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Weekly Update

MadBAT, Parking and Some Long-term Planning

Photo: Cyclists of Madison

This week

On Tuesday at 5:30pm, attend a virtual meeting discussing the plans for the Park St/Cedar St/Wingra/Fish Hatchery project. There are several options detailed for Fish Hatchery and Cedar St with varying bicycling facilities, so check out the plans and register for the meeting here.

On Wednesday from 6:00-7:30pm, attend the third in a series of virtual meetings to learn more about the Madison Bicycle Adventure Trail (MadBAT) Network.

MadBAT is a natural surface trail, optimized for biking yet allows for walking and running. It is a citywide network of nodes and arms connecting parks and greenways to neighborhoods. The network would be implemented much like the existing paved bicycle facilities Madison enjoys, over the course of years and in many different phases.

On Thursday at 5:00pm listen in on a special meeting of the Madison Plan Commission where an overview of two different options for residential parking will be presented. Learn about the costs and benefits of the RP3 (“Time-limited parking except for residents with permit”) and RPO (“Resident parking only”) plan options. The meeting will be livestreamed.

Also on Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm, participate in an online workshop discussing the future of Law Park including the John Nolen Drive bike path.

Looking Forward

On November 3, Election Day, BCycle will offer free day passes all day. Just enter promo code 110320 at any kiosk or online to access free 60-minute trips.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is organizing a fall donation drive on November 7! From 12-3pm at nine locations around the city you can donate your gently-used bicycles, or this is a great time to offer some direct financial support. Also, check out a great article in the WSJ profiling Kristie Goforth, the new Executive Director of FB4K.

On November 16, a community input meeting will be held to present the new Draft Vilas Park Master Plan. The new draft includes recommendations for “closure and removal of Vilas Park Drive along the peninsula (Lagoon and Lake Wingra), between the existing bridge and the southern zoo entrance” (emphasis ours) to be replaced with a multi-use path. For a discussion of all the major recommendations and the rationale behind them, there is a detailed decision matrix that will answer a lot of your questions. 

Draft Vilas Park Master Plan (October 2020)

Did You Miss It?

Last week there was an informative kickoff meeting for the next phase of the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and you can watch a recording of it here. Think you know everything you need to know about our BRT? It’s evolved a lot over the past year so it might be worth catching up! A few bicycling-related highlights:

  • Will the buses have bike racks on the front or will we be able to roll bikes right onto the bus? That’s not yet been decided, so there’s still time to comment.
  • The bike lane plan for East Washington and Whitney Way is still being ironed out, but all of the likely solutions proposed seem to be better than what we have now. The street layout options for these segments are discussed in detail at the meeting.
  • When possible, center-running is being proposed which keeps buses further away from bicycle lanes and offers a number of other benefits to riders.
Potential BRT routing (October 2020)

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.

Categories
Weekly Update

2021 City Budget, TPPB, and Fall Riding Gear

This weekend offered another great opportunity to get out and enjoy the wonderful fall colors! While late morning and afternoon temperatures are generally comfortable, I’ve noticed the temperature has started to dip down to freezing some nights. This has caused some cold fingers and ears for unprepared morning cyclists (like myself). Time to dig out the fall ridding gear from the back of the closet! On that note, I decided to describe the causal fall weather riding gear I use for commuting and short trips to the store.

Casual Fall Weather Riding Gear

The key to riding comfortably in cooler weather is to choose clothing that shields your skin from the wind without retaining heat and moisture. Your body will probably generate enough (sometimes too much!) heat to keep your fingers and ears warm if they aren’t exposed.

Light gloves for casual fall riding. Soft shell glove (right) is more wind resistant than the knit glove (left).

Gloves are the first fall weather item I don when temperatures start to drop below 50F. Bike specific gloves can be purchased, however I find many common “soft shell” gloves (right) work fine.

Standard beanie hat (left), beanie without rolled over edge (center) and bike beanie with ear flaps (right).

A head covering is the second fall weather item I add to keep my ears warm. I recommend thin hats for two reasons; 1) my head gets hot and 2) a thick hat can compromise helmet effectiveness during a crash. One option is a standard beanie hat with a rolled edge (left), however this hat type can sometimes push down over my eyes while riding (Bad!). I recommend a tight fitting hat (center) without a rolled over edge that will stay put under a helmet. Some hats come with extra ear flaps (right) which cover the ears more effectively.

This Week

Monday

The Madison Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting Monday at 5pm virtually. You can watch the meeting live or review the archived recording. The agenda includes a few items which maybe of interest:

Tuesday

Madison 2021 City Budget Discussion with the Common Council starting at 6:30. You can watch the meeting live, but you must register in advance if you would like to comment. Watch for a separate follow up post from Madison Bikes on this topic.

Voting

Don’t forget to VOTE! In-person absentee voting starts across the city on October 20. Make a plan to vote, because it’s important. Have questions or need information? Start 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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Off-road trails, city budget, and… Vote

Hope everyone had a chance to get out on these amazing, last, warm days of fall. Soon we will be talking about how to keep warm as the temperatures drop, and then it will be winter biking season. We have plans for those conversations as well, but for the moment, let’s take one more ride in the sun and short sleeves!

The past week

On Monday we had a great open house for folks interested in learning more about both our current board members and what being on the board means. Even if you couldn’t make the open house, you can still apply to be on the board by filling out the application. Deadline is this Friday, October 16. 

The week ahead

Monday

At 6:00 pm, we will host a discussion of the city budget. The budget will be passed in November, but decisions and meetings are happening now. Hear what we are likely to see, and how you can influence what’s in there. Always wondered how the Mayor and Council decide where your tax dollars go? This is your chance to hear a short presentation and then ask questions and talk about what it means to the biking environment. 

