Categories
Action Alert

Ghost Bike Dedication on August 17th for Will Cummings

William Cummings was killed on August 1st in a traffic crash while riding his bike on Pflaum Road. Join the Madison Bikes community and his family to dedicate a ghost bike in his memory and to show support for building a city where everyone can ride a bike safely and without fear. Join us tomorrow (August 17th) at 5:30 pm on the corner of Pflaum Road and Mustang Way.

Categories
Weekly Update

Peak summer means great biking… and construction

What we’re talking about this week

McFarland BCycle station

The new BCycle station in McFarland’s McDonald Park has gone live. This is right at the other end of the Lower Yahara River Bridge from Lake Farms Park, so it will provide an important connector for those who want to commute into Madison or just borrow a BCycle to enjoy a ride on the bridge and around the parks on either end. 

Stewart Tunnel
Letter from Department of Natural Resources (Image: Friends of the Badger State Trail)

Some great news came out about the currently-closed Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail. The DNR has chosen an alternative for fixing the tunnel based on considerable public input and analysis of cost alternatives. While we don’t have a date for when you can avoid the hilly detour caused by the closure of the tunnel, funding will be requested in the next DNR budget. 

City wayfinding survey

And a reminder to take the city survey about which style of wayfind sign you prefer on the multiuse paths. On our Facebook Community, many people have questioned why these signs are needed or if the information will be useful. Don’t pedestrians and bicyclists already know how far things are and how long it takes?

Not necessarily. 

We get a lot of out of town visitors, new residents, and people just trying out the paths for the first time. Cues as to where you are don’t always exist on the paths, especially parts of the SW Path, Cap City, or Cannonball Trail that have fewer cross streets or are in less developed areas. If you didn’t know how close Monroe St was — with all the amenities it offers — you’d never guess riding on the SW Path. And studies have shown that giving people a time reference to nearby destinations encourages walking and biking. They may see the sign and think, “Oh, it’s only ten minutes to walk there? It would take me that long to find a parking space!”

The week ahead

Monday

The Transportation Planning and Policy Board meets at 5:00 pm online. They will be discussing the Complete and Green Streets plan for the city. This plan will eventually create a modal hierarchy that will change the transportation planning assumptions for the city to prioritize walking, then transit, then bicycling, and finally driving. Parking is even below driving in use of the public right of way. Needless to say this is very different from the conventional way transportation decision making has been in most U.S. cities. The plan will also create street typologies to recognize that a neighborhood residential street will function differently than a street where offices and big box stores are the dominant land use.

The TPPB will also be discussing the Transportation Demand Management plan for the city, which will require new developments to offset their predicted traffic generation with actions and amenities that incentivize not driving (providing transit passes, bike share stations or memberships, improved connections for walking, paying for parking separately from rent, etc.)

The TPPB will not be making a final decision on these, but the discussions should be interesting.

Construction updates

The intersection of North Shore Drive and John Nolen Drive will be closed later this month so that the railroad tracks can be replaced. Bicycle access through the area will be maintained either by the path (with possible delays or brief closures) or via a lane on the road. The work doesn’t start until Aug 26, but it might be a good plan to start thinking of alternative routes. 

Also, towards the end of this month a more significant closure will happen. As part of the ongoing University Ave reconstruction, the Campus Dr Path will be entirely closed for about a month from Marshall Ct to Highland. This includes the crossing of University Bay Dr as well as the portion of the path that runs next to the VA Hospital parking lot. There will be no way to get through on the path, so plan your detour now. There will be a marked detour starting at Shorewood Blvd (if you are headed east), but depending on your destination, you may want to choose a different route. 

We’ll keep you updated when the closure will actually happen.

In order to keep up with construction, subscribe to the city’s Bike Madison updates.

