Madison Bike Week is from June 1 through June 8, 2024!
Bike News

June 28: Cap Times Podium Discussion About Biking in Madison

The Cap Times has over the past years regularly hosted discussion panels on locally relevant hot topics, such as housing affordability or criminal justice reform. Now it is time to talk bikes, and one of Madison Bikes’ own, Robbie Webber, will be part of the panel of experts. “How can Madison make room for the bicycling boom?” will take place at the High Noon Saloon on June 28, starting at 6:30pm.

Screenshot from Cap Times website

The discussion will be moderated by Cap Times editor Chris Murphy, and aside from Robbie (who will be representing herself), panelists include:

This promises to be an exciting opportunity to discuss ways of improving the bicycle network in Madison, attract a broader demographic to cycling, and bring our city to the next level of bike-friendliness. We are looking forward to discussing topics such as trade-offs between on-street car parking, ease of driving and bike/ped infrastructure, creating a complete network of bike infrastructure that works for people of all ages and abilities, or the question of equity in local and regional transportation. See you there!

Bike News

Madison Bikes Launches – Press Release


Madison Bikes officially launched this week. Below the fold you can read our whole press release, or you can download it as a pdf.

Madison Bikes launches: Focus on improving bicycling for all

MADISON- Madison is a “Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community,” according to the League of American Bicyclists. But Madison Bikes—a new group that “envisions a city where everyone can bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year round”—thinks there is still a lot of work to do.

“Madison is a great city for getting around by bike. It’s great for confident riders in particular, but many people who are interested in riding their bikes don’t feel comfortable on busy streets with nothing separating themselves from fast-moving cars except a stripe of paint. We can double the number of people who ride their bikes for transportation just by closing some key gaps in our bike network,” said one of the founders, Grant Foster.

“Madison has done a great job over the last several decades in building out an extensive network of paths and in installing some innovative bike treatments” said Foster.  “But most people can’t get from where they are to where they want to go only on paths. We have to make our streets feel as comfortable as those off-street paths to people on bikes. The measure for all new and rebuilt streets should be, ‘Would you let your child ride on that street?’”

Madison Bikes says that a major focus will be on working to close the gaps in Madison’s existing bicycle network, ensuring equitable access to high-quality bike infrastructure in all parts of the city. Intersections and busy roads that leave people on bikes feeling exposed can make trips to work, shopping, school, or social events difficult or intimidating for many people who would like to have an alternative to driving.

Madison Bikes Steering Committee members also pointed out that improved bicycling options benefit everyone, even those who don’t bike.

Former Alder Robbie Webber, who now works with a number of states on transportation sustainability issues, explained: “Every person who bikes is one less person vying for a parking spot. And we can’t build our way out of congestion. Bicycling also supports transit use because it gives people options for the ‘last mile’—the gap between bus stops and their home, job, or other destination. With BCycle downtown and racks to carry bikes on the bus, better bicycling options make using the bus easier. If we can get more people using bikes, transit, or walking, our roads will last longer. That’s good for everyone paying taxes.”

Harald Kliems, a researcher in pediatrics at the UW, pointed out another benefit of active transportation: “It is now widely accepted that high rates of active transportation are related to improved health, both for individuals and for the population as a whole. And to enable people to use active transportation, you need good infrastructure and an empowered community.”

“The Bike Fed believes that the best progress can be made at the local level,” said Wisconsin Bicycle Federation Executive Director and former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “As a statewide organization we can’t be at every meeting or know every player in each community. So these kinds of local advocacy organizations are really important. We want to help Madison Bikes grow and be successful in any way we can.”

More information about Madison Bikes can be found on their website,, on Facebook, or Twitter.

Bike News

Wisconsin Bike Fed is Hiring

Want to work in bike advocacy? Our friends from the Wisconsin Bike Fed are hiring for some cool (paid) positions, including a membership director and a membership coordinator. More details here.


Bike News

May 18: Monona Sustainable Transportation Meeting

I just received word that there is an ongoing effort in Monona to improve cycling and walking. Tomorrow (May 18) at 5:30pm there will be a kick-off meeting at Monona City Hall.,-89.3416618,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880653b616867f17:0x848a557221558c4a!8m2!3d43.0633561!4d-89.3394731?hl=en

For more information, contact Brad Bruun (, 222.2525×7402).

Bike News

Bike commute share in Madison

Bike to Work: Cycling Commuters[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

May is National Bike to Work Week, and May 16-20 is National Bike to Work Week (not to be confused with Madison Bike Week…). To celebrate that occasion, the Census Bureau released a nice visualization of the 20 cities with the highest proportion of people riding their bikes to work. With 5.3 percent, Madison makes seventh place overall and first in the Midwest!

This is certainly cause for celebration. It is also important to keep in mind, however, that the bike commute share in Madison has pretty much stagnated over the past couple of years. Much more work is required to get to the next level and create an environment that empowers anyone to ride to work and other places in a convenient and comfortable manner.

Bike News

Building the Lower Yahara River Trail

As several news outlets have reported, construction has begun on the new segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail. This trail will connect Madison to McFarland and, in a later stage, Stoughton. Once completed, the trail will provide a convenient, safe, and scenic link between those communities, likely attracting a lot of recreational as well as transportation cycling. Dane County Parks published two aerial videos of the location of the trail, one before construction started and one after. Definitely worth watching.

[edit: they’ve since been removed from YouTube — enjoy the trail!]

March video:

April video: