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Weekly Update

Whitney Way and Vilas Drive Up at Transportation Commission

Photo credit: Tom Wilson

Beautiful weather coming this week, including a very summery Tuesday. Hopefully you were able to join us at our Spring Bike Wash event to get your bike ready for some rides (or your winter bike ready for storage). Thank you to all of the volunteers for helping and to Board Member Peter Taglia for hosting and doing so much of the planning work to make this event a success!

Apply for Grants!

We’re excited to be part of this exciting new grants program, specifically for projects that are led by and benefit People of Color and/or people from Tribes/Native Nations. The JUST Bikes Coalition invites individuals and organizations that would like to contribute to local, neighborhood-based efforts to support equity in active transportation, with a special focus on safe and comfortable access to bicycling. Learn more, share with your networks, and apply soon!

This Week

Monday

Join the Madison Bikes Board of Directors for our Bike Week planning session on Monday (4/25) at 6 pm. Help us set goals, create a planning timeline and brainstorm new, fun events. Bike Week will take place September 12-18, 2021.

Wednesday: Transportation Commission!

This week at Transportation Commission, a number of important issues are up for discussion. First, Vilas Park Drive’s reconfiguration will be up for discussion. We support removing car traffic from the road entirely – a strategy already proven by the Shared Streets program last year. Second, Whitney Way is also up for some incredible improvements, including a buffered bike lane. We highly encourage you to write or speak in support of these efforts to get us closer to a city where people of all ages and abilities can bike to every destination they need, regardless of where they live.

(Note: you can get a sense of the kind of feedback you can give the Commission by clicking on the link in the agenda about this item [Vision Zero], which will lead you here. People write in with varying level of detail and certainly a lot of personality! Your vocal support really does matter.)

Sunday

Bombay Bicycle Club is hosting an open house at Garner Park.

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.

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Weekly Update

Spring Bike Wash, 20 is Plenty

Image credit: Jim Wilson

Spring is in full swing with trees budding and flowers blooming. To help emerge from the winter season, Madison Bikes is hosting a Spring Bike Wash and Safety Check. This event will take place Saturday, April 24, from 1 PM to 5 PM at Clark Ct, near Brittingham Park. Volunteers from Madison Bikes, Down With Bikes, Dream Bikes, BikEquity, and Wheels for Winners will be on site to assist with safety checks. Cleaning supplies, tools, and lube will also be available for use. Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/events/785154002417389/

Also this week, the Madison Vision Zero Initiative is bringing a presentation on the 20 is Plenty campaign to two city committees: the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB), and the Board of Public Works (BPW). 20 is Plenty is a campaign to reduce the default speed limit on city streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. Injuries that result from a crash grow exponentially more severe with speed, so lowering speed limits should help save lives. The 20 is Plenty slides can be seen here. TPPB meets Monday at 5:00 PM, and BPW meets Wednesday at 4:30 PM. Both meetings are taking place virtually.

This Monday’s TPPB meeting also has a presentation on Complete Green Streets. Topics for this presentation include pre-design engagement and gap analysis approach. Pre-design engagement in projects is about reaching out to communities where a project is proposed to get a sense of what that community wants. The gap analysis approach is how to approach gaps in the low stress pedestrian and bicycle network.

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.

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Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Advocate for Better School Bike Facilities, Transportation Commission

West high school bike racks.

Advocate for Better School Bike Facilities

High school may be a distant memory for many of us, but I want to bring your attention to an important high school and bike topic which I think is receiving insufficient attention. You are likely aware that Madison residents recently approved a $317M referendum to invest in MMSD school facilities, with most of the money earmarked for the four major district high schools. MMSD has drawn up project concepts and is in the process of turning these into firm requirements to send out for bid. You can view the project proposals and schematics here. Disappointingly, none of the MMSD project project call out any specific improvements to pedestrian or bike facilities.

Many bike facilities at MMSD schools are over crowded, in poor condition, and poorly designed (see image of west high above). This is unacceptable, we need to invest in enhanced bike, bus and walk infrastructure to make it safe, convenient and inexpensive for students to get to school! Relying on car transportation unfairly places the cost of transportation on families which can be a significant percentage of income for the underprivileged. At a minimum facilities should include functional, well lighted and covered bike parking, bus shelters and well lit walking paths around the school property, so kids feel safe walking home, unlocking their bike or waiting for a bus after dark.

Please help me advocate for better bike and pedestrian facilities at our schools by submitting comments to the Post Referendum Facilities Survey and/or sending an email to the MMSD school board. The comment period is nearly over, so please act soon.

