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Bike News

Monday Update: Volunteers Needed, Director of Transportation Nominated, Bike Week

Call for Volunteers

Madison Bikes is looking for volunteers for the following events preceding and including Bike Week:

Saturday, June 2, we are looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides to the Olin Park south parking lot for the Ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival. There are currently three feeder rides planned. On the east side, there is a feeder ride starting at the Olbrich Park Biergarten that leaves at 11:00 AM. On the west side, a feeder ride is departing from EVP at Shorewood Hills at 10:30. There is also a feeder ride starting from Cafe Domestique on Williamson St. for folks living on the near east side. The feeder rides will collect at Olin Park around 11:30 AM where Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes are co-hosting a ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival which leaves at 11:45 AM. If your neighborhood wasn’t listed and you want to lead a slow-rolling feeder ride, drop a comment on the event’s Facebook page with a location and a start time to be added to the list of feeder rides. It would be great if we could get feeder rides from all corners of the city!

Sunday, June 3, we are looking for volunteers to help out at the Madison Bikes ABC Quick Check tent. If you can at least identify basic maintenance issues then we could use your help. Sign up for a volunteer shift here. The two shifts are from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Please plan on showing up 10 to 15 minutes prior to your shift.

Tuesday, June 5, we are looking for a few volunteers to help run the Madison Bikes Bike Week booth at HotelRED from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. We primarily need folks to engage commuters in conversation, and we would welcome your help even if you can’t stay the full two hours. If you can help in any way please send an email to volunteer@madisonbikes.org.

Last Week

This last week we had quite pleasant weather and a week full of events for Bike to Work Week. Hopefully you all got to take advantage of the nice weather and got out on your bikes.

On Tuesday, we saw Tom Lynch nominated as the city’s new Director of Transportation. The selection was praised by numerous current and former city council members and other members of the community who have worked with Mr. Lynch on various transportation projects, and we are certain he will make a good Director of Transportation. Another bonus is that Mr. Lynch is a year round commuter cyclist, so he will be able to bring to his position a viewpoint that we are hopeful will greatly improve transportation options here in the City of Madison.

This Week

On Tuesday, at 5:00 PM, the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) meets and will discuss the Blair St. corridor report which includes the two additional intersections of John Nolen Drive on the isthmus, and they are being asked to approve the geometry of the John Nolen/Williamson/Wilson/Blair intersection so Engineering can move forward with bids and construction as quickly as possible. City Engineering will also be present at the meeting to update the commission on projects they are pursuing, including for requests for proposal (RFPs) for two important multi-use path connections: one along Starkweather Creek behind the Garver property called the Garver Bike Path, and one that would create the first low-stress connection to the city’s bike network for residents living in the Burke Heights neighborhood called the Autumn Ridge Path.

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Proposed route for Phase 1 of the Garver Bike Path

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Proposed route for the Autumn Ridge Path

Also on the agenda is the adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is the result of two years of gathering public input through the Imagine Madison website and public meetings to create a guide that should help shape public policy around the future growth of Madison. This plan will also be at Thursday’s meeting of the Long Range Transportation Committee. Here is the link to the public PBMVC agenda.

On Wednesday, at 7:00 PM ,there will be a community meeting to discuss the April 27th crash on Midvale Blvd. that killed pedestrian Greg Nametz, and severely injured his wife, Patty. The meeting will be at Queen of Peace Gathering Space. Read more about it on Alder Arvina Martin’s web page.

The Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) meets this Thursday, May 31, at 5:00 PM. Adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is also at this committee. The LRTPC will also be asked to adopt amendments to the Elderberry, Pioneer, and Junction Neighborhood Development Plans. Here is the link to the public LRTPC agenda.

Saturday is National Trails Day, and to celebrate, Dane County is hosting the Parks and Trails Unite Festival, which starts at 10:00 AM and runs into the night until 7:00 PM. There will be music happening at both ends of the newly completed segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail. The event is free and open to the public. As mentioned earlier, Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes will be doing a group ride to the festival with feeder rides from around the town. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides from their neighborhoods, so if you want to lead a feeder ride, leave a comment on the event’s Facebook page with the location and time of departure for your ride.

Sunday kicks off the start of Bike Week. The 10th annual Ride the Drive starts at 11:00 AM and lasts until 3:00 PM. The route is along scenic John Nolen Drive and North Shore Blvd. which will be closed to motor vehicle traffic for the public to enjoy. The ride is family-friendly, and there will be entertainment, food, and fun! Join the MadTown Unity Ride starting at 10:30 AM on a ride from the south side of Madison to Ride the Drive. Madison Bikes will have a tent at Ride the Drive that includes a basic maintenance ABC Quick Check. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to help out at this event, so if you are available and can at least identify a basic maintenance issue, please sign up for a spot.

Look for more information on Bike Week events in next weeks blog post. You can also see what events are planned for Madison at the Wisconsin Bike Federation’s Bike Week website.

