Congratulations to Badger Rock Middle School on winning the "Riding for Focus" grant. The grant provides 20 bikes to incorporate into the school’s curriculum to get kids moving. You can read more in this Cap Times article.
Tuesday: The Common Council meeting will be very focused on budget deliberations. Among the items up for discussion is funding of the new Director of Transportation position. Mayor Soglin said that he thinks a Director could be in place sometime after July 1 of next year.
On Thursday, there will be a mock public meeting as part of a capstone course for UW Madison Engineering students. They’ve been working on a Park and Bike project. Stop in and help them with their project and perhaps some of your feedback can make its way back to city staff.
Saturday: Baltazar will be back in town and leading another run of El Tour de la Familia Latina - The Tour of the Latino Family.
Update: Meeting location has changed to Barriques on Atwood.
The Madison Bikes events committee is planning another exciting winter biking fashion show for Saturday, December 9th from 1-4pm at the High Noon Saloon. Are you interested in getting involved and making this another successful winter biking fashion show and another great winter of biking? The come to the next events committee meeting on Monday, October 16 at 6pm at Cafe Domestique on Williamson Street Barriques on Atwood. We're looking for volunteers to help plan the event, to help with hosting the event (set-up, take down etc), help spreading the word about the fabulous benefits of winter biking and more! We're also looking for models who are excited to share their stay-warm-winter-biking fashion solutions! If you can't attend the meeting but would like to get involved, contact our events committee chair Emily: Emily@MadisonBikes.org. We hope you can join us on Monday!
And check out this report from last year's show.
Atwood meeting. Photo credit: Travis Youman
The upcoming week is a bit slow for meetings, but there are a couple of road and path maintenance projects that may affect your travel this week. And last week featured an important public information meeting to gather input and outline plans for the reconstruction of Atwood Ave in a few years. The reconstruction will be from Fair Oaks to Cottage Grove Road.
This update of the Atwood meeting comes from India Viola:
A good mix of people showed up to the Oct 4 Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Public Input Meeting, including many Madison Bikes members, city traffic engineering staff, alders from District 6 & 15, representatives from the consulting design firm, MSA Professional Services, and the press. The construction is slated to happen in 2021, and this was the first of several public input sessions that will be held in the upcoming year. If we want substantial change to the cross-section of the 1.13 mile stretch of Atwood between S. Fair Oaks Ave and Cottage Grove Rd we are going to have to show up, speak up, and be the source of positive ideas and change that we want to see implemented. Thanks to everyone who showed up at this first meeting. It was wonderful to hear folks express their thoughts and concerns to the people in charge of this design. Collectively, we make a difference!
The proposed designs, although they were quite preliminary, had their ups and downs.
No on-street bike lanes, protected or otherwise, were proposed along the entire length.
No bike facilities or street cross-section changes were proposed between S. Fair Oaks Ave and Oakridge.
An off-street multi-use path, 10 ft wide between Oakridge Ave and Walter St, and 8 ft wide between Walter St and Cottage Grove Rd was proposed rather than on-street cycling accommodations. The current sidewalk conflicts that exist between pedestrians, who travel at 2-4 mph and cyclists, who travel at 8-25 mph will remain on such a narrow multi-use path.
City staff's primary justification for having an 8 ft wide section of multi-use path south of Walter St. was space limitations with the parking lots of existing lakeside condominium developments. Although the city has the 8 ft wide segment crossing multiple driveways that currently have walls obstructing the line-of-sight, this narrow stretch of multi-use path was still billed as a protected bicycle facility.
The Lake Monona Loop between Lakeland Ave and the Cap City Trail will be improved with a new multi-use path on the west side of Atwood Ave. Unfortunately this doesn’t help bike commuters traveling between Monona and points northeast or east of Walter St. As Mark Shahan pointed out, the proposed plan asks cyclists traveling north on Atwood to make multiple clumsy street crossings to remain on the planned bike facilities.
The excuse the city gave for maintaining a 3-lane motor vehicle roadway vs a 2-lane was maintaining the geometry of the Fair Oaks, Walter, and Cottage Grove intersections so they could keep the light phasing as it is and can keep costs down by doing as little work as possible. As we all know, good design is invaluable, and maintaining the current cross-section of Atwood would be a terrible waste of an opportunity to safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians along this mile-long stretch of lakeside roadway.
The design team was undecided on the final intersection geometry at Atwood Ave and Walter St. The options were to keep it as a signalized intersection or to convert it to a multi-lane roundabout. Both design choices have their various benefits and faults.
