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Bye-bye BCycle, TPPB meeting

Cyclists of all ages doing some gift delivery. Photo: Cyclists of Madison/Harald Kliems

Last Week

The Wisconsin State Journal posted a profile of Ben Dickmeyer, the city’s newly-hired Bicycle Recovery Specialist. Find out what all goes into his work and read it for free with no paywall this week on articles from the site.

BCycle bikes are gone for the season. Maybe take the opportunity to complete their annual survey to help shape the future of BCycle in Madison. Did you know you can check out a BCycle pass from your local library? Well, you probably can’t right now, but you’ll be able to when they come back in March. We look forward to the day when we can enjoy them year-round!

On that note, revisit this 2013 article that describes a pilot program to leave some of the downtown red BCycle bike stations open for the entire winter. Clearly this wasn’t carried forward into the e-bike era, which I suppose makes winter operation trickier due to the need to do battery swaps, reduced battery efficiency in colder temperatures, and snow and ice removal around stations. If we can go to the moon, seems like this might be a solvable problem!

This Week

On Monday the city Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) meets at 5pm (agenda, watch). This is the last meeting of the calendar year and features a few interesting topics.

First, the board will approve the prioritization of the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) application to the federal government. This is a program where the federal government offers grants covering 60-80% of the cost of qualifying infrastructure projects. Cities can submit multiple applications, but they must prioritize them, thus this list.

Map of Potential TAP projects 2022-2024 – Image: City of Madison

The first five (of ten) are:

  1. School Rd – Troy to Wheeler Safe Routes to School/Ped Improvements, Bike Boulevard
  2. East Wash alternative: Reindahl Park to East Springs Dr using local streets to East Washington frontage road Traffic calming, bike boulevard, new bike lanes on frontage road
  3. Badger Rd – N Rusk Ave to Overpass (phase 1) Shared-use path along E Badger Rd to connect Rusk to beltline overpass
  4. West Towne Path – Gammon to Zor Shrine Shared-use path
  5. West Towne Path – Zor Shrine to High Pt Shared-use path

Projects not selected by the feds may still move forward with support from the State or other funding sources.

Then, a discussion of proposed creation of a citywide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program, which “is a package of information, policies, strategies and incentives designed to encourage users of the transportation system reduce the number and length of SOV [single occupancy vehicle] trips and consider alternative, more sustainable, forms of transportation.” According to the slide material, some of these techniques have been used before to guide development, but this formalizes it as a broad city policy.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at 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.