Members of the Long Range Transportation Planning and Transit & Parking Commissions received presentations and provided feedback on the UW Campus Master Plan and the Madison Comprehensive Plan updates last week. These are both long range plans that offer a look into what city and university staff are thinking in relation to our transportation future. You can watch a recording of the presentations and discussion here thanks to the City Channel.
On Monday, the Madison Bikes Events Committee meets at Barriques on Atwood to continue planning for Winter Bike Week. Everyone is welcome to attend!
On Wednesday, celebrate winter solstice and the longest night of the year by joining Madison Bike Winter for their annual Fantasy in Lights ride including a stop at the Olbrich Park solstice bonfire.
I’ll be taking the following week off and back with weekly updates after the new year. See you in 2017!
2017 Fundraising Drive: We match your donations!
From now until December 31st you have a great opportunity to double the impact of your gift by supporting Madison Bikes!
We as members of the Madison Bikes board have agreed to match any donation received during the rest of the year, up to a total of $500! Your support helps us to work for improved biking in Madison and will help lay the groundwork for our advocacy and education projects in 2017.
By making a contribution today, your gift will go twice as far as we fight for better conditions for people on bikes in Madison. Please consider making a tax deductible donation now to support our cause.
The Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup continued its work on drafting a bikeway maintenance policy for the Public Works departments; Bike Fitchburg hosted its Holiday Shindig; the city held two public engagement sessions to kick off its Imagine Madison campaign (Madison’s Comprehensive Plan update); and on Saturday, the Santa Cycle Rampage rolled through town.
On Monday, the Madison Bikes Board will hold its annual meeting to approve the 2017 budget and elect officers. At the same time, the UW will hold another Neighborhood Open House on its Campus Master Plan Update (which includes a controversial proposal to take away space from bike facilities on University Avenue).
Tuesday, Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will hold its monthly meeting at the newly reopened Rathskeller and will look to start narrowing down its priorities for 2017.
And on Wednesday there will be a joint Long Range Transportation Planning Committee/Transit and Parking Commission meeting to review the transportation elements of the UW Campus Master Plan Update.
Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the Madison Bikes Winter Fashion Show! For those of you in attendance you know a good time was had by all. And for those who missed out on the fun, here's a recap of the afternoon.
Elysha Jones (remember her guest post on our blog?) also brought her bakfiets (Dutch for "box bike")
Harald Kliems rides a "heavily evolved," as he calls it, Surly Cross-Check year round
Finnley Sonnemann showed off his 20-inch tired Specialized fat bike
The runway show itself started with Matt summarizing the varying conditions to expect when winter riding. Our volunteer models showed a variety of gear, ranging from more technical wear to things just about everyone has in their Wisconsin winter collection (or can find at the thrift store).
Our 2016 Madison Bikes Winter Fashion Show Models:Read more
Last week the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission voted not to approve the proposed cross section geometry for Monroe Street that repeats the existing, car-centric cross section with no improved access for people on bikes and very limited treatments for people on foot. The proposal will move on to the Board of Public Works in two weeks and the Council will vote on it in January. PBMVC also received an update on the E. Johnson Street /First Street project which has shifted from the unbuffered 4’ bike lanes on Johnson to a 2-way segregated path from Baldwin to First. You can watch the meeting online here.
The first public meeting of the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor study was well attended with an overwhelming ask to improve conditions for people on bike and people on foot. The city plans to reconstruct the sections of Wilson/Williamson closest to Blair in 2018. The plan is to do that work in a way that will support a later reconstruction of Blair Street, including the intersection itself (that work is not currently scheduled). The presentation is available on the project web page here.
On Monday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup meets to continue review of a draft bikeway maintenance policy for the Public Works departments and Bike Fitchburg hosts a Holiday Shindig at Roman Candle.
Imagine Madison is the name for Madison’s Comprehensive Plan update. The first public meeting will be on Monday at the Central Library with a second chance for the same content on Wednesday at the Villager Mall
If you’re interested in helping support the work of Madison Bikes, consider heading over to Cafe Hollander at Hilldale on Tuesday for the Madison Bikes Communication Committee meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to attend.