The rightmost inbound lane that is a rarely-utilized off-peak parking lane between Oakridge Ave and S. Fair Oaks Ave will be widened to 12 ft north of Oakdridge Ave, and extend to Walter St south of Oakridge Ave as an 11 ft off-peak parking lane.
Parking lanes were also proposed along the southbound stretch of Atwood Ave by Olbrich Park. This would take up valuable real estate that could otherwise be bike lanes or public terrace!
If you have questions or comments about this project, the following are contacts:
Jaime Kurten, Senior Project Engineer at MSA Professional Services: email@example.com
Brad Bruun, City of Monona DPW Project Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming up this week:
Monday, October 9, at 6:00 pm Madison Bikes board will meet at the Public Library, 201 W Mifflin St.
Also starting Monday and lasting until Wednesday, the SW Path will be closed from S. Prospect to Breese Terrace so the path can be resurfaced. There will be a detour that will take bicyclists onto surface streets, including lanes coned off on Regent and Monroe St. More information on this project and a map of the detour can be found on the city project page.
Tuesday, October 10 Bike-tober Bicycle Mixer. Ian’s Pizza on State Street 5pm -7pm. (map)
Who loves Ian's?! Who loves bikes?! Who loves all the gracious employees who give you Bicycle Benefits in Madison?! We are celebrating all of it with a FREE SLICE NIGHT for bike riders and staff of Bicycle Benefits locations in Madison! Come meet other bike riders, cool people and get energized with great calories and bike banter. How do you prove that you are a biker in Madison? Well, if you haven't heard, Bicycle Benefits is a program where you get a little $5 sticker for your helmet and show it at businesses everywhere to get a discount or reward for riding your bike there. Here are all the places that it works in Madison. If you or your friends don't have stickers yet, no sweat, they have them Ian's Pizza Madison Maybe MORE EXCITING! This event counts as a "special event" if you are playing Madison Bike Bingo 2017 so bring your card or pick one up on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, the Transit and Parking Commission will consider the proposal by Freewheel Bicycles to operate the bike center at Judge Doyle Square. A new building is planned for the site where the Government East parking ramp is currently located on E. Doty St. As part of the redevelopment, there will be a bike center featuring secure bike parking, lockers, showers, and a repair shop. Freeweel will be offering many of the same services they have at their Park St location, as well as classes. All the details of the proposal that will be discussed can be found here as part of the meeting schedule. The TPC meeting is at 5:00 pm at the Central Library. This item will be coming to the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission later, so you will have another chance to weigh in.
Sunday, October 15, 9:00am – 6:00pm Middleton Off-Road Ride
5191 Vosen Rd, Middleton, WI 53562, USA (map)
Ten Miles West of Madison, all off-road on private land otherwise not accessible to riding Adults: $35 Kids: $20 The ride will start at 10am, but everyone should be unloaded, lined up, and ready to go before the riders meeting at 9:45am. We suggest getting to the ride between 9am and 9:30am. Lunch won't be provided, but complimentary rest stops will be available during the ride. The only way to register to ride is to contact Dan. You can contact Dan Fargen by Email:email@example.com Phone: (608)445-8288
If you have a meeting or event that you would like to have included on the Madison Bikes Calendar, drop us an email.
It’s understandable that when a cyclist gets killed or injured the cycling community and cycling organizations devote a lot of attention to the details, with calls for equal justice or improved safety. Part of the appeal of such coverage to readers who cycle may also be related to the feeling: “There but for the grace of God…”. Yes, it’s personal. We all know how vulnerable we can be, and we can often identify quite closely with the victims in such articles. But, it’s also important to keep in mind the big picture and realize that inordinate attention can lead to a perception that riding a bike is more dangerous than it really is.
A new research study from England titled “Comparative fatality risk for different travel modes by age, sex, and deprivation” (freely available from link) examines the issue from the perspective of specific demographic groups. It highlights some aspects that many have called out before:
- Young men are safer cycling than driving
- Men have higher fatality rates than women for cycling, driving, and walking
- Pedestrians and cyclists have similar risks
- Injury rates of people driving are lowered in part because they have privileged access to much safer built environments (freeways)
We still lack the kind of data we need for perfect denominator adjusted comparisons among travel modes and trip purposes and the article by Feleke and colleagues highlights some of these limitations. However, we do know that the absolute risks for cycling are low and the net benefits of active travel to the individual and the environment far outweigh the risks.
