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Spring Bike Wash today cancelled

In light of the crummy weather, we decided to cancel today’s Spring Bike Wash and Safety Checks. We’re working on a reschedule — stay tuned.

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Weekly Update

Bicycle Center News, Closures, Bike Wash Party (cancelled due to weather)

A Cyclist in Madison (Cyclists of Madison and Harald Kliems)

That wind!

This Week

On Monday, the paid membership portion of the downtown Madison Bicycle Center, managed by Freewheel, will be opening for the first time. Members can access bike storage, showers, lockers, changing rooms, and other core MBC amenities 24/7/365. If you work downtown, you should definitely give it a look-see. The facility and services are still available M-F from 9am-6pm for everyone and the semi-enclosed/well-lit bike parking is available 24/7 for everyone too!

On Wednesday at 10am there will be a Zoom event titled Advocating for Clean Transportation in Wisconsin. Speakers/panelists include representatives from the Bike Fed, WisDOT, City of the Green Bay, City of Madison and Greater Madison MPO. Free registration.

Due to a terrible weather forecast, the Saturday bike wash event has been cancelled. We’ll post when a new date is scheduled!

On Saturday from 1pm-4pm-??, come on down to the Madison Bikes Spring Bike Wash & Safety Checks event! It’ll take place right next to Brittingham Park on Clark Ct and there will be signage to help you find us.

Have you been riding all winter and still have a thick salt crust on your bike? Did you just get back on the bike for the season and your ride sounds a little creaky? Bought a used bike and want to make sure it’s safe? Either way, join us for our Bike Wash on April 30. We’ll have cleaning supplies, tools, lube, and volunteers from Madison Bikes, Dream Bikes, and Wheels for Winners on site who can check your bike for basic safety.

Even if your bike’s already sparklingly clean, stop on by to socialize and chat about bikes and bike advocacy. After the event, the party will continue as an informal community meeting where we’ll discuss all things Madison Bikes including Bike Week 2022!

You might be interested in reading some national coverage of the rising rates of pedestrian and cycling deaths in this opinion piece from the New York Times.

Finally, a Madison icon is retiring (maybe paywalled, sorry about that). Crazy “TV” Lenny, or now Crazy “Bike” Lenny is wrapping up his career (at least until whatever he does next). You may also remember the “Firenze” 10-speed road bikes from the 80’s that often came free with any sizeable purchase of furniture or electronics. His most recent venture, the bike shop that specializes in E-Bikes on Odana Road, will remain open under new local ownership.

Construction and Closures

Starting Monday, Old Middleton Road will be largely closed from it’s eastern terminus at Eau Claire Ave to Old Sauk Rd for the entire season. Once school is out for the year, it will close even further west from Old Sauk Rd to Capital Ave. Technically, one travel lane westbound only will remain open throughout, but that will probably not be a great biking option so best get used to your alternatives such as the University Ave path and/or winding through the hills south and west of Owen Park (h/t Harald).

Maybe it would help to join the collective kvetch in the discussion on our facebook group? The good news is that once the project is completed, we should have a smooth surface and a bike lane in both directions for the entire length of the project.

Old Middleton Rd 2022 Closure Map (City of Madison)

The brand-new pump track at Aldo Leopold Park will be closed until July (again with the paywall) to install a new skills track around the pump track and to allow the grass to grow in. It will surely be worth the wait!

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the list of highway projects that Dane County has started or are in the works for this summer/fall construction season.

Upcoming

Bike Week in Wisconsin is June 5-11. The event calendar isn’t available yet, but if you want to run an event you can register it here.

Can you believe we’re almost to May? Bike Month will be all month, as declared by The League.

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

Saris Gala, Comprehensive Plan, Biking Events

Be prepared for more Wisconsin spring weather this week. I plan to have my rain coat and pants close-at-hand in case I get caught in the rain (or snow!?).

Saris Gala

On Friday, April 22nd at 6pm, the Saris Gala will be held at the Saris headquarters in Verona with the goal of raising money for Madison area bike facilities.

