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.
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?
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.