What? No snow?
(Your intrepid weekly-update reporter is in California this week, so I have only remote reports about the weather, so forgive me if I get that wrong.)
With the first major storm of the year becoming somewhat of a bust, and our Winter Bike Fashion Show behind us, we are fully into winter bicycling season. For some, that may mean putting your bike in the basement or on a trainer in the living room to pedal during a Netflix binge. But we hope you will get out there and embrace the season. There are lots of knowledgeable people on our Facebook page to help you stay warm, dry, and safe during the cold, dark months ahead.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of important meetings coming up. While it may not be peak biking season, it is the season to plan what will be built next year (or beyond.)
So let’s take a look at the calendar for the coming week.
The week ahead
Bike Fitchburg is having a community open house. Opens at 5:30 pm, program starts at 6:30. Refreshments provided. This meeting is intended to help familiarize municipal planners and elected officials on the Bike Friendly Community application and our work in supporting communities to submit an application in 2019. Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Road.
Bassett Street Corridor Study Public Involvement Meeting. 7:00-8:30 pm at the Madison Senior Center, 330 W Mifflin St. The city will be rebuilding Bassett St because of some water main problems. But they want to take a look at making some improvements, especially where it intersects with the 400 block of W Wilson St. As the only street connecting Johnson and University directly to John Nolen Dr – and the Lake Monona Path – negotiating the last block of Bassett, the sweep onto Wilson, and the crossing of John Nolen Dr can be a nerve-wrecking experience.
This meeting is to discuss goals and objectives of the project. Following very quickly will be a meeting on the alternatives, which will be December 11, also at the Madison Senior Center.
Finally for Monday, we have some fun. The MEAThead ride has started up again. A no-drop loop of Lake Monona that leaves from Ford’s Gym every Monday at 7:00 pm from November through March regardless of weather conditions. That’s the way to stay active!
Giving Tuesday is the day non-profits remind you to send them some money in the midst of all the holiday spending. While Madison Bikes hasn’t made a big Giving Tuesday push, we’d be thrilled if you chose to send us a few bucks. We are an all volunteer organization, but there are still bills to pay, like to keep this website going. We are also trying to do some professional development for our board, so they know best practices for 21st century biking infrastructure. We join national organizations to see what others are doing and bring ideas home. You can donate to Madison Bikes this year and support our work.
The Transportation Commission is meeting on Wednesday at 5:00 pm in Room 354 of the City-County Bldg, and there is one item of interest to bicyclists, although it’s not very good news. Because of the state law that prohibits using eminent domain to acquire land needed to build pedestrian and bicycle facilities (we still don’t know who inserted that language into the budget in 2017), there will be a discontinuous path running next to Pleasant View Rd. The TC will receive a presentation on the plans for the road and then approve the geometrics (including the partial path.) If you would like to see the slides, you can access them here. You can also attend the meeting or watch it streaming on your computer.
Bus Rapid Transit may not directly be a bicycle issue but we all benefit from improved transit. How the road is allocated and integrating bicycling into the road along with BRT, as well as making sure the stations and vehicles are bike-friendly is important. Roll-on/roll-off bikes on buses, anyone? Level boarding could make that possible, and many cities allow it.
The first public meeting about BRT is December 12, 6:00 pm at the Central Library, and there is already a website to learn more about BRT and keep up.
The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the MPO) will be receiving a presentation on the Fish Hatchery Rd project in Fitchburg at their December 5 meeting. The MPO does have some say over the plans, and they have adopted a Complete Streets policy, so maybe we can get them to make the design better for those traveling along and across the road by foot or bicycle. The meeting will be at the Water Utility Bldg, 119 E Olin Ave, at 6:30 pm. More on that next week.