Madison Bike Week is from June 1 through June 8, 2024!
Newsletter Weekly Update

BCycle Kicks Off, Olbrich Park Path and TC recap

Two cyclists on BCycles dressed for cool weather
Two BCycle riders dressed for cool weather (Cyclists of Madison)

Can you believe that just seven days ago we were digging out from a wet messy snow storm? What a difference a week makes!

In addition to great bicycling weather, warmer temperatures mean that the street sweepers can get their brush on at night. Spring street sweeping keeps a lot of sand and salt out of the storm sewers (and the lakes!) and of course makes for safer and cleaner bicycling. According to the street sweeping site, shared-use paths are cleared using lighter equipment several times per year, so expect to see those vehicles out as well and if there are any major problem areas, use Report A Problem to let the city know.

This Week

On Monday at 5pm, the Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet (agenda) and it looks like you’ll be able to enjoy a presentation about the Transportation Improvement Program, which discusses a whole cargo bike-full of bicycling improvements from 2023-2028.

On Tuesday, BCycle season officially kicks off. This year you’ll find a bunch of new stations (eight announced to be available at launch with more to come) and 75 new bikes in the system. The prices are increasing slightly, but until March 15 you can still lock-in last year’s annual rate and save yourself $15. I’m not sure if that includes tomorrow, March 15, or not, so best do it ASAP using the code BACKTOBCYCLE.

Atwood Avenue is being reworked from Cottage Grove Road to South Fair Oaks Avenue and there will be many bicycling improvements. The biggest change is routing of a new multi-use path through Olbrich Park for which the city has an open survey. In case you are unfamiliar, this area is part of the iconic Lake Loop around Lake Monona.

One of the four options for routing the multi-use path through Olbrich Park (City of Madison)

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet:

  • Design option routes closer to the lake than the existing route.
  • Design option is similar to what exists now but would not be a year round bike route because it crosses the bottom of the sledding hill. Parks would not clear the path in the winter, similar to some parts of the Garner Park and Elver Park path systems.
  • Design option #3 is similar to except that it routes around the bottom of the sledding hill to allow for snow removal.
  • Design option #4 (submitted by local neighborhood groups) would take the path completely out of the park, making it a longer route and adding elevation and an additional conflict point at the parking lot entrance.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in weeks and months to come. The work is scheduled to be done in 2025 but the city is trying to move it up to next year.

Last Week

Last week had a stacked Transportation Commission meeting. Here are a couple of the highlights:

  • The commission unanimously approved the proposed design for Hammersley Road. The rebuild includes a multi-use path on one side, and it greatly improves the crossing of Whitney Way by turning a turn lane into a center island. The project still needs to go through the Board of Public Works and the Common Council. The district’s Alder, Yanette Figueroa Cole, spoke in favor of the project, despite the vocal opposition from some residents. Consider sending the Alder an email thanking her for the support of the project:
  • Staff presented an option that will turn on-street parking into a buffered bike lanes on Tokay Boulevard between Whitney Way and Segoe. The project will come back to the commission again at a later point, but commissioners supported the overall design.

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.