Categories
Weekly Update

Let’s talk streets; bike camping; two crashes

A bicycle trailer loaded with 9 kids bikes
Putting the Madison Bikes trailer to good use by transporting kids bikes to and from a BikEquity event

Bike network progress

Tonight at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board there will be a progress report on how the bike network expanded in 2020 and how it will grow in the future. In 2020, Madison got 3.6 new miles of bike lanes and paths; in 2021 we will get 7.7 miles, including the Garver Path, buffered bike lanes on W Wash, and a protected bike lane on Broom St. See the whole list here. Other topics on the agenda: A planned freeway expansion of the Beltline and several items regarding bus rapid transit.

Loop the Lake 2021

Our friends from the Clean Lakes Alliance are hosting their annual Loop the Lake fundraiser. You can either bike around Lake Monona at any time between June 12 and 20, or join the main event on June 19, starting at Olbrich Park. More info here.

Let’s Talk Streets

Several city initiatives around transportation, safety, and how our streets work are underway at the moment: Vision Zero (focused on eliminating traffic deaths and injuries), Complete Green Streets “for everyone, no matter who they are or how they travel,” and others. Public engagement is really important to these initiatives, and in order to not burn out the public with several separate engagement processes for each initiative, the engagement process is going to be unified. It starts off this week, and you can choose between virtual meetings either at 5pm on Tuesday or noon on Wednesday. Sign up here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/initiatives/lets-talk-streets

We want to know what you think about the streets you use to work, live and play in the City of Madison. What do you value about our city streets, what worries you, and what type of street user are you? How can the City design streets around people? The purpose of Let’s Talk Streets is to learn from each other about how we design streets for the future in Madison. It’s a conversation with YOU that seeks to gather public input to influence several different street-related initiatives while ensuring you know what we mean when we “talk streets” and we learn from you what is important about how you talk streets.

Bike camping on the shortest night of the year

The summer solstice is coming, and Black Saddle Bikes is hosting a bike camp-out at Brigham County Park. Depart Madison on Saturday, ride to the park and camp, and bike back the following day.

Dangerous by design?

There have been reports of two bike crashes in the past week. One involved a collision of two people biking on the SW Path overpass of the Beltline. According to reports, the collision happened in one of the turns, possibly with one of the people riding outside of their lane. Visibility is limited there because of the tall fence and a tree, and several people reported having had close calls there. We reached out to the city to see if any safety improvements can be made.

Fence on the overpass making it difficult to see oncoming traffic

Another notorious location for bike crashes is the crossing of the Cap City Trail at Syene Rd. In 2016, a person driving on Syene Rd struck Cheri Maples on her bike, eventually leading to her death. Several other injury crashes have happened in the years since. The area is currently under reconstruction, and minor improvements of the crossing appear to be included.

“Cannonball”?

On our Facebook group, someone asked how the Cannonball Path got its name. It didn’t take long for our board member Grant to post the correct answer:

For many years there were two passenger trains and two or more freight trains traveling the line each way daily. The “Cannonball” freight train, pulling a passenger coach, left early in the morning from Lancaster and returned from Madison late in the day.

http://www.friendsofmilitaryridgetrail.org/history-of-trail.html

This didn’t stop other from spinning yarns about alternative explanations: Maybe there is a brotherhood that “sets up a cannon at an undisclosed location along that path and absolutely smokes a random cyclist passing by. If they survive, they are permitted to join the brotherhood.” Or was it named after “John J. Cannonball,” an early bike advocate who in 1920 tried to prove that high-wheeler bikes were superior by racing from Dodgeville to Madison, ending in the collision with a cow…? No, it’s really named after a historic train run.

Categories
Weekly Update

Art Bikes, Advocacy Meetup

For this week’s photo, a little insight into Salt Lake City roads! You can see a center-running light rail station in the background (with users waiting to cross the street), and a bike in lane on the left. It’s not our city, but doesn’t it look an awful lot like E Washington?

Did you have a chance to enjoy this year’s Ride the Drive? The event, usually on John Nolen Drive, happened at a few neighborhood streets. Folks shared photos from the event in the Madison Bikes Community Facebook.

I missed Ride the Drive this year, as I was traveling to Salt Lake City, UT (yes, it felt weird to travel!). In many ways, Salt Lake is similar to Madison – a big college down, similar populations, and a capitol city. They’re also lucky enough to have BCycle (“Green Bike”), a regional light rail system, and frequent buses, all of which I used to get around. Traveling always makes me see my home in a new light. For example, SLC’s roads – even those in neighborhoods – were wide and fast, yet I saw cyclists on nearly all of them. I didn’t see any off-street paths, but for someone like me, that wasn’t necessarily a downside: I like to ride on streets so I can easily find my destinations. SLC, despite its wide roads and sprawl, seems to be changing for the better.

I like to use vacations as a way to communicate about biking with others. After all, when you’re traveling to a new city, enjoying the sights on foot or on wheels is often pleasurable and desirable. We can use these experiences to help our neighbors see their city through the lens of possibility: what if our city felt like that, for everyone?

Advocacy Meetup

Speaking of advocacy…would you like to join other Madison Bikes community members for a casual yet productive conversation about advocating for biking in Madison? Register here. Folks who are new to advocacy, organizing, and biking are especially welcome!

This Week

Wednesday

On Wednesday at 5:30, the Transportation Commission will meet, but it’s a fairly internal-facing agenda, mostly focused on updates and work planning.

Thursday

From 4:30-6:30 at Garver Feed Mill, Bcycle will unveil its Art Bikes! Twenty bikes will be presented by local artists, not-for-profits, and businesses.

Saturday

Ride with BikEquity this Saturday at 11 at Penn 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.