TC/TPPB joint meeting
The Transportation Commission (TC) and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) are having a joint meeting on Monday. One of the main agenda items is a proposal to combine the two bodies into one. Currently, the TPPB is tasked with making higher-level policy decisions about transportation, whereas the TC’s job is to make sure those policies are implemented. However, what counts as a policy decision and what counts as implementation isn’t always neatly delineated, leading to duplication and friction between the work of the two bodies. If the proposal moves forward, the two bodies would be combined into a new Transportation Commission.
After the joint meeting, the TPPB will have its own separate meeting, and there are several agenda items related to biking: First, a proposal to remove the prohibition of “trick riding” and riding on footbridges from our ordinances. What is “trick riding” and why is it prohibited? Well, that’s not really spelled out, and that’s part of the problem: Many municipalities have ordinances that make it illegal to ride no-handed, to engage in “fancy riding,” to ride without both feet on the pedals, and so on. These laws are rarely enforced, but when they are, research shows that they are almost always enforced in a racially discriminatory way. And in terms of safety they don’t have any positive impact. Is it a good idea to ride no-handed or pop a wheelie on a busy downtown street? Probably not. But an ordinance prohibiting it doesn’t improve safety. Madison already repealed the mandatory bike registration ordinance in 2020, and abolishing this ordinance is another step in the vein of decriminalizing biking. For a more in-depth perspective on this topic, I highly recommend this episode of the Arrested Mobility podcast and this BikeWalk Kansas City guide.
The other proposed ordinance changes are about bike shops: Did you know that if you want to open a bike shop in Madison you have to get a license first and then pay $100 a year to maintain that license? Or that you can be fined $10 for loaning a bike to a friend if it doesn’t have proper safety equipment? These ordinances are on the chopping block. You can register in support or opposition to any of the items here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/city-hall/committees/meeting-schedule/register
In addition to the joint meeting on Monday, the Transportation Commission is also meeting on Wednesday. The agenda is short and the only possibly bike-relevant item is a reconstruction of a stretch of Harvey St and Schmitt Pl. Harvey St runs parallel to University Ave, and as the University Ave reconstruction doesn’t include any bike facilities, this may be an opportunity for improving a parallel (but discontinuous) route.
On Wednesday it’s time for the monthly Madison Queer Ride. 6pm, Law Park. “We will bike across Monona via John Nolen, take the Wingra path through to the SW Commuter and then make our way back to Law Park. Social hour and warmup at Garth’s.”
Advancing equity for non-drivers webinar
Did you know that 31% of the Wisconsin population are considered to be “non-drivers”? Some of us are too young or too old to drive, some have health conditions or disabilities that prevent us from driving, and some of us can’t afford to drive (or don’t want to). Nonetheless, everyone has mobility needs, and for non-drivers those needs are often badly met. The Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Board of People with Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights Wisconsin are hosting a “moderated conversation will consider what challenges exist and steps that can be taken in creating transportation equity for non-drivers in Wisconsin.” Tuesday, 11 am to noon on Facebook Live.
Over the weekend it’s time for Bike-O-Rama again. At the Alliant Center you’ll have an opportunity to look at and test ride hundreds (thousands?) of bikes from local retailers. Admission is free.
Fitchburg Bicycle Friendly Community survey
Fitchburg is going for gold. The League of American Bicyclist’s Bicycle Friendly Communities program previously awarded Fitchburg silver status, and now the city and advocates are hoping that they can level up. As part of the application and review, the Bike League is looking for input from local riders. So if you want to share your impressions of biking in Fitchburg, take a survey here. The feedback from that survey is aggregated and shared back to the city.
Madison Bike Week is coming! June 3-10
It’s only early March, but it’s never too early to put Madison Bike Week on your calendar. June 3-10 are the dates this year and we’ll soon start releasing more information. If you have any immediate questions or want to become a sponsor, shoot us an email.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
- Local MTB advocates CORP are looking to hire their first ever Executive Director. $30-50k/y, part time
- Black Saddle Bike Shop is hiring a lead mechanic. $18-22/h, paid time off.
- The City is still looking to fill Crossing Guard positions. $18.18/h, part time
- The City also is looking for candidates for their paid Affirmative Action Student Professionals in Residence internship program. One of the internships is specifically to work on Vision Zero: “The Vision Zero intern will be assisting the Vision Zero staff team, led by Traffic Engineering, with outreach and marketing related to eliminating serious and fatal traffic crashes.”
As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at email@example.com 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.