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

Queer bike ride; S Pinckney at TC; a second biking death; driving subsidies

South Pinckney bike lane

Plan drawing of proposed S Pickney St bike lanes

Wednesday’s Transportation Commission has one bike-related item on the agenda: A new cross-section for South Pickney Street between the two blocks of the Judge Doyle Square development. The design puts two five-foot wide bike lanes each in the center of the roadway, with bike boxes at Wilson and Doty Street. No additional materials are available yet, but I suspect putting the bike facilities in the middle is an attempt to reduce conflicts with cars dropping off and picking up guest at the hotel that will be at this location. The City is seeking feedback from the commission and the public. If you want to submit public comment, you can email TransportationCommission@cityofmadison.com or sign up to speak on Zoom here https://www.cityofmadison.com/city-hall/committees/meeting-schedule/register

First monthly queer bike ride

It was supposed to happen during Madison Bike Week, but this Wednesday it is finally time for the inaugural queer bike ride. Every second Wednesday of the month the “party-paced” ride will depart in Law Park at 6pm. This month’s route follow the Cap City Trail and make a stop at the Great Dane in Fitchburg. Follow @madisonqueerbikeride on Instagram for the latest updates and details. All bodies are welcome.

Another person biking killed

After Taylor Dunn’s death in June, another person was killed while they were biking. The crash took place last Monday in the afternoon on Pflaum Road and involved someone driving a box truck.

Pflaum Road has bike lanes, but they lack physical separation from motor vehicles.

We are in contact with the family of the victim to organize a memorial and ghost bike dedication. Stay tuned.

Every person killed or injured while biking is one too many, and we must continue to do whatever we can do to reach Vision Zero: No more death or injury on our streets.

How the City subsidizes driving

Bike activists have long pointed out the many ways in which driving is subsidized, at the federal, state, and local level. Don’t believe us? Well, the listen to Tom Lynch, the City’s Director of Transportation. At last week’s meeting of the Transportation Policy and Planning Board he presented a stark local example of these subsidies: The new Wilson Street garage in downtown. One parking stall in the garage costs the city about $450 in debt service and operations. The revenue from parking fees, on the other hand, is merely $212. This leaves a gap of $240 per month per stall that goes to people who drive their cars downtown!

Screenshot of a slide with a bar chart comparing the cost and revenue per parking stall in the Wilson Street Garage. Costs are about $450; revenue about $212, leaving a $240 gap.
Screenshot from TPPB meeting
Categories
Weekly Update

Leopold Pump Track Dedication Party, Pedestrian and Bicyclist Funding, Bike The Barns

Local youth utilizing one of Madison’s low-stress routes. Source: Cyclists of Madison Twitter

Last Week

Funding for N Mendota Trail: Dane County announced it will award Middleton $1 million for construction of the next segment of the North Mendota Trail, from the Highland Way / Century Ave signal to just past city limits near Century Drive. This trail is a multi-year project to help regional bike routes like HWY M safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

This Week

New Legislative Advocacy Tool: People For Bikes released this year’s Bicycle Friendly States rankings, and they weren’t pretty. Wisconsin fell to #29 in overall bicycle friendliness, and down to #49 in spending per-capita on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. This week, the WI Bike Fed released this tool to help concerned citizens tell relevant state legislators to invest in bicyclist and pedestrian safety. Wisconsin can do better, and we will.

Bike the Barns: FairShare CSA Coalition’s Bike the Barns ride is open for registration, event link here. The event is FairShare’s largest fundraiser, and helps fund the Partner Share Program that supports low-income families in accessing locally grown produce. The event needs volunteers, if you are interested sign up here.

Monday: Transportation Policy and Planning Board is meeting virtually at 5pm, agenda here. Tuning in to TPPB meetings is a great way to learn more about how bike and pedestrian infrastructure is planned in Madison. One interesting agenda item this week is approval of Madison’s application to the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Discretionary Grant Program, designed to repair some of the harm caused by mid-20th century highway expansion and associated destruction of low-income urban communities.

Tuesday: The Aldo Leopold Park Pump Track is being dedicated with a big community party, from 1-7pm! See here for details, including the inspiring story of how local kids inspired a host of private and public investments that made this project possible.

Wednesday: At 6:o0pm, Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is meeting virtually. Link to agenda and participation details here. Following the MPO is a great way to stay up-to-date on pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure affecting Dane County.

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.