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

Monday Update: Vilas Park Plan, Farmer’s Markets and Virtual Everything Else

We’re a third of the way through May already and let’s hope that we’re done with the snow until November. Go ahead and take those studded tires off — you heard it here firstlast! There’s a lot going on this week so we’ll dive right in.

The City of Madison Parks Division has entered Phase II in the plan to make some major improvements to Vilas Park, several of which directly impact cycling through and around the park. There are three separate proposals detailed, but a well-designed survey does a great job of helping you identify which elements from each of the proposals you liked and disliked, so we can presume that the resulting plan may incorporate elements from each of them. In addition to important cycling changes, you can also comment on ice skating, parking, shelter placement and wetland planning. Something for everyone!

Vilas Park Master Plan Concept B Drawing

Vilas Park Master Plan Concept B Drawing. Source: VPMP

Just gotta’ give another shout-out to the Bike Madison team who are delivering comprehensive email updates on cycling in Madison every Friday. With construction season in full-swing, this is an important way to stay on top of things and plan your safe routes. A few highlights from last week’s blast:

  • It’s chip sealing and crack sealing season again and it will affect roads all over the city throughout the summer.
  • Trying to reduce the load on the heavily-used SW Commuter Path? Don’t plan to use Gregory St. as your alternate route because it’s under construction until October.

The Dane County Farmer’s Market is pickup-only for now at an alternative site near the Colosseum (aka The Alliant Energy Center). On both Wednesdays and Saturdays there are dedicated windows for bicycle and pedestrians. Many of the smaller farmer’s markets in town are taking similar precautions, so do your research before you head out to pick up your chard.

This Week

On Monday at 4pm there is a free Health-Oriented Transportation (HOT) webinar titled Reducing Car Use: Project by Project. You can RSVP here.

On Wednesday at 5pm there is a virtual Transportation Commission meeting and you can read the full agenda here. You might take the opportunity to hit the subscribe button on the City of Madison Youtube Channel if that’s your thing, or there are several other ways to participate.

On Thursday at 12pm there is a free Spanish-language Learn to Ride Webinar with Q&A that is “intended for parents, guardians, teachers or other caregivers that are there supporting children learning how to ride a bicycle. Also for adults that would like to learn how to ride a bicycle.” This is happening every Thursday in May, alternating between Spanish and English.

B-Cycle bikes are out and about and maybe you’ve seen an uptick in riding this month due to their Virtual Bike Month Challenges? This week’s prizes will be given for longest individual trip and most total miles for the week. Click through the link to read more about how to use B-Cycles safely today and for the the month-long challenges.

a cyclist on a b-cycle

Contented B-Cyclist Last Weekend. Source: Harald Kliems @ Cyclists of Madison.

Last Week

The Isthmus posted an in-depth article about how our local bike shops are adjusting to our new ways of life.

There was a lively discussion on the Madison Bikes Facebook community about plans to accelerate existing plans to reallocate space on the roadways due to decreased automobile traffic. This will be on the June Transportation Commission agenda, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel posted an article about how Milwaukee is testing out the Saris Wave dividers with some of their bike lanes. You might have seen these in use at various events around Madison, including last year’s Bratcakes on the Bike Path as part of Bike Week.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.