Happy Summer and welcome to another weekly update! Here’s a few important bike-related things to know this week:
No Madison Bikes Community Meeting
The Madison Bikes community meeting is canceled for this month. I suggest using the time to go for a ride and enjoy the warm breeze. It’s important to take time to care for yourself and biking in nature can be a great form of meditation.
Bike Fitchburg Monthly Meeting
The monthly meeting for Bike Fitchburg will be Monday, June 26th at 7pm. Those who live, work, and/or bike in Fitchburg are welcome to join at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County Allied Family Center to talk advocacy. Come by and help make Fitchburg an even better place to bike for all.
New “Shred to School” Singletrack Open
Who doesn’t love a little off-road fun? The new Bicycle Adventure Trail running parallel to the Cannonball Path is now open. The trail runs from Post Rd. to just south of the Cannonball Bike & Ped Overpass.
The trail is accessible for all ages and skill levels. Like many trails, jumps are optional, making it great for beginners and allowing you to use only the features you are comfortable with. I stumbled upon this trail on a road ride last week and it was totally doable on 32mm tires, although a mountain bike would be more suitable!
The creation of this trail was inspired by local students and was made possible by funding from the Dane County PARC and Ride grant and a generous donation from the Saris Foundation. This new trail combined with the existing pump track make Aldo Leopold Park an exciting destination for bikers.
Atwood Ave Reconstruction + New Path
New developments are taking place on Atwood for lake loop users. The path on the lake side of Atwood Ave was surfaced last week. Most of the path is 15′ wide with plenty of room for pedestrians and bikes, but it’s not yet complete. The bike bridge over the Starkweather Creek is not up yet, so be cautious and always yield to pedestrians when biking on this (and every) path.
Because of this, the lake loop detour, which redirects cyclists to the Cap City Trail, is still in effect. Though if you are using this lake loop detour, I don’t recommend using the painted bicycle gutters on Cottage Grove Road that the map suggests. If you can, use Dempsey and other Lake Edge neighborhood roads instead.
Starting Monday, June 26th, the Walter Street intersection is open to all users. Previously closed for construction, the city website now instructs that “vehicles, bikes and pedestrians should plan to use Walter Street as the main point of access to and from Atwood Avenue.”
W Main St / Proudfit St Improvements
Construction began last week on the intersection of W Main St and Proudfit. The project will include a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) and median island and pavement marking improvements. While RRFBs increase driver yield compliance at pedestrian crossings, they have also been criticized for still being a car-centric approach. RRFBs alone are only a visual and not physical traffic calming measures.
What do you think about about RRFBs? I feel somewhat safer having them available as a slower-moving pedestrian, but I usually feel some internal conflict with them as a cyclist. “Do I press the button and make all these cars stop or just wait until it’s clear? If I press it, I’ll feel like I’m just getting in their way”. At least they aren’t nearly as insulting as those orange crosswalk flags you’re supposed to wave around so you don’t get run over.
Construction on the intersection is planned to be completed by the fall. The project originally planned to include other improvements to W Main including a raised crossing at the Southwest Path, bump-outs at Main-Bedford, and resurfacing. Unfortunately, due to delays with the State and Railroad coordination, they are not happening yet, but the city hopes to implement them in the next couple years.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading! And thanks for helping to make Madison a more safe, fun, and inclusive place to ride a bike.
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.