And on Saturday, it’s Madison’s turn for the Santa Cycle Rampage.
Last week the Madison Bikes Events Committee met to evaluate how things went with the Bike Winter Fashion Show and to start planning future events. Watch for a blog post later this week with a summary and more pictures from the event. The focus will now turn to working on Madison Bike Winter Week in February. If you’re interested in helping out with plans, check the Madison Bikes calendar and join the committee at their December 19 meeting.
There are three important meetings this week that will have a big impact on bike travel in the city.
On Wednesday, the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Ad Hoc Committee will continue to work towards a rewrite and reorganization of our current transportation ordinance and associated committees. And then at 7:00 at the Monona Terrace, the public is invited to the first in a series of meetings to look at the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor. Actual reconstruction for this corridor is still many years out, but the work to influence design alternatives begins now, and it's a crucial piece in Madison's bike infrastructure.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) held a public involvement meeting on the I-39/90/94 study. WisDOT shared what alternatives it plans to move forward into the next stage for consideration. They plan to add capacity either through additional lanes in the existing corridor or (more likely) by constructing an additional ‘reliever route’ north of the existing corridor. In terms of impact on biking in Madison, our biggest opportunity will be to advocate for additional freeway crossings. There is currently consideration for one between Cottage Grove Road and Milwaukee Street, another over Highway 30 west of Thompson Road, and a pair over the interstate and Highway 151 on the far east side of town.
We asked for your favorite winter biking photos and you delivered! We will show all submissions plus a bunch of our own favorites during the #winterbikefashionshow this Saturday, but as a teaser we've been featuring one pic of the day on our Twitter account. Follow us on Twitter to see the remaining three photos, or check out the ones already published here.
In related news, we have also received our order of Madison Bikes winter-themed t-shirts. These will be available for purchase at the Fashion Show!
On Thursday, City Engineering and Strand Associates unveiled an updated East Johnson Street proposal for the reconstruction between Baldwin and First Street. Their first draft, shared with the public back in April, called for 4’ unbuffered bike lanes along Johnson. There was significant feedback from the public at this first meeting that this was an inappropriate design and that it would not accommodate users of all ages and abilities.
How will people on bike travelling east on Johnson Street connect to this 2-way facility at Baldwin?
How does this serve the predominantly low-income residents of Sherman Terrace and those connecting to/from Fordem Avenue?
How does this address the disastrous First Street crossing for people on foot and on bike?
How do we improve access for people on bikes on First Street, especially given the proposed six lanes of motor vehicle traffic and the critical importance for bike and pedestrian access to the planned public market?
This week Tuesday, WisDOT is holding a Public Involvement Meeting to receive feedback and input on six corridor improvement alternatives for I39/90/94 from Madison to Portage. The primary question on the table will be about expansion. This won’t have a significant direct impact on biking in Madison, but is an important piece of the larger transportation puzzle.
Not much to report from last week, but there are some interesting happenings in the week ahead.
On Tuesday, get yourself to your polling place (if you haven’t already). Madison B-Cycle is offering free rides on election day, so there’s no excuse.
If you’re looking for one meeting to attend this week, I’d suggest Thursday’s East Johnson Street Reconstruction Meeting. Engineering will unveil their updated plan based on feedback from their first public meeting earlier this year. This will be a critical connector between Baldwin and First Street and will also include some potentially big alterations to First Street as well. Come see the plans and share your thoughts with city staff.
This is a guest post by Jacob Musha, sharing his advice for riding all throughout winter in relative comfort. As you'll see at the upcoming Bike Winter Fashion Show, everyone's approach to this is a little different, and a lot of it depends on where and how far you're riding. If you want to share your tips, you can do so in the comments below or write your own guest blog post! Just contact us at email@example.com.
Photo credit: Kierstin Kloeckner
I’ve been bike commuting daily in Wisconsin winters for eight years. The response I get from nearly everyone, even fair-weather cyclists, is “you’re crazy,” followed by, “I don’t know how you do it.” The truth is that you don’t need to be a polar bear to bike in the winter. I’m so averse to cold that I shiver in swimming pools when the water temperature is below 80F... The key is to dress correctly.