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Bike News

Winnebago will wait, and Bike Week is coming soon

Last Week

This past Tuesday the Madison Common Council failed to overturn the Mayoral veto on the Council approved option #2 for the reconstruction of Winnebago St. This essentially sends the design for the project back to the drawing board. Rather than hiding in a corner and licking our wounds, we should consider this an opportunity to make the design of the entire length of Winnebago — from the Yahara River to Union Corners a complete street for all users. We will need to stay engaged as the restarted process moves forward. Stay tuned for updates on design proposals and meeting schedules.

This coming week has a few Bike to Work Week events leading up to the big Wisconsin Bike Week events scheduled for the first week of June. (As of Sunday night, when this was posted, the Bike Fed website was down, so we can’t link to the events calendar. But we’ll get more information to you well before things start on June 2.)

This week

While it looks like this week will be somewhat challenging on the weather front, there are some fun biking events that should make you forget about any rainy day woes and help you enjoy the ride. There are also a few meetings worth keeping tabs on.

On Monday, May 21, Bike Fitchburg holds its monthly meetings from 6:30pm –⁠ 8:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd. Anyone with an interest in improving biking in Fitchburg should feel free to attend.

Tuesday, May 22 Local cyclist and personal trainer Krierstin Kloeckner and Harbor Athletic Club Wellness Center host a free Yoga practice for Bike to Work Week. Practice starts at 6:30am and runs until 7:15am. Bring your own mat! Harbor Athletic club is located at 2529 Allen Blvd, Middleton.

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm Short Stack Eatery, at 301 W Johnson St, will have mechanics from Wheels for Winners to help you get your bike in tip top shape. Have a beer and hang out with Madison bike lovers! AND, if you ride your bike to the pop-up there will be discounts and raffle prizes. Come hang out with us and win cool stuff!. Did I mention beer?!? More info here.

Also on Wednesday the Middleton Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Committee meets 6:30 – 7:30pm at the Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave. The agenda should be at this link, but it doesn’t seem to be working, so if someone has a link, we’ll throw it up here. http://sire.cityofmiddleton.us/sirepub/meet.aspx

Thursday, May 24th Harbor Athletic Club and local cyclist Kierstin Kloeckner continue rocking the support for Bike to Work Week with a free Pilates class from 6:30- 7:15 am. Set the alarm early and head over to Harbor to limber up before the ride in to the office. Bring your own mat!

Saris again coordinates with Metcalf’s Bratfest Friday, May 25th to bring us the annual Bike Your Brat to Work Day! The first 200 cyclists to bike through the brat fesr at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way will get to up to two bratwursts, compliments of Saris! Plus, cyclists get to bypass dozens of cars. Be early if you want to be sure to grab that breakfast brat, as there’s typically a line of hungry bicyclists ready for their breakfast brats. This event kicks off the World’s Largest Brat Fest, bright and early on May 25th.

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Bike News

A mayoral veto: It’s the weekly update for May 14


Last week

After the Council approved option # 2 for Winnebago St, on Tuesday, May1 — a big win for safety because the option provided more buffer between the bike lanes and motor vehicle traffic –⁠ the Mayor then decided to veto the Council’s action. You can read his veto letter here.

We anticipate that the Council will try to overturn the veto this coming week. See Tuesday’s upcoming events for more information.

On Saturday, Robbie and Harald presented work at the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison. Other board members, volunteers, and friends of Madison Bikes also attended.

This Week

On Monday, the Madison Bikes Board will meet at 6 pm at the Central Library. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This Tuesday, we anticipate the Madison Common Council will try to overturn the Mayor’s veto of the vote to build option # 2 on Winnebago. The original vote was 11-6, with one alder absent, one abstaining, and one who was chairing the meeting. 14 votes are needed to overturn the veto, and one person who voted in the minority has already said he will vote to overturn.

Everyone can hep by contacting your alder to ask that they uphold the action passed by the majority. There was a robust public outreach process and many committee meetings that came before the Council vote, so it is disappointing that the Mayor wants to undo all that work.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building. You can register to speak, watch in person, or watch the meeting on Madison City Channel. It’s a great lesson in local democracy, and you might become a better advocate or more informed citizen.

On Wednesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works, 106 E Doty St, 2nd floor. If you’d like to help us out with our work on advocacy issues, feel free to stop by.

Friday, Sun Prairie’s advocacy group will be holding a bike commuter station at Canery Row from 6:00-8:30 am. So if you happen to be out that way, stop by to say hello.

We can expect to see quite a few weekend events, as the warm weather is finally here.

Saturday, there are two events. First, from 9:00-noon, Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 East Gorham St is holding a bike rodeo. There is a long list of activities for all ages and abilities. Get a tune up, try out an electric bike, get some safety training for kids, enter the raffle, and learn how to fix a flat.

Then from 1:00-4:00 join others visiting galleries and art exhibitions by bike for Bike the Arts. The fun starts at the Bubbler at the Central Library and then moves on to other locations. A full list of locations and times can be found here.

