On Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board unanimously passed a resolution to end the City of Madison’s Bicycle Registration Program. The city is instead planning on encouraging registration through a national program that they will coordinate with. This change will not be official until passed by the Common Council.
On Wednesday, the Board of Parks Commissioners voted to reopen Vilas Park Drive to through car traffic. This is despite a petition with over 500 signatures and testimony that the Drive’s closure has been a net positive. The Board expressed openness to reconsidering interim Drive closure in April, noting that the Draft Master Plan recommends the Drive remain closed to through car traffic. This decision dealt a massive blow to people wanting Vilas Park Drive to continue being safe and comfortable to non-motorists using the park. Alder Tag Evers’ blog post from December 12 goes into more detail.
On Wednesday there are two bike-related meetings woth mentioning. The first is a regular meeting of the Board of Public Works. The second is a Public Involvement Meeting about Phase 2 of the Demetral Park Path.
Board of Public Works
The Board of Public Works will be meeting at 4:30 PM. There are two bike-related items worth mentioning.
First up on the Agenda is approving plans for the Garver Path between the Capital City Trail and Milwaukee St. This path is part of a larger planned network to connect the near east side to the north east side of Madison.
The next bike-related item is a report on the Bassett St Protected Bike Lanes. The report recommends continuing the parking protected bike lanes and extending it as planned in the Bassett St Corridor Plan.
Demetral Park Path – Phase 2
Also Wednesday, at 6:00 PM, there’s a Public Information Meeting about the Demetral Park Path Phase 2. Phase 2 completes an off-street connection between the path along Johnson St and the Demetral Park Path. Previously the City improved the Demetral Park Path and connected it to Commercial Ave in 2018. Property acquisition issues led to some delays, but the city is moving forward with this key connection.
Moving on to Thursday, there are two bike-related meetings happening at around the same time. The first at 6:00 PM is a BRT-related meeting. The second at 6:30 PM is related to the reconstruction of E Dean Ave on Madison’s east side.
The BRT Update meeting is primarily going to focus on Whitney Way and Sheboygan Ave. Whitney Way is notable because it currently lacks high quality all-ages and abilities bicycle infrastructure. Center running the BRT buses would improve bicycle infrastructure on Whitney Way. This would require sacrificing on-street parking, which was opposed to by many participants at the last meeting. If you are available please consider attending this meeting to show support for better bicycle infrastructure. Alder Arvina Martin has a blog post going into more detail.
E Dean Ave Reconstruction Meeting
Finally the meeting on E Dean Ave. Anyone with experience biking on the east side of Madison, especially from Monona, knows that E Dean Ave is in rough shape. The city is currently proposing three options.
Option 1 is the narrowest option, and would best promote traffic calming. Option 1 proposes Madison’s first ever advisory bike lanes. What is an advisory bike lane? A video by the City of Ottowa best sums them up. Bicyclists have right-of-way in the cycling lanes, but cars may use them to pass oncoming car traffic as long as no bicyclists are present.
Options 2 and 3 propose more traditional bicycle infrastructure solutions. Option 2 would have no street markings and an 8 foot sidewalk on the south side of the street. Option 3 would feature a wider street with marked bike lanes for part of the street and pull out parking.
In summary, there are four bike-related public meetings this week. The best way to get comfortable, all-ages and abilities cycling infrastructure is for the cycling community to stay engaged with the public process. If any of the above meetings strike your interest, I encourage you to attend.
As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at email@example.com 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.