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

How do you bike in the snow?

Lone winter bicyclist on the SW Path Credit: Harald Kliems

How are you handling the snow?

In the last couple of days we all got to test our dedication to winter biking, and specifically biking in the snow. While some were thrilled to see how their skills on fat bikes, studded tires, or even the “skinny tires cut through the snow” theory played with the snow, others opted for jumping on the bus or walking through the white stuff. 

Whichever strategy you chose – and there is no right answer – be careful out there. With the temperatures dropping and plowing only partially down to bare pavement, it is both slippery and a mixed bag of surfaces. Even some of the main roads were snow-covered on Sunday afternoon (when I was forced to drive across town to a location with no bus service and no good bike route option.) Remember that salt doesn’t really work below about 15 degrees, so the streets are going to remain dicey for a few days.

Weigh in on the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge
One vision for a new Monona waterfront. Credit: James Corner Field Operations

This past Thursday the three finalist teams for the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge presented their ideas for what the lakefront could become from Machinery Row to Olin Park. All three designs featured improved and expanded bicycling paths and separation of pedestrians from through bicyclists. Traffic calming and/or reducing the size of John Nolen Drive was also a prominent theme. 

I would say that all the designs were ambitious, and whether the designs will be implemented, or which portions we will see in the future, is still very much up in the air. Our Facebook Community had a lot to say about the designs. But remember that commenting on the official project website is the only way that your opinions will be recorded. 

If you missed the presentations, you can view the recordings and check out the slides on the city website linked above. That’s also where you submit comments, questions, and concerns. 

The week ahead

It’s a pretty sleepy week for city meetings, but one that stands out as important is a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan 31, to discuss the reconstruction of Dempsey Rd and Davies St between Cottage Grove Rd and Buckeye. As this is part of the Lake Monona Loop, the city plans to make it more friendly to all ages and abilities.

 “After previous public meetings and receiving significant public input, City Staff recommends a proposed design that includes a 26-ft wide street (two, 11-ft lanes with 2-ft gutters), a 10-ft wide shared-use path on the westerly-side of the road, and a 5-ft sidewalk on the easterly-side. The shared-use path will continue the path on the northerly-side of Cottage Grove and provide an all ages & abilities bike route along the popular Lake (Monona) Loop Route.”

More information on the project and a link to register for the Zoom meeting can be found here.

Mark your calendars or submit comments

Winter Bike Day

Winter Bike Day is February 10. We will have more details soon, but expect to see AM coffee stops and happy hour gatherings after work. 

Name the snow plows

You still have time to name the snow plows used on Madison streets, including the little guy that plows the paths we all love. 

West Area Plan

The city is starting to hold meetings on the West Area plan that will determine land use, transportation, parks and open space, and basically how the area will look and operate in the future. This covers from Midvale in the east and Lake Mendota in the north to the Beltline on the west and south. There will be in-person meetings on Feb. 6, 9, and 13 to start the discussion. All three meetings will have the same content, and they will also be virtual options on the same dates. Registration for the virtual meetings and details of the times and locations for in-person at the above link.

West Area planning boundaries

What would you like to see for this area? Where are there missing links? What should change or stay the same? You can also submit comments at the link above. 

Sycamore Park

If mountain biking is your thing, you may be interested in this posting from the Capital Off-Road Pathfinders regarding plans for Sycamore Park

“As many of you know, CORP helped install temporary trails at Madison’s Sycamore Park last fall.  Parks is now working on a new master plan for Sycamore Park; if you believe permanent trails should be a part of the park, please make a point to attend one of the upcoming virtual public meetings [on Feb 27 and March 30.]”

Details on how to attend the meetings can be found at the link above.

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.