Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (7/25/16)

Ride the Drive June 2010

We try and keep all regular transportation-related city meetings on our Community Bike Calendar. This week’s highlights: The 4th week of the month is always a busy one for city meetings, with meetings of the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC), the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC), and the recently created Transportation Ordinance Review Ad Hoc Committee (TORC). In addition to those meetings, it’s also the week of one of Madison’s biggest fun bike events, Ride the Drive this coming Sunday.

More details after the fold.

PBMVC (Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission)

is the main city committee focused on bike-related issues. This month will include a Racial Equity and Social Justice Presentation by Toriana Pettaway and discussion around how we best incorporate this into our transportation planning. Also, a presentation on the status of our Sustainable Master Transportation Plan (Madison in Motion) by Dave Trowbridge. This is one of the few city meetings that is live streamed and available over the web.

Tuesday, 7/26/16, 5pm

Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission

210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room GR-27, City-County Bldg. Police Conference Room

Agenda here and you can watch from home here.

TORC (Transportation Ordinance Review Ad Hoc Committee)

is an ad hoc committee that’s been meeting since spring. Their charge is to review and rewrite the city’s transportation ordinance. The existing ordinance currently calls for a Director of Transportation (among other things) even though we have not had one at the city for many years. The work done here could lead to a significant restructuring of our transportation committees. This week there will be a review of the Draft Statement of Purpose drafted by City Attorney Strange.

Wednesday, 7/27/16, 5pm

Transportation Ordinance Review Ad Hoc Committee

210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room GR-27, City-County Bldg. Police Conference Room

Agenda here.

LRTPC (Long Range Transportation Planning Committee)

is staffed by our Planning division. It typically receives presentations related to long-term transportation planning. This month will see a review of planning data tools including: Urban Footprint, Fiscal Impact Model and Active Living Index and will also have an overview of the Greater Madison Vision Planning Process.

Thursday, 7/28/16, 5pm

Long Range Transportation Planning Committee

210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Room 108, City-County Bldg.

Agenda here.

Ride the Drive

Keep your eyes peeled for the Madison Bikes crew at the event!

Sunday, 7/31/16, 10am-2pm

Ride the Drive

Bike News

Madison Bikes Needs You: Volunteer with Us!

Michael, one of our directors, volunteering during Bike Week

Madison Bikes is a young organization, and we’re run almost entirely by the volunteers on our board of directors. To become a sustainable and effective organization that can achieve our vision, we need your help. A bike advocacy organization requires many skills and people who are willing to contribute those skills and their time. If you would like to volunteer with us (or have questions about volunteering), please go to our volunteer sign-up form. We really appreciate your help, no matter whether it’s helping out for a single event or signing on as a longterm volunteer. We look forward to hearing back from you and already say thanks for your contribution. Please share this post with others who may be interested in working with Madison Bikes.

Bike News

Guest Post: Biking with Out-of-Towners

Please welcome our guest blogger Elysha Jones. Elysha and her family love biking and live in a car-light household. Elysha tells a great story about having out-of-town guests and showing them how awesome biking in Madison can be. Especially for those of us who already regularly ride, it is easy to forget how others perceive biking—dangerous, weird, requiring special gear, not for families, and so on. Elysha’s post puts this in perspective and reminds us that getting around by bike in Madison is pretty convenient and fun. Thanks for sharing, Elysha!

A little background on us: Scott, my husband, and I were both born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO. During a visit to Amsterdam we fell in love with the biking life. But back home in the suburbs we found that we couldn’t bike everywhere like the Dutch did. So we decided to move some place more bike/pedestrian friendly, and Madison fit the bill for us. For five years now we have called Madison home, and we haven’t looked back.

This past weekend our friends from St. Louis came to visit. Weeks before the visit I talked with Becky about all the stuff we could do here, and I kept mentioning that biking would really be the best way to go to all the different places. She was very skeptical and told me she wasn’t sure she could handle biking with her two kids (ages ten and eight). I told her I have a bakfiets and could borrow a long tail bike from a friend. Another excuse for Becky not wanting to bike was curbs: Becky was sure there would be curbs that we would have to maneuver. So on one of my many errands by bike I stopped every now and then to take pictures of the bike trails and streets they intersect with and sent them to her. Again she worried: What should she wear while biking?! She didn’t own “bike clothes” and neither did her husband. And again I tried to reassure her by taking pictures of me in my “biking” outfits, that is, just regular clothes. Still, Becky remained unconvinced and tried one more excuse: Her husband, he didn’t want to bike at all. He thought it was really weird and had no desire to do it all. So I hatched a plan to convince him it was normal to bike around in Madison.

When they got into town, on Friday, we took them out to dinner. We live just a bit off of Atwood, and so we walked down to Glass Nickel Pizza and then walked from there to the Chocolate Shoppe. I made sure we walked down the bike path. I wanted to normalize biking as much as I could. I also made sure to point out all the “regular” people biking by and the Bicycle Benefit stickers at all the places we went to and explaining to them what they get for that little sticker on their helmet. Finally, we got back to our house and they were a bit unsure of biking still. But I could tell: At this point they were at least thinking of it as a possibility. I thought it would be best if I showed the kids the bikes they could ride on and let the grownups see our bikes too.  I opened our garage door and told them to go ahead and pick out bikes that would work for them. They had a blast in our mini bike shop. They all picked out bikes and we went for a quick ride around our neighborhood. There was a lot of laughter and cheering. It seemed like my plan was working!

Saturday morning I suggested we bike to the farmers market on the Square. They all agreed, and the 12 of us made our way downtown. Our friends were impressed by the bike paths and the bike elevator and cars stopping for us! After walking around the Square I suggested we bike down State Street to the Union Terrace. Again, this was a huge surprise to them: a street just for bikes and special vehicles! They loved the Union too, and when we got home and they realized they had biked 12 miles round trip, they were all pleasantly surprised. “It didn’t seem that long!”

On Sunday I suggested we go to the zoo and I said whoever wanted to drive could and whoever wanted to bike could. All the kids wanted to bike, and my friend’s husband wanted to bike too!!  Even though he said he was a bit sore from all the biking the day before, he still chose biking over driving! So we all biked to the zoo and then on to Ella’s Deli for ice cream. Their kids chatted about how they wanted to live in Madison when they got older, and our friends were able to see how and why biking was such a big part of our lives. It was a huge success and made us really appreciate the biking infrastructure that Madison has.

Bike News

Fitchburg Bike & Ped Plan: Open House July 21


The City of Fitchburg—currently ranked a “silver” Bicycle-Friendly Community—is updating their Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The meeting will take place on July 21, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Kids Crossing Shelter at McKee Farms Park. If you can’t make it to the meeting, there is also a website with information about the plan and the opportunity to take a survey and provide input. Read the full announcement below.

Public Open House and Workshop – Update to City of Fitchburg Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan – July 21

6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, July 21

McKee Farms Park – Kids Crossing Shelter (just west of main park shelter, by Kids Crossing Playground)

Fitchburg has recently begun the process of updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, to maintain and improve options for biking and walking in the City. A key component of the Plan update is to gather input and feedback from City residents and those that bike and walk in Fitchburg. As such, the City will be holding a public open house and meeting on Thursday, July 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Kids Crossing Shelter at McKee Farms Park (The shelter is located just west of the main park shelter, by Kids Crossing Playground). The open house/workshop will consist of a short presentation at 6.00 p.m., followed by various opportunities to provide input and feedback.

Additionally, the City has other tools that can also be utilized to provide feedback on the Plan update, including a public opinion survey and an interactive map. The survey and map will be available until July 31.