In 2015 (the latest year for which there is a full report), there were a total of 118 crashes involving a person on a bike in Madison. Of those, 98 led to injuries, and 2 people were killed.
Ghost bike commemorating David Nieft
It’s OK to mourn a senseless loss. Safety and travel stress can always be improved and it’s usually the person driving the 2-ton motor vehicle that delivers the fatal blow. But don’t let these sad stories create an unjustified climate of fear. Enjoy your ride!
Probably the event this week that holds the most interest for bicyclists is the Atwood Reconstruction Public Information Meeting that will take place at Olbrich Gardens on Wednesday from 6:30-8:00. This is your opportunity to both find out what the plans are and also ask questions. If you are either curious about what’s going to happen or want to express your opinion, here’s your first chance.
Also happening this week:
On Monday, Sun Prairie Moves will host another Slow Roll, a fun, casual ride for all ages and abilities. The ride will start at Orfan Community Park and wil ride on paved city paths. For more information, check their Facebook page.
Tuesday the Madison Bikes Communication Committee will meet at Memorial Union Terrace. All are welcome to attend if you would like to help us out with getting the word out about not just our activities, but important meetings across the city.
Also on Tuesday the Common Council will consider the following for items:
- Final plans for Monroe Street,
- Allowing bicyclists to ride on the 100 block of W Mifflin. Yeah! The cul-de-sac at the end of W Mifflin will finally be connected to top of State Street and the Square,
- Allowing the Police Department to donate abandoned and recovered bikes to non-profits. Previously, if the bikes couldn’t be sold at auction, the were required by law to send them to the landfill.
The Council meetings in the City-County Building starting at 6:30. Anyone can speak on any item on the agenda. Just fill out a slip when you arrive. You will have three minutes to speak.
Wednesday brings the monthly meeting of the Transportation Planning Board (the body that does transportation planning for the entire metro and urbanized area. A lot of the biggest projects in the area are discussed here, so if you want to know what’s up with big highway projects down to the regional bike network, these are the meetings where those discussions happen. You can find the agenda and materials for each item this month here.
This month the meeting will take place in Verona because they will be considering land use and transportation plans for Verona this month. The Board tries to hold meetings around the region during the year to make things easier for people all over the affected area, but most regular meetings take place in Madison.
If you have a meeting or event that you would like to have included on the Madison Bikes Calendar, drop us an email.
Energized by the great success of our Annual Party, the Madison Bikes Events Committee met on Monday and started planning the next big Madison Bikes event: The Winter Bike Fashion Show. Mark the date--December 9, 1-4pm at the High Noon Saloon--and stay tuned for more details. Facebook event
Winter (Fashion Show) is coming! Really!
The Wisconsin State Legislature finally adopted a budget, and unfortunately it contains bad news for people biking and walking: Local governments will no longer be able to use condemnation (also known as eminent domain) for sidewalks or bike trails. Many of you as well as the Bike Fed spoke out against this provision, but the Governor nonetheless signed the bill. It will remain to be seen just how damaging this will be to projects around Madison, but it seems safe to assume that it will be damaging. The new situation may also trigger a greater discussion about how we allocate scarce space for people in car, bikes, and on foot in a situation where "let's just widen everything" is no longer an option.
The Common Council passed a resolution that fundamentally reorganizes how transportation projects are planned and decided on. Instead of having a department of transportation with with distributed leadership and multiple commissions, the city would hire a Director of Transportation and replace the commission with a Transportation Policy and Planning Board and a Transportation Commission. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of what this means for biking and transportation in Madison in general.
The Judge Doyle Square Redevelopment was always supposed to include a bicycle center. However, when the city initially requested proposals operations of the center, nobody came forward. Eventually two applicants submitted proposals, and last week the city staff who scored the proposals recommended Freewheel Community Bike Shop (currently on Park Street) as the operator. You can read the city recommendation here, as well news coverage in the Cap Times. As the next step, the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Vehicle Commission will discuss the project at their next meeting (see below).
Mondays Around Monona has a double-celebration: It will be the final ride of the season, and it'll also be the 10th anniversary of this leisurely loop around the lake. Come celebrate with India of We Are All Mechanics and Madison Bikes! You can also get a special event stamp for your Madison Bike Bingo card.
Last week's Mondays Around Monona ride. Join the anniversary ride this Monday.
Also on Monday, Bike Fitchburg has their monthly meeting.
If you want to get your hands dirty, join Capitol Off-Road Pathfinders for their regular Monday evening MTB trail work session in Cross Plains.
On Tuesday, the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission will have their monthly meeting. On their agenda are an update from Madison Bcycle and on the Crazylegs Triangle Plaza (part of the Monroe Street reconstruction). The Commission will also discuss how to handle abandoned bicycles and the city's report on the Judge Doyle Square bike center, mentioned above. Full agenda.
On Wednesday, the Middleton Pedestrian, Bike, and Transit Committee has their meeting. Find the agenda here.
And on Sunday you can Ride with RENEW and learn more about renewable energy in Dane County.
What a great party!!
Thanks to all that came out to support another year of Madison Bikes! Good to see faces old and new in celebration of all things biking in Madison. Thanks especially to our great hosts, the High Noon Saloon and for the amazing food served up by Jonny Hunter and Underground Food Collective. Door prizes and other support for the party came from Planet Bike, REI, Madrax, People for Bikes, Fiskars, and Revolution Cycles. A big thanks as well to all our other sponsors, donors, and supporters that contributed and helped support our work throughout the year.
Our party also marked the official beginning of Bike! Bingo. If you were at the party, you’ve already got your card and the Special Events stamp. You’ve got until October 31st to fill your card(s). Check our website for a map of all participating locations, and go to the Bike Bingo Facebook page for more special events.
All those in attendance also enjoyed the privilege of being the first official Madison Bikes members. If you couldn’t make the party, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for details on how you can join as well.
Madison Bikes has a great group of people on its Events Committee, but could always use a couple more passionate and creative people to help. This month’s meeting will recap our Annual Party and switch gears to focus on the upcoming Winter Bike Fashion Show. As an added incentive, this month’s meeting will happen by bike, coinciding with the Mondays Around Monona ride. Meet up at Fair Oaks and the Cap City path at 6:00p on Monday for a beautiful lake loop rolling meeting!
On Tuesday, there are a couple items of interest on the Common Council agenda for those that bike. The big one will be the updated recommendation from the Transportation Ordinance Review Committee to restructure our city transportation commissions/committees and to hire a Director of Transportation. The resolution has a number of cosponsors and looks to have broad support by the council. Another item of note is a permit for a railroad crossing for the planned Capital City Path extension east of Buckeye Road. This is the next step in eventually connecting the route all the way to Cottage Grove.
On Wednesday, the Board of Public Works will vote to recommend approval of an ordinance change that will permit riding on the State Street/Library Mall section known as Philosopher’s Grove. The curb cut that allows for improved access through this important connection was completed last week.
One public comment critical of the proposal is on file with the Board at this time. The Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission voted to recommend adoption at its last meeting and hopefully the Board of Public Works will do the same. Consider sending a quick email in support to the members of the Board before Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will have its monthly meeting at 6:00p at Bendyworks and the Marquette Neighborhood Association will have a special meeting to review the recommended design coming from the Nolen/Blair corridor study.
On Saturday, bring the family out for the Tour de la Familia Latina at 10 am and then help support the Audubon Society with the Birds, Bikes, and Brews ride at 1 pm.
And finally on Sunday, there’s a action packed Bike the Art ride beginning at 1:30p. The ride will start at Promega's BioPharmaceutical Technology Center and then head to Centro Hispano, the Edgewood College Gallery, and will end with Shakespeare in the Park at the Arboretum.
Oops, a little late this week. But the real fun starts on Tuesday anyway.
Tuesday is our 2nd Annual Party and Fundraiser takes place from 6:00-9:00 pm at the High Noon. Make sure not to miss that, as it will be one of the few opportunities to get a stamp for the center square (Event) on your Bike! Bingo card.
Speaking of Bike! Bingo, everyone who comes to the party will receive a card when they make a donation. You will also receive a ticket to win door prizes. Of course, you’ll be supporting Madison Bikes so we can help you make the city more bike friendly for all ages and abilities. And you can fill out a postcard to tell a business, elected official, or anyone else either what needs to be fixed or what you love about their efforts.
You can also purchase additional Bike! Bingo cards or bike Benefit stickers for your family and friends that missed the party. So come on by and join the fun. Families welcome! Food by Jonny Hunter or Underground Food Collective will be available for purchse, and all proceeds will be donated to Madison Bikes. Yummy!
On Thursday, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Wingra School Gymnasuim (first floor), 718 Gilmore Street there will be a design alternatives presentation of ideas for Crazy Legs Plaza and the Wingra Park entrance off Monroe St. Both of these will be important for bicyclists that use the SW Path or want to bike through Wingra Park as a connector at the other end of Monroe. Participants at several past workshops and meetings gave their ideas and opinions to the consultants, and now we are going to see the results. If these two locations are important to you, please attend.