Tuesday and Thursday

Public meetings about the proposed Madison Bike Adventure Trail (MadBAT) will happen both nights 6:00-7:30 pm. (There will be a third meeting on Oct 28 as well.) The meetings will present the same information, but this is your chance to hear more about what the plan means and provide comment. Registration is required and can be found on the community engagement page

If you aren’t sure what MadBAT is about, here’s a recent article that lays it out. The idea is to connect parks and neighborhoods with off-road trails and add pump tracks, mountain bike facilities, and other activities so everyone — including kids — can bike to a fun off-road activity.  

Wednesday

Transportation Committee meeting at 5:00 pm. As with all city meetings, you can watch the meeting online and/or comment by clicking the link.

On the agenda is a renewal of the BCycle contract with the city for ten years. 

Also on the agenda are approving plans for the following roads sections 

  • E Johnson from North St to Third
  • E Gorham from Baldwin to Blair
  • Odana from Whitney Way to Gammon. This last converts Odana Rd from a four-lane road to two through lanes, a center left-turn lane, and adds bike lanes. This brings the road back to what is had in the 1980s before a conversion to four lanes was done without public input in the middle of the night. (Yes, really.) Bike lanes on Odana Rd is a big deal and will provie access to many destinations on the corridor. 

And one more thing: VOTE! You can register on-line until October 14; in-person absentee voting starts across the city on October 20, and it’s not too late to request an absentee ballot. Make a plan to vote, because it’s important. Have questions or need information? Start 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.

Categories
Weekly Update

Face Masks, Funding, Walk-Tober

Madison Bikes face masks and DIY kits now available

A man wearing a green face mask with the Madison Bikes logo on it

You can’t have too many face masks, can you? We printed custom Madison Bikes fabric and are now offering hand-sewn (Thanks, Heather and Nicole!) masks and DIY mask kits. You can order yours here and show your support for Madison Bikes while keep yourself and your community safe and healthy. Supplies of the finished masks are limited.

Madison Bikes Board Open House

There’s still time to apply to be on the Madison Bikes board of directors. If you’re interested but want to learn more, drop by our virtual open house on Tuesday between 6 and 7:30pm. Meeting info:
Meeting ID meet.google.com/izm-uttm-xgg
Phone Number ‪+1 316-512-8967‬
PIN: ‪185 331 103#‬

Walk-tober

walk-tober graphic

Cycle September is over, but Walk-tober follows swiftly. The City has put together a bunch of activities to get you walking or wheeling.

October is a great month for walking.   The temperature is cooler and the fall colors are changing throughout the month.  Walk to work, walk to the store, walk to pick up food, walk before school or just walk for fun. Walk-tober 2020 features new walking route ideas each week to encourage you to get out and enjoy the season.  We also have a Walk-tober Challenge to encourage you to keep walking all month and have fun prizes for everyone who completes it.

See here for a full list of activities and there’s also some news coverage.

Benefits Blitz continues

Bike Benefits started their Bike Benefits Blitz in September but just extended it into October. Participate to get the usual Bike Benefits discounts and some extra prizes. Learn how it works here.

Cargo Bikes and Business

If you missed the lunch talk about cargo bikes and business during Madison Bike Week, you can watch a recording here. City staff and local businesses talk about how they use cargo bikes as a flexible and cost-effective solution to moving things around in the city.

Engineering updates

City Traffic Engineering has started providing updates on the various bike infrastructure projects going on right now. We’ll share these through our newsletter. This week the highlighted project is the progress at Gammon Road and the new West Towne Path underpass.

Construction of the next segment of the West Towne Path is underway and features an underpass of Gammon Road and a path connecting to the underpass along Gammon Road to Mineral Point Rd. The underpass is anticipated to be completed by the end of November.
When all segments of the West Towne Path are completed it will ultimately provide an east-west connection for non-motorized users from the Junction Road (CTH M) to the West Town Mall area and to the near west side of Madison.
Here is a picture of progress on the underpass as of mid-September.

Funding for new bike projects

There has been some good news about funding for various bike and path projects in Madison and Dane County. The City was awarded federal funding for improvements to the W Main St bike boulevard (I haven’t been able to find out what types of improvements are planned and when they’re going to take place). And County Executive Parisi announced funding for a slew of trail projects:

  • $6.5 million for constructing the Fish Camp to Lake Kegonsa State Park section of the Lower Yahara River Trail
  • $350k to connect the new boardwalk on the North Mendota Trail to Governor Nelson State Park, and funds to plan for a future trail connection that eventually leads to Mendota County Park.
  • $150k for the planned bike/ped/snowmobile bridge across the Wisconsin River on the Walking Iron Trail
  • $500k for the PARC & Ride Grant Program. “PARC & Ride grants support development of regional bicycle trails that are identified in the Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan. Funds are awarded to local units of government and nonprofit organizations. Eligible projects now include bicycle playgrounds – an outdoor space designed to offer a variety of features and fun obstacles that safely build cycling confidence.”

You can find the full press release here: https://www.countyofdane.com/PressDetail/10720

Temporary Trails at Door Creek, Aldo Leopold Parks

We previously mentioned that Madison Parks has teamed up with Capital City Offroad Pathfinders to have temporary cyclocross trails in parks around the city. The current course is at Door Creek Park until October 5, and starting October 6 a course will be at Aldo Leopold Park. A great family friendly opportunity for some trail/’cross riding in your neighborhood.

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.