Our mission is to invest in bike park projects in under-served communities worldwide and we are starting right here in our own backyard.

Learn more…

Tickets are available for $50 in advance and $60 at the door.

Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Project

After much deliberation and community input, the Parks Commission decided to implement Option 3a multi-use path through Olbrich Park. This option was considered a compromise which most people could live with, maintaining bike access through the park and leaving most of the lake shore path as-is. Another benefit is that option 3a doesn’t interfere with the sledding hill and can be plowed in the winter. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback as part of the Atwood Ave reconstruction project.

Madison Parks Commission selected the Option 3a multi-use path design for Olbrich Park.

Capitol Off-Road Pathfinders (CORP) Spring Fundraiser

CORP Annual Fundraiser returns to its rightful place at Machinery Row Bicycles on April 23! All the highlights you remember: beer, food, and the famous bottomless raffle! $20 at the door (kids free!).

1000 Friends of Wisconsin Webinar Series

If you are unacquainted, 1k friends of WI is a local group that promotes land use policies and activities that advance healthy communities, positive economic outcomes and environmental benefits in Wisconsin. They are hosting a four part webinar about street design and what we can do to reclaim public space. Registration is free!

Reclaiming the Streets for Living, Together – April 20, 2022 from 12pm-1pm.

Comprehensive Plan 2022 Progress Update

Updates to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is a 28 page document that will be presented at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board on Monday April 18th at 5pm. The plan provides an overview and current status of city wide initiatives in the following six key areas. It’s worth a quick readthrough to understand the long term vision of the Mayor and city staff have laid out for our city.

  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Neighborhoods and Housing
  • Economy and Opportunity
  • Culture and Character
  • Green and Resilient
  • Effective Government

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

Olbrich/Atwood Path – One More Committee

This past week

In case you missed it, there was a great article in the Isthmus about Dane County’s plan for paths to connect existing paths and some important destinations. It will be great to fill some of those gaps and have a real network all the way across the county – which actually would mean connections across the state. But although it’s great to see the map of planned connections, the article makes clear that some of these paths are years away, maybe even a decade. 

Coming up this week

Tuesday

At Noon, the Madison Area MPO will be holding the final public input session on the Connect Greater Madison: Regional Transportation Plan 2050. Learn more about the planning work to date and provide your comments on the draft plan goals, recommendations, and performance measures. The meeting will be recorded and available on their YouTube channel

Wednesday

Atwood/Oblich Path at Parks

The Board of Park Commissioners will be considering the path through Olbrich Park/along Atwood. Since this path is going through the park, this meeting is really critical if we want the best option to serve all ages and abilities. Comments at past committees and/or participating in the survey that went out were great, but we need one last push at this meeting. 

There is a well-organized neighborhood group that is pushing for keeping the bike route next to Atwood — essentially a wide sidewalk — and then using Oakridge and Welch to connect to the Lakeland. It will be very important for those who want a more-direct and less-steep option to contact the Board, or even better, to show up to testify. 

Although the Transportation Commission voted to recommend option #1 as the best for transportation – with option #3 as the second alternative – the Parks Board will be considering a different set of criteria, and they have the final say as to what to recommend to the City Council. The Board of Park Commissioners will be more likely to look at the best option for park users over the best option for those moving through or next to the park.

All the documents related to this matter as well as the comments that have already been submitted are at the link above. Here is the link to participate in the virtual meeting, watch the board meeting online, or send comments. 

Need an update on what the options are? The weekly update from March 21 has a good rundown. 

Transportation Commission

Also on Wednesday, the TC will be considering the reconstruction of the western portion of Lake Mendota Dr – from Baker Ave to the Madison city limits. This has been controversial in the immediate neighborhood because the city plan recommends adding sidewalks to one side of the street to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. The street is already a low-stress biking street, but pedestrians need to walk in the road, including in winter. This includes kids walking to Spring Harbor Middle School. 

