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Weekly Update

New bridge, new city position, and new BCycle station

New Badger State Trail bridge over McKee Rd
The new Badger State Trail bridge over McKee Rd. Photo: Harald Kliems

Well, the students are back in town, and as usual, there is a steep learning curve for them as to how to behave on the streets, trails, sidewalks, and other public spaces. But this year there is the added adventure of social distancing. We all need to be patient as the new residents learn our ways. Try to slow down a bit, announce your passing movements way early, and expect the unexpected as you ride through the downtown and campus. It happens every year, but we all need a little extra space and kindness this year. Try to be generous and gentle.

The past week

The new Badger Trail bridge over McKee Road  is up, but it’s not open yet. In a couple of weeks, we’ll let you know when there is a grand opening. This will make crossing the road so much more comfortable for everyone — no stopping at the intersection, no confusion with the flashing lights, and no wondering if the drivers are going to yield. 

And after many years of work and some obstruction by a few local communities, the first official US Bike Route in Wisconsin has been approved by Wisconsin DOT and Adventure Cycling. Madison Bikes Board member Robbie Webber worked on mapping this route over a decade ago, but there were a few bumps along the way before it was official. Although many Wisconsinites may already know many of these links, it’s great to have a route from the Mississippi River (at Winona, MN) to Lake Michigan (the ferry dock in Milwaukee) officially published. This is part of USBR 30, which will run coast to coast, but each state needs to approve the exact route in their state.

map of US Bike Route 30 in Wisconsin

The city is stepping up their game when it comes to outreach and education for not just bicycling and walking, but also driving. The previous position was principally devoted to doing bike and pedestrian safety presentations at schools and community meetings when someone specifically requested it, and the job has been vacant for a few years. The new person will have a different title and the job will be more proactive in its focus. You can read the memo explaining the changes here, but in general this looks like a positive development. No job posting yet, since this is just the authorization to create a new position.

And we have a new BCycle station! It’s at Breese Stevens Field, and sure to be popular when we can go back to gatherings, concerts, and Flamingos games. This location has been requested by a lot of people, and will fill a critical gap in the station network, since it’s close to so much of the new development and destinations. You can also check out a new type of station — one without kiosks! Check out their Twitter announcement

The week ahead

Monday

Monday at 5 pm, the Transportation Planning and Policy Board will meet. There are a few changes to neighborhood plans, a discussion of the Residential Parking Permit Program and Resident-only Parking Program (discussion only), and some possible modifications to the BRT Local Prefered Alternative involving possible center-running sections (as opposed to using the right lane). This last item could affect bike facilities on some sections of the route. 

Wednesday

On Wednesday at 6:30 pm, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MPO) will meet. They will be holding a public hearing on the Transportation Implementation Plan, which governs the projects that the MPO might fund for the next five years. This plan is updated every year, but it gives us a good idea what their plans are for major projects throughout the metropolitan area. The TIP won’t be approved until the October 7 meeting, but there doesn’t appear to be a link to the document itself. (Not great public access, IMHO.)

Don’t forget….

And of course, don’t forget that Bike Week will be starting up on Sept 12. We’ll have more information on that in a separate post, but we WILL have activities, even though not the kind we all love where we get to socialize and hang out. If your business, club, organization, or work place would like to host an event, discount, promotion, or other activity, you can submit it now to get it on our Bike Week calendar (which will be up soon.)

In the meantime, you can join the Madison Bikes group for Cycle September at the Love To Ride site. Even if you are on a team at work, you can join our group as a club/organization. We will have some special prizes awarded in a drawing for group members, so, yeah, that’s an incentive.

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Bike News Weekly Update

Cedar St, new path on Anderson, Cap City detour — and Madison Bike Week!

It’s another week when it is hard to focus on biking issues. Police in Kenosha shot Jacob Blake, a Black man in the back. Seven times. Will this ever stop? Not if we don’t make it stop, through individual and collective action. As Governor Evers states: “While we do not have all of the details yet, what we know for certain is that he is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country.” “Although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action.” I encourage everyone in the Madison Bikes community to think about what actions you will take to dismantle anti-black racism and police brutality.

This Week

Some good news on the north side of town: The construction of a multiuse path and bike lanes on Anderson Street near Madison College is mostly complete. This project helps close a gap in our low-stress bike network between the Starkweather Path and the Reindahl Park Path. Unfortunately, the crossing of Stoughton Road was not improved as part of the project, as it’s under the control of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Anderson Street multiuse path and bike lane (Photo: Linda Larsen)

We mentioned the public input meeting about the new Cedar Street in last week’s update. I haven’t heard how that meeting went, but the topic will be back at the Transportation Commission on Wednesday. The questions in front of the commission is whether to have buffered bike lanes or “door zone” lanes next to on-street parking on this newly built street, and what the crossing of Park Street should look like. You can register to speak on the topic here, or submit written comment to pmcguigan@cityofmadison.com.

Also on Wednesday night, the new bridge for the Badger State Trail across McKee Road will be installed (weather permitting). It will still be a few weeks before construction is complete and the trail will reopen. I’ll try and be out there with my camera!

In other construction news: The Cap City Trail will be closed between Nob Hill Road and South Towne Drive for a sewer project. The closure is schedule to begin on August 26 and will approximately four weeks. Follow the detour signs.

Another stretch of the Cap City Trail will be closed starting September 1. For the final phase of its repaving, the section between Seminole Highway and the roundabout (Velo Underround) will be closed for a few weeks. Fortunately, there is a convenient detour via the Cannonball.

