecke said.

Developing the network is going to take time, Luecke said, and changes may need to made to the plan as things change in the city.

One change that was already made was eliminating support for the Zagster bike share program, after the company shut down its operations nationwide, Luecke said. The updated plan encourages officials to explore other bike share programs.

Councilor Brent Fennessey proposed striking the bike share language altogether. A motion to amend the plan failed by a 5-4 vote.

The council adopted the plan by voice vote.

“I’ve appreciated the volume of work that you put into this,” Mayor Jim Paine said. “It’s a fantastic plan.”

In other business, the council:

  • Adopted changes to its hotel, motel and rooming house tax ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1. Under the changes, room taxes must be reported and returned to the city on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly.
  • Approved reducing the penalty of room taxes for hotels and motels that didn’t make their quarterly payment as a result of the pandemic. Companies will pay a 5% instead of the usual 25% penalty on the unpaid taxes.
  • Authorized a $500 health savings account incentive for employees who travel to use a high value network provider for orthopedic procedures.
  • Defeated a proposal by Mayor Jim Paine to change the city’s charter to create a new standing committee.