Save the dates for Bike Week June 5-11

And a reminder to save the date. Madison Bike Week will be June 5-11 this year. We are currently soliciting financial sponsorships, but we will soon be reaching out to groups, businesses, and individuals that want to plan events (commuter stations, discounts, classes, gatherings, rides, or other activities.) So mark it on your calendar and start to think what you or your group/business would like to do to celebrate. 

Freewheel is hiring!

From our friends at Freewheel, we received this announcement. If you are looking for a job, read on.

Freewheel seeks an eBay Sales Associate. We receive a lot of donations of high-end parts that do not sell quickly at the Madison Bicycle Center, but people online are interested in them – and the money we get from sales keeps our classes free for everyone. Our current staff doesn’t have the time in their workday to manage and develop our tiny little eBay store – but maybe you do? We’ve received a generous donation that’s earmarked for a limited-term, part-time position that would identify, photograph, list, pack, and ship the high-end, small donated parts we receive at our facility. Although this is a limited-term position, we hope it will pay for itself – in which case, this position will last much longer than the one month we currently estimate. You can read the full job posting here: https://www.facebook.com/jobs/job-opening/3039568626306232/ Or, if Facebook isn’t your thing, you can send your resume and cover letter by email to lang@freewheelbikes.org.

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

Best and new bike shops, Vilas Park delays, regional transpo plan, and a new trail in Verona

Madison’s best bike shop? You decide

It’s that time of the year: Madison Magazine are running their Best of Madison 2022 competition. In the category of bike shops you can vote for:

  • Atkins Verona Bicycle Shoppe
  • Black Saddle Bikes
  • Budget Bicycle Center
  • Machinery Row Bicycles
  • Neff Cycle Service
  • Revolution Cycles

New bike delivery and repair co-op

The CycleWorks team (Image: Madison CycleWorks)

Speaking of bike shops: Madison has a new bicycle-focused business: Madison CycleWorks. Key facts about CycleWorks: They are organized as a worker-owned cooperative. They offer mobile bike repair, as well as pedal-powered delivery for wholesale distribution, business delivery, and direct-to-consumer delivery, for example for restaurants. CycleWorks are open for business, and they are also raising funds through Kiva micro loans.

Disclosure: Several worker-owners of CycleWorks are current or former Madison Bikes board members.

Olbrich Park survey still open

We have previously covered the Atwood Avenue reconstruction and the different options for the path alignment through Olbrich Park. The Transportation Commission recommended option 1 (with option 3 as an alternative) at their March 23 meeting, but it’s the Board of Parks Commissioners who make the final decision at their April 13 meeting. The survey about the different options continues to be open and you can still vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/olbrich

MPO regional transportation plan

The Greater Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is hosting a final set of public meetings about their Regional Transportation Plan 2050. The MPO is a crucial player in shaping the transportation system of our metro area, as large amounts of federal transportation funding go through the MPO. The online meetings take place on April 7 at 5:30 and April 12 at noon. You can sign up here: https://greatermadisonmpo.konveio.com/upcoming-meetings More information about the plan and an interactive map where you can provide feedback is available here.

Vilas Park plan delays

Remember how the Parks Department agreed to implement a temporary plan to remove car through-traffic on Vilas Park Drive, back in May 2021?

Cars would no longer be able to use Vilas Park Drive as a cut-through route under the interim traffic management plan approved in May 2021 (Image: City of Madison)

Well, nothing much happened last year and cars continue to drive through the park. The updated timeline was: “first thing next spring.” Now we have learned that the project will be completed in mid-June at the earliest. The delays apparently are related to staffing and supply challenges, and the Parks Department not offering an earlier date to the pavement contractor because of “events/activities” at the park shelter. So keep watching out for cars when you walk or roll through Vilas Park.

A new trail in Verona

On a bike ride today I noticed new multi-use path in Verona. It runs from County Highway M along Badger Mill Creek to Arbor Vitae Dr. (the connection with Arbor Vitae wasn’t quite done yet). The path doesn’t provide a whole lot of new connectivity for people who don’t live nearby, but it definitely seemed busy with people walking, biking, and mono-wheeling today. Here’s some video footage:

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.