Sunday, there is a ride for women to check out mountain biking, or just join others. All levels of expertise welcome, whether this is your first time or know the trails very well. Head over to the Bell Joy Ride on the John Muir Trails the Southern Kettle Morraine, N9097 County Road H, Elkhorn.

You can always get the info on these events by checking out the Madison Bikes Community Calendar. Have an event that you’d like to put on our calendar? Send it out way.

In case you missed it

Here’s what we were talking about on our Facebook group:

Baltazar is asking people to vote on the name for the community latino bike group that is formalizing their organization.

There was a spirited discussion about the Mayor’s veto of the Council vote on Winnebago.

Grant posted the results of a survey on what people want in Monona to improve walking and biking.

Does banning hand-held cell phone use actually improve safety?

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In The News

Mayoral veto of buffered bike lanes on Winnebago Street buffered bike lanes on Winnebago Street

The Wisconsin State Journal and the Cap Times both quote from a Madison Bikes positions statement in their coverage of the mayoral veto of buffered bike lanes on Winnebago Street

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Bike News

Monday Update: Mifflin diverter, Monona open house, city rankings

Last week

The highlight of last week certainly was the Common Council voting in favor of buffered bike lanes on Winnebago Street. Madison Bikes put a lot of energy into this project, and we’re very pleased that in the end, a majority of alders supported the project. You can watch a recording of the debate about the project on City Channel (starts at 1:04:00). Here’s the voting record:

Alders voting in favor of Option #2 (buffered bike lanes): Bidar-Sielaff, Demarb, Eskrich, Hall, Kemble, Martin, Palm, Phair, Skidmore, Wood, and Zellers.

Alders voting against Option #2: Ahrens, Cheeks, Clear, King, Rummel, Verveer.

Carter was excused, Baldeh was chairing, and Harrington-McKinney abstained.

Please consider sending a quick email to your alder to thank them for or let them know your opinion on their vote.

[Breaking: We just learned that Mayor Soglin has vetoed the council’s decision. The Council now has to vote on it again, and the project will need a 2/3 majority to pass. Read the mayor’s letter here.]

Also at the Common Council was the Madison Yards project. This is a huge development project on the city’s west side, next to the Department of Transportation building on Sheboygan Ave. If you followed the news coverage and Facebook discussion after the council meeting, there was some confusion about an amendment that seemingly affected plans for bike lanes on Segoe. The amendment was voted down and bike lanes on Segoe (and other affected streets) remain part of the project.

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At the Board of Public Works, the East Mifflin diverter passed unanimously. The diverter blocks motor vehicles from entering Mifflin at Blair and should help to keep traffic volumes on the bike boulevard in check. The city’s report on the test installation of the diverter was positive, but public testimony at the meeting had a large number of critical voices. The project will now go to the Common Council.

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Places for Bikes released their new city rating system on Wednesday. The scoring system incorporates a variety of data sources on ridership, infrastructure, community perceptions, safety, and current investment levels. Madison scored 3.3 out of 5 possible points. This puts us on 6th place overall, and 3rd among large cities. Where we did worst was in the “acceleration” category, which rates “how quickly a community is improving its biking infrastructure and how successful its encouragement programs are at getting people to ride.”

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On the weekend, the Wisconsin Bike Summit took place, including the Madtown Unity Ride on Friday evening, “celebrating the unity and diversity of Madison and to connect communities together.” Channel 3000 has a short segment on the ride.

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Oboi Reed from Equiticity presenting at the Summit (Photo: Peter Gray)

This week

Tonight, on Monday, the Madison Bikes events committee has their monthly meeting. The next big event on the horizon is Ride the Drive and Bike Week in early June. 6pm at Barriques on Park. New faces are always welcome!

If you want to see better biking and walking in Monona, attend the ped/bike open house on Tuesday. The city’s bike and ped ad hoc committee will give a presentation on the committee’s goals and an open house to discuss potential improvements. 6pm at Winnequah Elementary School.

On Saturday you need to choose between two bike events: REI is hosting their Big Backyard Bike Bash. Dreambikes will accept donations of bikes and used parts at the event, and you can get free safety checks and use the bike was station. 10-4 at REI on the west side. If you’d rather combine biking and Craft Beer Week, join the 80s-themed Madison Bike & Brew Tour. All proceeds from the event go to Down with Bikes, Madison’s newest mobile bicycle repair non-profit. 11am at Alt Brew.

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 info@madisonbikes.org.

Categories
Bike News

Breaking: Common Council votes for buffered lanes on Winnebago

At last night’s meeting, the Madison Common Council voted in favor of reconstructing Winnebago Street from Bashford to Second with buffered bike lanes and canopy trees (option 2)! Madison Bikes supported option 2 with a position statement that you can read below. The decision to remove on-street parking and reallocate that space for safer and more comfortable bike facilities and street trees is a major victory for active transportation and livability in our city.

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We’ll have more details later. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this happen!

Madison Bikes Position Statement Winnebago