Thanks to all the sponsors and all the participants for an amazing Winter Bike Week! Stay tuned for a blog post to share some of the memories and photos and will also announce the winner of the Winter Bike Challenge.
One of many submissions to the #mbwinterchallenge! Thanks, Liz!
In addition to all the fun, there were also a pair of meetings on Monday. First the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee met to continue their work to propose a major overhaul to the city’s transportation ordinance. At the previous meeting, there was some compelling testimony around the value of hiring a director of transportation for Madison, but apparently some members of the group have started to back off that enthusiasm. At the end of Monday’s meeting, the talk was about still hiring for a new role, but now more along the lines of a coordinator or manager that would be a peer to the Traffic Engineer and Metro Manager with limited direct authority over transportation decisions. There was little conversation around the committee structure at this meeting. The group plans to meet several more times over the next month to finalize a recommendation.
Proposed design for Bassett Street between Gorham/University and Dayton
There was also an unannounced public input meeting on a proposal to add protected bike lanes to a stretch of Bassett Street. In spite of the poor communications, several Madison Bikes members were able to attend and hear the proposal. While it’s encouraging that the city is trying to improve the bike connections between University Avenue and the Capital City Path, it seemed clear to all in attendance that the proposal was not quite ready for prime time. Engineering has shifted their timeline a bit in order to work on refinements. Expect to see something at the February 22nd Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission meeting with a public hearing at Board of Public Works on March 8th and again at Common Council on March 21.
The Madison Bikes monthly board meeting is on Monday. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
On Tuesday, bring your loved one to a special Valentine’s Day edition of the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee where the conversation will continue around the value of a director of transportation and towards refining the recommendation for our transportation committee structure.
On Thursday, Madison in Motion will meet to consider feedback received from the many city committees over the last two months. This will likely lead to a final draft of the document that will then be presented to the Council.
On Sunday, join Trek for their Polar Social Roll ride.
Madison Bikes board member Chuck at the Frozen Assets race
Winter Bike Week kicked off with the Frozen Asset Fat Bike Race on Friday, followed by Family Music at Cargo Bikes/Domestique and Capital Goldsprint at Motorless Motion on Saturday. And Kids and adults alike had a blast on Sunday at the Fat Bike Sled Pull.
Sunday was also the start of the #MBWinterChallenge. The first photos have been posted already. Go get on your bike and participate as well!
Winter Bike Week continues with commuter stations, bike rides, and our end of week party. Check our website for all the details!
And in addition to all the winter bike fun, there are a couple items of business.
Monday: The Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee meets again to continue their work on a potential rewrite of our transportation ordinance. Then at 6:30 there’s a public input meeting to review a draft concept of a proposed protected bike lane on Bassett Street.
Tuesday: The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday at Blue Moon Bar & Grill
There’s a lot to report from last week’s three transportation-related committee/commission meetings. The Pedestrian, Bike, and Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) started out with another quarterly Traffic Enforcement Activity Report. I pressed Lt. Knight (again) to bring us more actionable information. You can see an example of the report and spreadsheet that is presented each quarter. It’s a lot of data, which basically just shows how much work the Traffic Enforcement team has put in. Citations go up and down based on hours worked and don’t really tell us anything about trends in dangerous activities. Instead, I argued that we need analysis of crash data that helps us pinpoint the leading causes and locations of collisions resulting in injury and loss of life. From there, we would be able to start working on interventions to address these issues. While we should be encouraged that Madison ranked third best in the nation in the recently released Dangerous by Design report, it’s still clear that pedestrian and bicyclists make up a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities in our city. This is definitely an area where we need to look to the data to guide our work.
Next up at PBMVC was a motion to recommend approval of the draft Madison in Motion Sustainable Master Transportation Plan. I’ve been critical of this plan in the past, calling out the lack of specific and clearly articulated action items, lack of accountability, and absence of performance measures. Without these things, this plan is destined to collect dust on the shelf. I shared those comments again here beginning at 00:32:30.
There was also a good discussion about a proposal to complete the Demetral Path connection (you can watch via the link above beginning at 01:00:00). This is an updated proposal from the one that came forward almost a year ago that would have had a significant impact on the OM Village. The new concept (see above) proposes to move the path through the existing parking lot of the commercial building to the north. I enthusiastically support closing this gap as it will become a major corridor for people on bikes once the bike facilities are added to E. Johnson as part of that project. However, I did ask Engineering to explore an alternate routing of this connector within the public right of way. This would save the city $300K in land acquisition costs and would avoid several problems associated with the current proposed alignment. PBMVC voted to refer the item to its February meeting and asked that Engineering develop in detail that alternate concept for further evaluation.Read more
Madison Bikes Events and Communications Committees met last week to make final preparations for Madison Bike Winter Week. Madison Winter Bike Week will be from February 3 to 10. Stay tuned for more details coming this week!
Looks like we’ll have at least one more warm day on Monday before winter comes back. If you’re looking for a social ride, consider joining the MEATheads leaving Ford’s Gym at 7:00pm sharp and looping around Lake Monona.
On Tuesday, the Ped/Bike/Motor Vehicle Commission has a full agenda.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! It’ll be another relatively quiet week for bike events in Madison.
There are three options to get involved on Monday. For those living or frequenting the isthmus, Marquette Neighborhood Association Traffic Committee meets at Wil-Mar at 5:30. The Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at Barriques on Atwood at 6:00 to finalize plans for Madison Winter Bike Week. This is one of the things that may happen during that week:
And at 7:00 Freewheel Community Bike Shop will hold its annual stakeholder meeting. Freewheel is a community bicycle workshop run by volunteers with a range of bicycle skills that seeks to serve the low-income community in Madison, encourage bicycle ridership, and demystify bicycle maintenance.
On Tuesday, there’s another opportunity to work with Madison Bikes by attending the Communications Committee meeting (5:30 at Great Dane Hilldale). Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in attending.
I hope everyone had some time to relax and rejuvenate over the holidays. It was great to see a number of you out on your bikes celebrating in style on the New Year's Ride.
On Monday, Madison Bikes has its monthly board meeting at the Central Library. This meeting is open to the public and anyone who’s interested in getting involved in 2017 should consider attending.
After that, it’s a pretty quiet week until Saturday: If you’re headed to the Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap, make sure and stop by the Madison Bikes table to say hi. We’ll have our remaining Madison Bikes winter edition T-shirts for sale.
And for women interested in taking a fat bike out for a spin, Bell Joy Ride and Revolution Cycles are teaming up with Surly for a demo at the Quarry Ridge trails.
Year One for Madison Bikes is coming to a close (don't forget about our fundraising drive!). Here is our top ten of blog posts from 2016, in chronological order.
Our organization officially launched during Bike Week in May! This was a big moment for us. [link]
We met Elysha at a Cap Times talk on biking in Madison. She told us how she loved her family's car-light life in Madison and how she spread that love when they had friends visiting from out of town. [link]
See the rest of the list after the break.Read more
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