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Atwood Ave, Olbrich Park at TC

Atwood Ave with a makeshift protected bike path. Photo Credit Harald Kliems.

This Week

Madison’s Transportation Commission meets this Wednesday at 5:00 PM, and there’s a fair number of agenda items related to Madison Bike’s goals. The biggest of these agenda items relates to the Atwood Avenue project, with Madison Bikes working towards getting an all-ages and abilities facility for the entire length of the project, and ensuring the lake loop route is accessible all year round.

Current conditions along Atwood Ave at Lakeland.

The Atwood Avenue project has two components that are under discussion this Wednesday. The first is how to route a potential path through/around the park in order to fill a substantial gap in the Lake Monona Loop trail, including enabling year-round access to the route. The second is a proposed modification to the plan on the east end to continue the side path to Cottage Grove Rd, creating an all ages and abilities connection along the entire eastern portion of this project. With respect to the first component, there are now four options being considered for the routing from Lakeland to the path along Atwood. Madison Bikes has endorsed Option 1 and Option 3 for this segment. These options both create a safe, all ages and abilities access to and through the park, and provide a more direct, year-round route for commuters. Option 2 would continue the route largely as it exists today, which means it would not be able to be plowed for year-round use, as the park is a popular sledding hill, and the path would be left snow-covered to act as a run-out for the sledding hill. Option 4 would completely bypass the park, and require people following the lake loop to climb up a larger hill than they are currently being asked to, which makes it a worse option when considering all ages and abilities connections.

With respect to the second component of the Atwood Avenue project, there is a proposal to modify the east end of the project to continue an off-street path to the project’s eastern terminus at Cottage Grove Rd. The existing proposal has the off-street facilities ending at Dennett Drive, with buffered bike lanes continuing to the project’s eastern terminus. While buffered bike lanes are a major improvement over the current nothing that exists today, they are not an all ages and abilities facility. This proposed change would create an all ages and abilities facility to Cottage Grove Rd, which is more in line with Madison Bike’s mission to promote a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place year round.

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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