For a full construction update, subscribe to the City’s Bike Madison update emails.

Madison Bike Week

Madison Bike Week is going to be very different this year — as so many things. But we’re still committed to celebrating biking in Madison in all forms and shapes, this year from September 12-20. Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

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Bike News Weekly Update

Board Member on NPR, Cedar St. meeting

Did you see? Woodman’s East just added a bunch of new bike parking! Photo credit: Nate Smith

A member of our Board of Directors, Robbie Weber, was interviewed last week by NPR. If you’re new-to-biking or know someone who is, it’s a great starting point for advice. Although, as Robbie points out: “Believe it or not, people often are glad to share their knowledge. You may not be able to shut them up once you ask them for help.” What can we say- we love to see new people on cycles!

This Week

On the biking front, it’s a fairly light week. There’s a public information meeting about the Cedar Street construction, happening on August 20. There are some questions about the best path forward, with two alternatives listed. One of these involves road design and parking on the new Cedar Street. The city is deciding between a buffered bike lane for the entire stretch of the new Cedar Street or transitioning partway to standard bike lanes.

In notable construction: The Badger State Trail in Fitchburg is closed for construction of a bridge over Highway PD until mid-late September. Follow the marked bicycle detour.

It’s Madison in the summer, which means lots of construction. As always, make sure you receive the city’s Bike Madison update emails.

Next Week

A public information meeting for the the long-planned reconstruction of West Wilson Street is happening on August 25. Learn more and register here.

Now that the sun is beginning to set before 8, don’t forget your bike light. Keep getting in those great summer rides!

Categories
Bike News

Weekly Update: Cedar, Blair at TC and Book Club

Last Week

Kids riding comfortably on a car-free Arboretum Drive. Photo: Marybeth McGinnis

An online petition to keep Arboretum Drive closed to car traffic gathered over 1000 signatures. Arboretum Drive closed to car traffic earlier this year to allow walkers, joggers, and bicyclists space to maintain adequate physical distancing during the pandemic. The University reopened Arboretum Drive to car traffic on July 31 despite the worsening conditions of the pandemic. Read the guest post by Sally Lehner.

This Week

There will be a virtual meeting of the Transportation Commission on Wednesday at 5 PM. On the agenda is an opportunity comment on the future of the intersection of Cedar Street with Park Street. Currently there are four options on the table for the intersection and it is still open for public comment. We would like to make sure the intersection features good bicycle access along and across Park Street. Another item is the approval of the reconstruction plans for South Blair Street. These plans also include the final reconstruction of the Blair/John Nolen intersection. Of note, the city is apparently moving forward with plans to add a cycletrack to the south side of Wilson Street. Getting good bicycle facilities along Wilson Street has been a years-long push by Madison Bikes to improve bicycle access to the downtown area from the lake shore.

In other news, on Friday there will be another Virtual Book Club event. This month’s book is Cyclescapes of the Unequal City: Bicycle Infrastructure and Uneven Development by John G. Stehlin. This book has been chosen because it addresses biking, mobility and social inclusivity.

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In The News

Petition to keep Arboretum Drive closed to cars tops 1,000 signatures

CHANNEL 3000 NEWS

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Bike News Weekly Update

Cedar Street: Take Action, Plenty of Virtual Meetings

Three cyclists enjoying State St with murals behind
Riders enjoying State Street. Photo: Harald Kliems

It’s been a beautiful week for cycling! Cooler temperatures have given us an early taste of autumn and people are taking advantage.

State Street is a very interesting destination right now, as it is ped/bike only and there are many beautiful and powerful artifacts of our times on display. Mifflin St from the Capital Square all the way to the Yahara River is closed to all but local automobile traffic, which makes for a relaxing, low-stress ride with plenty of room for physical distancing.

Last week

In our Facebook group, there was a lively discussion about why the Military Ridge Trail in Verona hasn’t been paved yet. (Spoiler alert: Largely snowmobile access, but do catch up for yourself, it’s interesting reading.)

On Saturday, Urban Triage helped organize the Voices of the Youth’s Ride & Grub. You can see photos and other info on their site.

We hosted a guest blog post from Sally Lehner, where she discussed a petition to keep a portion of the Arboretum drive car-free. The petition had over 850 signatures as of Monday morning. We’ve also had a spirited discussion on our Facebook group, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This Week

In last week’s update, we reported that the Transportation Commission approved a low-stress design for the new Cedar Street extension. Because of the projected number of cars on the street, the design features buffered bike lanes on both sides of the street, and on-street car parking in front of the to-be-built supermarket.

Proposed design of Cedar St, showing parking and buffered bike lanes
Proposed design of Cedar St, showing parking and buffered bike lanes

The design will get its final approval at the Common Council meeting on Tuesday night. Street space is always contested, and some registrants at the Transportation Commission meeting advocated for taking away the buffer from the lanes or even building a street without bike accommodations at all. Please consider registering in support of the low-stress design (use agenda item #60869). You can register your support or opposition without the need to speak at the meeting, and you can also send your comments by email to allalders@cityofmadison.com.

On Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is meeting at 5:00. The agenda looks relatively light this month!

On Tuesday, the Common Council meets at 6:30 with a stacked agenda, including the aforementioned Cedar St item tucked away in there.

On Wednesday, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) is meeting at 6:00. You can read the agenda here.

Far Out!

A gentle reminder that there’s still time to read the virtual book club selection for next Friday, August 14: Cyclescapes of the Unequal City: Bicycle Infrastructure and Uneven Development by John G. Stehlin. Event details here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org 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.