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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (4/24/17)

Editorial note: This edition of the Calendar Highlights is brought to you by Harald. Your usual host Grant will return next week.

Last week

What diverter can look like: People walking and biking can pass; people driving cannot. Image: LADOT Bike Blog.

The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association met last week to discuss the future of the East Mifflin bike boulevard. Many in the community perceive this important corridor to be a bike boulevard in-name-only, with no measures to divert or slow down motor vehicle traffic, for instance by installing diverters that allow local traffic while keeping out through-traffic. As discussed in this Facebook thread, the meeting also raised larger questions about how our transportation network is being planned and decided on.

Rendering of an improved sidewalk/cycle track in front of Machinery Row Bicycles

On the same night there was an open house about the John Nolen Drive/Blair Street Corridor. While we are still far away from any final decision let alone actual construction, things have moved forward since the previous meeting. For instance, an overpass connecting Law Park to Wilson Street for people walking and biking now is a real option, with the Common Council taking on a resolution that would establish an easement on the Wilson Street side for that connection. For the intersection of John Nolen/Blair/Williamson many of the initially proposed solutions, such as a tunnel, are off the table at this point. You can find more details in the State Journal, the City’s page for the project, or this discussion on Facebook.

The Common Council met on Tuesday. We had initially expected for this to be the meeting where a decision about the West Wilson Street reconstruction would be made. Thanks to those who responded to our action alert and wrote to the Board of Public Works and their Alders to ask for better accommodation for people on bikes, the process has slowed down and no final decision has been made yet. Stay tuned for a more detailed update on the status of the project.

This week

On Monday, the Madison Bikes Events Committee meets at 7pm at Cafe Domestique. Everybody is welcome to attend! Earlier tonight, our friends from Bike Fitchburg have their monthly meeting at the Fitchburg Public Library.

The Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission will meet on Tuesday, in a joint meeting with the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee. On the agenda are a pilot project for the West Wilson Street reconstruction, the ongoing process of reorganizating Madison’s city agencies around transportation planning, a new ordinance that will legalize “sandwich boards” on sidewalks, and the new policy around moped parking downtown. In addition, a draft of the latest “Transportation Improvement Plan” will be discussed. This is one of the main documents that outlines funded transportation projects in the near future. You can find the full agenda and related documents here.

On Wednesday, the Madison Bike Advocacy Committee meets to talk about Wilson Street and a project to map and measure the connectivity of Madison’s “low-stress bike network.” If you’d like to attend, email Harald.

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to

Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (04/17/17)

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One vision of what a more people-friendly John Nolen Drive could look like (Image: Madison Design Professionals Workgroup)

This Week

On Monday, there are two worthwhile overlapping meetings to choose from. At 6:00p, join the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association, Alder Zellers, and staff from Traffic Engineering for a conversation on how to improve the Mifflin Street Bike Boulevard. For those that are more frequent users of the Capital City Path, join Alders Verveer and Rummel and staff from Engineering to continue the conversation on improving the John Nolen/Blair Corridor at 7:00p.

Tuesday’s Common Council meeting is the first meeting of the new council and will include a number of bike related items: final approval for the protected bike lanes on Bassett Street, approval of the Demetral Path connector at Third/Johnson, and introduction of two items of new business — a resolution to conduct a pilot on West Wilson Street to determine the feasibility of removing one side of on-street parking and a resolution to secure an easement that will support a future ped/bike bridge from Wilson Street to Law Park and the Capital City Path. The last two items will be introduced without debate, but should be on the Ped/Bike/MV Commission meeting agenda next week.

On Wednesday, the Madison Bikes board of directors will hold its monthly meeting at the public library downtown. For anyone handy with a wrench, consider helping out at Worthington Park with a free repair night for the neighborhood. There are a lot of kids with broken bikes that really appreciate the help. Contact Steve Meiers if you’d like to participate:

And on Saturday, stop in at the new Dream Bikes North for their grand opening party. For those that aren’t familiar, Dream Bikes is a non-profit that provides opportunities for youth to learn and gain experience fixing bikes. And a good spot to buy used bikes.

