Categories
Weekly Update

Military Ridge closure; Garver Path drainage trouble; City is hiring

Last week, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) held a public meeting on the planned construction of a “force main” between Verona and Madison. This pressurized sewer line will move sewage from the area to the Nine Spring Wastewater Treatment Plant. Why is this relevant for the Madison Bikes community? Because the project potentially would severely impact the Military Ridge State Trail. At this point, MMSD is evaluating four alternative routes:

Map of the four alternatives for the relief sewer (Image: MMSD)

You can see that all alternatives would either run along the Military Ridge and Ice Age Trails, or at least cross it, potentially closing it for a long time. The Military Ridge State Trail is the only safe bike connection between Madison and Verona. For the sections impacted by Alternatives 3 and 4, there is no safe detour option. Maple Grove Road has heavy car traffic and only a narrow shoulder:

Conditions on Maple Grove Rd (Image: Google Street View

Alternatives 1 and 2 affect a different segment of the trail, but it seems that it would easier to create safe detours. You can provide feedback on the project with this brief survey. The survey closes on March 2, so please respond quickly. Here’s the alternatives analysis presented at the meeting:

MMSD alternatives evaluation (Image: MMSD)

Last chance to apply as Ped Bike Outreach Specialist

Today (2/28, 11:59pm) is the deadline to apply as the Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Specialist for the City of Madison:

The City of Madison is looking to hire a Pedestrian Bicycle Outreach Specialist responsible for educating pedestrians, bicycles, motorists and other active transportation users on safe practices. The position performs community education, community outreach, and project coordination within the Pedestrian Bicycle Program of the Traffic Engineering Division. The position includes undertaking direct education to youth and adults, establishing and maintaining contacts within the school district and community, doing presentations, overseeing volunteers, coordinating with other education programs and evaluating program efforts. This position will work collaboratively with other staff in the division, the school district, community centers and local non-profits to coordinate education efforts throughout the City. This position works closely with under-represented communities.

Find out more and apply here.

Bike Fitchburg Board Meeting

As always on the 4th Monday of the month, Bike Fitchburg have their board meeting. The meeting will be online. Find more information on Facebook.

Garver Path drainage troubles

On our Facebook Community Group, there was a discussion about the paving quality of bike paths in general and the new Garver Path in particular: A member of our community slipped and fell in an icy puddle on the path. There was a thoughtful discussion in the comments, and the Alder for the district chimed in as well. The bottom line: Contractors sometime mess up, and the path will be fixed in the spring. And if you ever encounter drainage issues on a bike path, please let the city know.

Drainage issues on the Garver Path (Image: District 15 Alder Grant Foster)

Car free spaces: Yes, we have one

We’ll end this update with a video. YouTube channel City Beautiful explored what happens when US cities close streets to car traffic. One of the examples: State Street in Madison (skip ahead to 3:35 in the video to get to the Madison portion). Unfortunately the footage is from winter, and so State Street doesn’t look as bustling as it does in summer.

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
Weekly Update

Vision Zero, Hammersley, Safe Streets Madison; BCycle; Wheels for Winners

The Transportation Commission has a long agenda this Wednesday. Here are some items of interest to the Madison Bikes community. You can register to speak or email your comments to TransportationCommission@cityofmadison.com on any item on the agenda.

Hammersley Reconstruction

We have previously mentioned the upcoming reconstruction of Hammersley Road. One proposed option installs a multi-use path for people walking and biking on side of the street. The project is now back at the Transportation Commission for approval, after having gone through public meetings. What has changed since the previous proposal: Some on-street parking has been added back in. While this has no impact on the multi-use path, it appears to involve the removal of some mature trees. The other change is the crossing of Whitney Way. Crossing the road here has been very challenging, and the multi-use path on Hammersley makes a new design necessary. This is what is being proposed:

Sheboygan Avenue Reconstruction

This project has been at the Transportation Commission previously as well. Currently Sheyboygan Avenue does not have any bike infrastructure, an issue that will become more pressing once the Madison Yards project increases density in the area and bus rapid transit will bring additional buses on the street. No materials have been made available yet, so we don’t know what the latest plans are.