Wednesday, April 14th

Transportation Commission meets at 5pm this week and can register for the meeting here. Agenda items include a few items of interest, the city staff is proposing to revert pedestrian/bike crossing signals back to pre-COVID timing phases (view list of intersections, agenda item #8). In its current form, this change means pedestrians and bikes will once again be required to press walk buttons to receive a signal to cross. I personally, have become accustomed to the automatic pedestrian phases and would like to see many of them stay. You should send the TC an email to advocate for an intersection in your neighborhood.

The second item of note on the TC agenda is #6 after many public input meetings and discussion the city is proposing the following changes on Whitney Way. This is a hard earned win for pedestrian/bike friendly infrastructure design and it would be great if you could show your support by attending the TC meeting or sending a quick email of support to the TC.

  • Adding a buffered bike lane from Old Middleton Rd to Tokay Blvd
    • This will require the removal of all the on street parking from Sheboygan to South Hill Dr
  • Pedestrian improvements including:
    • Old Middleton Rd – Adding high visibility crosswalks
    • Langlois St – Adding a pedestrian curb ramp and install a high visibility crosswalk
    • Door Dr  – Adding new crosswalks
    • South Hill Dr – Adding a rapid flash beacon crossing on the south side of the intersection and add a high visibility crosswalk
    • Tokay Blvd – Adding high visibility crosswalks
  • Lowering the speed limit on Whitney Way to 25mph

Free Bikes 4 Kids

Free bikes 4 Kids is a local nonprofit who is urgently seeking volunteers to help meet the overwhelming demand for bikes. Free bike requests were up 150% in 2020 and they are expecting high demand this year as well. If you would like to help, more information can be found at: https://fb4kmadison.org/pedaling-news/calling-nonprofit-partners-schools-community-centers-to-receive-bikes-in-may/

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
Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

It’s Just That Normal Spring Weather Whiplash

Two differently-sized people riding a bike together along the SW commuter path
Two differently-sized people enjoying a ride together along the SW commuter path (Harald Kliems @ Cyclists of Madison)

If you do everything in this post, it might end being a very busy week in Madison for you! I think we have a nice blend of virtual and in-person activities to enjoy. While you’re out, enjoy that novel feeling of wind on your bare limbs. While you’re in, tend to that first, glorious sunburn of the year. In fact, you can share those #bikeshortburn photos over on our Facebook community and the “winner” with the “best” lines gets a bit under 1/4 of a bottle of last year’s Coppertone knock-off SPF 70, courtesy of me, redeemable at our bike wash event later this month. Please don’t try to win this competition though — really this is a just a friendly reminder that it’s legit sunscreen season for a lot of people out there.

This Week

On Monday at 5:00pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will meet virtually. You can watch the stream online or use the full meeting link to register to comment and see other options. Of particular note, the agenda includes a review of a quite comprehensive Downtown Madison Bicycle and Moped Parking Study. This comprehensive report touches on all aspects of bike parking downtown — rack placement, costs, rack types, and more. All with colorful pictures and maps too. Did I mention it was comprehensive?

On Tuesday get out and vote if you haven’t already! You can still read the alder candidate responses to our questionnaire.

On Wednesday at 6:30pm, the Greater Madison MPO Policy Board will meet virtually and discuss a wide variety of items including a bit about the University Avenue reconstruction, changes to their project scoring metrics and new board member nominations. For registration to watch the online stream or other access, check the linked agenda.

On Thursday at 5:00pm, join our friend Pepe Barros (City of Madison’s Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Coordinator) for a virtual event hosted by Dreambank titled “THINK & EXPLORE: Smart Cities and the Biking Economy”. Registration is required!

On Saturday starting at 8am, CORP is holding their Quarry Ridge Spring Work Day. These fun off-road trails are located between Madison and Verona just adjacent to the Military Ridge trail. If you’re biking out for the event (or any other reason!) remember to allow a couple of minutes extra to detour using the Badger State Trail/Cap City Trail, because segments of the Cannonball Path and Military Ridge Trail are closed due to a year-long sewer project.

Also on Saturday, between 12pm and 4pm, Free Bikes for Kidz is looking for some volunteer muscle to help relocate some bikes between two east and north-side sites. If you’ve kept up with your strength-training regime all winter, this is your chance to put it to good use! U-Haul trailer will be provided but it may take a dozen or so bikes to pull it. Check the event link for more information and a signup form for all of the ongoing FB4K opportunities.

Coming Up

Mark your calendars for the Spring Bike Wash & Safety Checks on Saturday, April 24! There will be volunteers from Madison Bikes, Down With Bikes, Dream Bikes, BikEquity, and Wheels for Winners to help clean up and safety-check those bikes and if you don’t have a bike yet, BikEquity will have their library on-site as well.

From the Bike Madison newsletter on Friday, we learned that Ride the Drive 2021 will be happening on Sunday, June 6 with a few significant changes to the format due to COVID-19. Expect to hear a lot more from the City of Madison and us on this classic event!

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.