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to

Bike News

Five-minute action alert: Wilson Street

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Do you have five minutes to spare and want to improve the situation for people walking and biking on West Wilson Street? Here’s how:

The Board of Public Works will discuss the design proposed by City Engineering in their meeting on Wednesday. If you haven’t been following the project, you can catch up on a lot of background here, here, and here. Writing a quick email in opposition to putting people on bike bike onto the sidewalk and in favor of real bike accommodations on the street is going to be important. I know several of you already sent emails when the item was on the agenda for the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission last week, and you can just re-use that email. One new development is that doing a pilot study, where one side of on-street parking will be removed for a while is now on the table. If done well, we think that this is a good option, and we encourage you to mention the pilot.

Email addresses for the Board of Public Works members:;;;;;;;;

I recommend also included these folks in the cc line, as well as your district’s alder:;;;;

Here’s what I’m going to write; you’re welcome to reuse the text:

Dear Members of the Board of Public Works, dear Alders:

Regarding the planned reconstruction of West Wilson street, please move forward with a street design that takes into account the needs of people biking and walking on this important connection to downtown, both going west to east, and east to west. I strongly oppose an option that mixes people walking and cycling on the sidewalk, as that is neither safe nor convenient for anyone. I support doing a well-designed and evaluated pilot project that would close one of the on-street parking lanes to put in a protected one-way or two-way bike lane.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thanks for helping out! The final decision on this will be made at City Council. We’ll send out another update before that.

Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (4/3/2017)

Last Week

At the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission meeting last week, there was a presentation of the Madison Area Regional Transportation Plan 2050, a presentation of the recommended ordinance change from the Transportation Ordinance Review Committee, and an update on the Wilson Street project. You can watch the meeting here or download the audio recording here.

We’ve been following the Wilson Street project closely. At this meeting, Engineering staff reported out a summary from the Public Involvement Meeting that was held on 3/20 and shared the same recommended design proposal that was originally shared with the commission in February. This is the concept that widens the sidewalk on the south side of the street to 8′ and does not include any facilities for east- or westbound bike travel. The idea of mixing foot and bike traffic on the sidewalk was squarely rejected by almost all in attendance on 3/20.

A new development was that Engeering plans to run a pilot this summer that will remove the southside on-street parking in order to put up a temporary contraflow bike lane (allowing bike travel from west to east). There was some good discussion about the goals and measures of success for such a pilot and agreement that we should not expect to see high volumes of bike traffic with this two-block pilot.

Unfortunately, in spite of all the discussion about a bike lane pilot, the current wide sidewalk plan will be in front of the Board of Public Works on Wednesday for approval. If this design is approved there, it will still need to go through the Common Council, where we’ll need a large presence to ensure appropriate bike facilities are included in the project.

This Week

Tonight (Monday) on 89.9 WORT at 7:00 pm, Access Hour will be about Living Carless in Madison. Panelists will share how they get by using bikes and not cars to meet their primary transportation needs in town.

On Tuesday, Madison Bikes Communication Committee will meet downtown. This is the group of volunteers that keeps our website running, blog posts coming, and deals with all things communication related for Madison Bikes. For those that don’t know, Madison Bikes is 100% volunteer run. So if you’d like to join in and help out, consider attending one of our monthly committee meetings or send an email to to learn more.

As mentioned above, on Wednesday the Board of Public Works will meet and consider “Approving Plans, Specifications, And Schedule Of Assessments For West Wilson Street and South Henry Street Assessment District.” If you shared your thoughts with PBMVC last week, consider forwarding them onto the Board as well. Regardless of the outcome of this meeting, plan on attending the Common Council meeting where it will be up for debate. This is a project that needs to include comfortable and safe accommodations for people on bikes in both directions.

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And finally, on Sunday, Fitchburg Cycles and Spoke Haven are hosting a women-trans-femme friendly fix-a-flat clinic.

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to