So far this winter we’ve had some pretty nice weather for cycling: dribs and drabs of snow, but enough warm days to let the streets clear up. That changed towards the end of last week, and seems to be continuing with persistent small amounts of snowfall coupled with colder temperatures.
You might appreciate the ongoing efforts to keep the shared use paths clear. It makes a particularly big difference on long weekends like this, where the cleanup previously would have had to wait until Tuesday after 2-3 days of traffic, leaving an icy mess. For a great discussion of these efforts and more, check out the City of Madison’s Everyday Engineeering podcast episode titled “I Want to Ride My Bicycle”. The guest is our own Grant Foster, who dual-wields his Alder hat and his Madison Bikes Buff.
With residential streets ice and snow-covered from the 1-2 punch of the melting/refreeze cycle and these continual dustings of snow, we also take the opportunity to highlight the importance of safe cycling infrastructure on city salt routes. For the typical rider without studs, these routes may be the best way to get around safely on bike until another thaw. This is one of the reasons why we advocate for improvements to busier roads like Whitney Way, Winnebago Street, and East Washington Ave. It’s also worth mentioning that riding on sidewalks is usually an option as well; see our FAQ on the subject!
Finally, if you haven’t already, check out our second episode of Madison Bikes Winter TV: “Staying Warm”. It’s just under five minutes and has plenty of useful tips and lots of guest stars!
While it’s likely to be a big news week in many ways, it’s a relatively slow week for cycling-related meetings and events.
On Thursday at 12pm, the city will hold the first virtual meeting for public participation for the Odana Area Plan (registration required). This west-side area is a bit larger than it sounds — bounded by Mineral Point Rd to the north, Segoe Rd/Presidential Lane to the east and then following the West Beltline on the south and west. One specific item to check out is a map of the draft bicycle network plan, which reads like a long-term wishlist for bicycling facilities. You can see a lot of ideas for new both on-street and shared-use paths plus a few overpasses/underpasses for the Beltline. Look for the dashed lines on the map and lighter pink dots on the map.
If you can’t make this one or prefer an evening session, there is a second meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 27 at 5:30pm.
As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.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.