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.
On Monday, Robbie and I had a nice chat with Brian Standing on WORT’s 8 O’Clock Buzz. Check it out here or on the WORT FM website. As a reminder, you can find all past news coverage of Madison Bikes here.
Tuesday’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission meeting had a full agenda including a first look at a number of upcoming cross sections and a review of a new Request for Proposal for the Downtown Bike Center that will be built at Judge Doyle Square. I raised a number of questions and concerns about the RFP, referencing details found in this 2012 Report. While I’m very supportive of the bike center in concept, I think there’s a good chance of it failing if it’s not implemented and operated effectively. What could be worse publicity than a $1M bike investment in the heart of downtown that goes underutilized? As always, PBMVC meetings are available to watch online for anyone interested in tuning in live or watching the recordings.
On Wednesday, the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee continued its work on reimagining and rewriting Madison’s transportation ordinance. It seems like the group has settled on the concept of creating a new Transportation Planning and Policy Board and is looking at potentially combining all of the other transportation commissions into a new single Transportation Commission. While there is certainly value in connecting the dots between the various elements of our transportation system, the new commission is currently drafted to have only seven seats with no requirement for representatives from any of the transportation modes that we are trying to strengthen (ped, bike, transit). This is really important and fundamental work, so please stay tuned and be ready to advocate to keep cycling’s seat at the table.
There are two opportunities to get involved directly with Madison Bikes this week. On Tuesday, join the Communications Committee at Cafe Hollander and, Wednesday, meet up with the Advocacy Committee at Cargo Coffee. Check the calendar for details and feel free to stop in and check it out.
And, on Friday, you have an opportunity to support the Bike Fed and statewide bike advocacy by attending the 2016 Saris Gala.
What?? It’s time for the 6th Annual Madison Bike Winter Fashion Show!!
When?? Saturday, November 19th, 11:30a-2:30p at the High Noon Saloon
Do you love to ride your bike in winter? Have you discovered the secret to staying warm and dry?
New sharrows on Jenifer Street
Last week, Madison Bikes joined City of Madison Traffic Engineering for a webinar and discussion on "Safer Intersections for Peds & Cyclists." The focus of the webinar was on protected bike lanes, and examples were shown from Vancouver and the Netherlands. Protected intersections are ultimately an extension of protected bike lanes, so we’ll need to work on getting a few protected lanes installed before we can take advantage of the designs shared here. City staff said that there are currently no plans for a protected bike lane in the city...
In other news, buses will be returning to a newly reconstructed Jenifer Street, which has also received bike sharrows. The new cross section is 2’ narrower than it was before reconstruction and also features some bump outs for improved pedestrian crossing. Time will tell how these small adjustments will affect bike travel on Jenny.
The Madison in Motion Oversight Committee talked some more about performance measures and will start sending the draft plan around to city committees with hopes of council adoption in early 2017.
And the Madison Bikes Events Committee continued its planning for the Winter Bike Fashion Show slated for Saturday, November 19 at High Noon Saloon.
Monday: Robbie and Grant will talk Madison Bikes on WORT 8 O’Clock Buzz, and at 5:30 pm city staff give a complete streets presentation in the Lake Edge neighborhood in response to some neighbors’ concerns about adding sidewalks and bike lanes on an upcoming project.
Tuesday: The Pedestrian, Bike, and Motor Vehicle Commission includes a review of an Request for Proposals for a Bike Center operator in the new Judge Doyle Square project downtown. At 6:00 pm at Hotel Red there’s a Regent Street Visioning Open House.
Wednesday: Work continues on rewriting the city’s transportation ordinance including an updated transportation committee structure at this month’s Transportation Ordinance Review Committee meeting.
Thursday: City staff will present a new proposed cross section at the Monroe Street Cross Section Open House at Edgewood College at 6:00 pm. This is the last planned public meeting before the design moves through city committees and the council.