Do you have something that should be included on our weekly calendar? You can email us events and meetings to us to include and also see what's coming up by looking at our Madison Bikes Community Calendar.
Sunday is Bike (and Bus) the Barns, featuring live music, farm tours, and a spectacular day of biking fueled by gourmet and local food. Pledges raised support Partner Shares, which helps low-income households afford to join a CSA farm. Bike the Barns features area CSA farms & tours, gourmet local food, craft libations, and live music – all to raise funds for fresh food for all! There are 3 routes to choose from, depending on your interests and capabilities, as well as a bus option for those who don't wish to bike! Start and end location is Lake Farm Park, in Madison, Wisconsin. After the ride, join us for an after party in the park with more food, drinks, and live music! NEW: Bus the Barns! Space is limited. Bus tour registration includes all meals (breakfast snack + coffee, snack stop, lunch, and after party meal & beer ticket), farm tours and activities at three farms, and bus transportation. It all starts at Lake Farms County Park and runs from 7:00am – 6:30pm
Also on Sunday is the September Kidical Mass. This month will feature a ride-decorating party so the bikes can be part of the Willy St Fair Parade. Meet at the Cargo Bike Shop at 1404 Williamson St at 10 am.
A few weeks ago I saw in the paper that the new bridge across the Beltline on High Point Road had re-opened after seven months of construction. This Sunday I happened to be in the area anyway and checked it out. The old bridge was not particularly nice for people on bikes. While it had an on-street unprotected bike lane, both bike and general lanes were narrow, with heavy and fast car traffic. The new bridge has been widened to carry two general travel lanes in both directions, on-street bike lanes on both sides, a sidewalk on the east side, and a nice, wide two-lane protected multi-use path on the west side.
Approaching the bridge from the south. Smooth pavement and a widened bike lane.
Two-way protected multi-use path on the west side of the bridge
The path will eventually connect to the West Towne Path parallel to the Beltline. A little connection stub is already in place, but for now dead-ends just past the bridge. It'll still be a couple years before this segment of the West Towne Path will be built, but once it is in place, it will be an important connection in that part of town.
Trail ends just under the bridge for now
PS Don't forget: On Tuesday Madison Bikes will have its Annual Party and Fundraiser. See you at the High Noon Saloon!
Our big news is that we are preparing for the Madison Bikes Annual Party and Fundraiser . Join us on September 12, 6:00-9:00 pm at the High Noon Saloon. Madison Bikes is turning two and we're celebrating our growing community, which is now over 925 Facebook followers strong. Let’s see if we can get to 1000 by the end of the party!
At the party you'll find useful and fun door prizes, a super-stylin' membership bonus package with your $20 suggested donation at the door, food to purchase from the Underground Food Collective (all proceeds benefit Madison Bikes!), the kickoff of our fall Bike! Bingo event, Bike Benefits stickers for sale, great people, and good vibes. The center of the Bike! Bingo card needs a stamp for a special event, and the Madison Bikes party is the easiest way to get that stamp.
Bring a friend and help us celebrate! Here’s the party flyer.
Before we celebrate, here are a couple of meetings to tune in to this week.
On Tuesday, Sept 5, the Common Council Executive Committee Meeting will consider the recommendations of the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee (TORC). The meeting will take place in Room 108 of the City-County Building. [Agenda, with links]
What is TORC? It is a committee that was charged with examining whether the committees that currently oversee the transportation business of the city — including the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission, the Parking and Transit Commission, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee, and various other smaller committees and sub-committees —should be restructured.
On top of rearranging the city committee structure, TORC also recommended that the city hire a Transportation Director. This is something that Madison Bikes has also been advocating for, and here's why we think it's important: Madison needs someone at the helm to oversee all modes of transportation and to assure that the policies and plans that the committees and Council vote into place are actually carried out. Without a Transportation Director, there are too many missed opportunities in our transportation planning and implementation process.
Wednesday, Sept 6, the Transportation Planning Board — which oversees transportation funding and plans for the entire metropolitan area, not just Madison — will hold a public hearing in Room 354 of the City-County Building on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for 2018-2022. This is a good way to see what major projects will be funded for the next five years. There are quite a few bike projects planned, and many road projects in the TIP may also affect your cycling comfort and safety. The full TIP can be found here. Public comments, letters, and other communications will be taken at the meeting or may be sent to: MPO@cityofmadison.com