Vision Zero Action Plan

The challenging path to zero by 2030 (Graphic: Harald Kliems)

Vision Zero, the commitment to eliminate all traffic fatalities and injuries in Madison by 2030, now has an action plan. This long document outlines what steps the city is going to take to achieve our goal, and how it will measure progress. Madison Bikes has been on the stakeholder engagement group that provided input on the action plan. The document provides a lot of facts on where crashes occur, who is most affected by them, and what some of the challenges are in making our city safer. Is the action plan as written going to be sufficient to achieve Vision Zero by 2030? We will see. But any vision needs an action plan to have any chance of success. Go take a read!

Safe Streets Madison

Safe Streets Madison is a city program that combines previous traffic safety, bike and walk improvements, and traffic calming programs into one unified program focused on safety and equity. The program already was on the Transportation Commission agenda two weeks ago. That meeting focused on the overall program and how the ranking of projects works in general. This week the first batch of projects will be up for approval. The list of unsafe streets and of gaps in the walking and biking networks is long, and city staff are asking the commission to approve at least $500,000 worth of projects, with more to be approved later in the year. It appears that the proposed projects are the ones in this spreadsheet. They range from very cheap ones such as “yield to pedestrians” signs, to more involved infrastructure projects building sidewalks or installing median islands. One odd item on the list: $15,000 for laser-speed equipment for the police department.

Madison BCycle season starting March 15

The UW campus will have additional BCycle stations (Photo: Harald Kliems)

In just over three weeks, the 2022 Madison BCycle season will start! March 15 is opening day. And there are a number of changes this year: There will be more stations, more bikes, and more time for your rides. The annual subscription costs will increase too, but if you’re already an annual member you can lock in your renewal at the current rate (and discounted rates for UW and MATC affiliates will remain the same). Read the news release for more details.

Sewerage District project impacting Military Ridge Trail

The Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District is holding a first public meeting about a project that may have long impacts on the Military Ridge Trail between Madison and Verona. It looks like all proposed options will lead to a temporary closure of the trail, which does not have a safe detour option. Sign up for the public meeting on Wednesday and learn more about the project here.

A map of the four alternative alignments for the relief sewer (Image: MMSD)

Fat Bike Racing at Blackhawk

The fat bike season is nearing its end. On Saturday morning, you have the opportunity to race on the wonderful trails at Blackhawk Ski Club in Middleton. There are juniors, citizen, and elite race categories, and you get extra points for wearing flannel or Olympic Games-themed costumes. Sign-up at 9am; race at 11 am.

Volunteer at Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Our friends at FB4K Madison are in the peak of their volunteer season and are always in need of more people. Sign up for available shifts here.

Volunteer hours are available Monday – Thursday, 9am-3pm and on some evenings from 6-9pm. We like to have fun while we work and volunteering is a great social outlet during these limited social options.

NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY: We have a spot for everyone at the FB4K Workshop! Whether you come alone, as an individual, or with coworkers, friends or teammates, FB4K is sure to provide a valuable volunteer experience for anyone. 

Support Wheels for Winners fundraiser

Wheels for Winners are doing their big fundraiser for the year, to “help us with our most ambitious project to promote access to bicycling within Communities of Color.” They are very close to reaching their target — you can push them above with your donation.

We will enable 150 people to become bike owners through our well-established earn-a-bike program, (2) furnish a minimum of 100 bikes for bike rodeos, loan-a-bike programs, and similar riding events, (3) repair over 200 bikes at community events, and (4) co-sponsor over 10 community riding events

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
Weekly Update

Bike Advocate Jobs; Group Rides; Policy Meetings; Detour Updates

A Madison bike commuter riding last Friday. Photo: Harald Kliems.

Last Friday’s Winter Bike to Work Day featured lots of fun. Thanks to the volunteers who helped hand out free food and drinks, and to our sponsors who provided deals to people commuting on bikes. Congratulations to Tara Dary, who had the closest guess for the Bike Counter total on the Cap City Path. The number was 262 and Tara guessed 249. That brings the counter to 1,570 for the week! Thank you to Revolution Cycles for the generous prize donation, which will be delivered by bike to Tara by one of our board members.

This Week

Bike advocacy jobs in Madison! This week you can apply for two jobs that support efforts to make Madison a better place for all pedestrians and bicyclists. Traffic Engineering is hiring a permanent Pedestrian Bicyclist Outreach Specialist with competitive pay and great benefits, application deadline 2/28/2022. Details here. The Bike Fed is also hiring an Educational Programs Instructor for the Madison area, application deadline 3/17/2022. Details here.

Detour update: The University Ave bike path detour via Flambeau Rd. through Indian Hills Park is now open, allowing users to avoid detouring via Whitney Way. See below for current detour and part of the path still closed.

On Monday, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will be discussing plans for new streets in the Oscar Meyer Special Area Plan, which may make it easier to bike to areas of Madison siloed by Packers and Aberg avenues. TPPB will also be discussing making streeteries permanent, and will provide an update on Let’s Talk Streets. Link to more information.

On Tuesday, ride over to Slow Roll Cycles on Monona Drive for their weekly mellow group ride. Details posted on their Instagram and Facebook on Tuesday mornings, rides leave at 6:20 PM. Looks like it might be above freezing this week!

On Wednesday, join a free webinar with Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, for a discussion of Transportation for America’s “Driving Down Emissions” report. The report hones in on solutions to the challenges of making US transportation accessible to anyone, year round, whether they own a car or not. In reducing car dependence, these policies combat the largest driver of climate change in the US – transportation emissions. Registration required, link here.

Graph: EPA Emissions 2019 (https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions)

Wednesday at 5:30 PM, you can participate in long-term regional transportation planning in the Madison metro area. WisDOT, Metro Transit, and local government units in the Madison Area work with Madison MPO to make comprehensive, movable transportation plans for the area that comply with federal law. You can ask questions and provide feedback on the processes found in MPO Public Participation Plan, Regional Transportation Plan 2050, and Transportation Improvement Program during the meeting by registering here. Written comments can also be submitted by March 17th to wisconsin.fhwa@dot.gov.

On Thursday, a public information meeting about Russell Street reconstruction will happen at 6:00 pm. This small street can be used to access Atwood businesses and restaurants from the Cap City path, and its pavement is of particularly poor quality. Link here.

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
Weekly Update

Winter Bike (To Work) Day

A cyclist rides past the Southwest Path’s Bike Counter. Photo: Cyclists of Madison Twitter.

This week has an exciting day for Madison Bikes. Friday is International Winter Bike To/From Work/Anywhere Day, and to celebrate, we have a special announcement! Announcing the International Winter Bike to Work Day “Guess the Bike Counter” contest!

Guess the correct total # of riders that pass by the bike counter at Capital City Trail @ N. Shore Dr. from 12:00am to 11:59pm on Friday, February 11th. Guesses must be submitted by 11:59pm on Thursday, February 10th – no late entries will be accepted. Submit by email (liz@madisonbikes.org) – one guess/entry per person. The prize, donated by Revolution Cycles, will be bike delivered to you by a Madison Bikes board member (if you are located in Madison).
Good luck!!

This Week

First up this week is a pair of public information meetings for the Hammersley Road Resurfacing Project. The pair of meetings is to allow more of the public to participate in the planning process. The first meeting is Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM, and the second is Wednesday at noon.

Hammersley Road is scheduled to be resurfaced between Brookwood and the W Beltline Frontage Rd in 2022 and 2023. The current plans are to remove on-street parking and bike lanes, replacing the bike lanes with an off-street multi-use path on the north side of the street.

Hammersley Rd Project Limits. City of Madison.

To learn more about the Hammersley Rd project, and how to participate in one of the public meetings, check out the project’s webpage. Also be sure to take the survey.

Wednesday also has a meeting of Madison’s Transportation Commission. The big items on the agenda are related to the permanent continuation of Madison’s Streatery program that allowed restaurants to use street space for expanded dining areas. A few other items are updates on 2022 Transportation projects, but there isn’t much info about them other than locations.

As mentioned earlier, Thursday at midnight is when guesses due for the “Guess the Bike Counter” contest for Winter Bike to Work Day.

On Friday, February 11, join Madison Bikes and our partners as we celebrate International Winter Bike to/from Work (or anywhere) Day:

International Winter Bike to Work Day is a real thing…and we’re loving it! Join us on your way home from work or school and enjoy a warm beverage, a hot fire and some friendly winter biking conversations. Coffee donated by Lodgic Everyday Community.

In addition to various specials all day around the city, join us between 3pm and 5pm along the Capital City Trail — near the timekeeper between the convention center and the causeway. We’ll have treats, a hot fire, warm beverages and a lot of the enthusiasm!

On Sunday, Freewheel is restarting its Sunday Volunteer Day. This volunteer opportunity is at the Madison Bicycle Resource Center on S Pinkney St. Learn more about this volunteer opportunity here.

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.