Weekly Update: Crazylegs, Cap City, Family Camping

Cap City Trail Repaving

On the Madison Bikes Facebook group, the question comes up again and again: How is the repaving of the Cap City Trail coming along? According to the official timeline, the project should be done around August 20. At the moment, it looks like the old pavement had been removed, but nothing is paved yet.

Crazy Legs Plaza

Crazylegs Plaza

The reconstruction of Crazylegs Plaza is coming along nicely. The bike path is open (but not the connection to Oakland Ave). A bunch of bike racks are on site, ready to be installed.

 

Check it out:




This week

 

Monday

Tonight at 6 pm the Madison Bike Events Committee will be meeting at Bariques on Park Street. They will be discussing plans for the annual party, and could use some help. If you are interested in helping with the plans and on the day of the party, please join us tonight. 



Tuesday

Don’t forget to vote! More info is available here

Ride the 13 mile Lake Monona Loop with Bombay Bicycle Club. Meet in the Obrich parking lot on Walter Street at 5:45 pm. Post ride, enjoy refreshments and food at the Olbrich Biergarten (7-9 pm). More info on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1757058454408780/

 


Wednesday

Advocacy Committee will be meeting at Bendyworks (106 E Doty St #200) at 6:00 pm. The committee is always welcoming new people, if you’d like to help us out with our work on advocacy issues, feel free to stop by.



Saturday

Tour de Latina FamiliaMore info will be available later this week. Check out the event on Facebook to find out more. https://www.facebook.com/events/286254602149821/



Mountain Bike Demo at Pleasant View Golf Course. The best way to find the bike that's right for you is to spend time riding a few different models. Join Trek at Quarry Ridge to test ride a variety of all-new Trek mountain bike models!
All you need to bring is a helmet, an ID, and your own pedals if you prefer something other than standard flats. Expert technicians will be onsite to help with fit and to answer questions.



Family Bike Camping The ride from The Cargo Bike Shop to Brigham County Park is approximately 30 miles. We will spend the majority of our ride on the Military Ridge State Trail (trail passes required, can be purchased at The Cargo Bike Shop). The path is paved asphalt to start, transitioning to crushed limestone in Verona. Terrain is slightly uphill all the way to the park (approx 750ft elevation gain), but very manageable. You can ride with the group, or use our queue sheet and ride at your own pace and/or your own schedule. 

Send us your events!

Remember, if you have an event that you'd like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us.


Madtown Unity Ride: This Saturday (8/11)

We at Madison Bikes are excited and proud to be supporters of the Madtown Unity Ride, a monthly community bicycle ride to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together! The Unity Rides happen every second Saturday of the month. So join the August ride this coming Saturday and help make it a success.

MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together..The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community, the Senior community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-to moderate-income community in the Madison. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside.

 

The ride has been planned to travel through different neighborhoods in the Southside of Madison. Ride will start at the Villager Mall on Park Street and ride through the places that have become a landmark within our communities like the Urban League, the Villager Mall, Centro Hispano, Literacy Network, Madison-Area Urban Ministry, Omega School, Madison College South Campus, Penn Park, and Boys and Girls Club..

 

Ride will stop at Penn Park to participate of the Freedom, Inc. Festival and at the Badger Rock Neighborhood Center for the unveiling of their Bicycle Fix It Station (This Bicycle Fix It Station is possible thanks to the JUST Bikes coalition and the sponsorship of the Madison Community Foundation)

 

Join us as we ride through the Southside neighborhoods. THIS IS A FAMILY RIDE. WE WILL RIDE SLOW.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE RIDE

Date: Saturday August 11, 2018

Departure Time: 10:00 am

Starting Location: Villager Mall on Park Street (2300 S. Park Street Madison WI)

Ride distance: 7 miles

No bike, no helmet? No Problem. You can borrow a bike and helmet to use during the ride.

We will have snacks, music, water and fruit.

Here is the link to the facebook event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/275048223264314/

 

Here is the link to register for the ride (Registration is free)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/madtown-unity-ride-at-south-campus-tickets-48415484016

 

Únase a grupos locales para un paseo mensual en bicicleta comunitario para celebrar la unidad y la diversidad de Madison Southside y para conectar a nuestras comunidades.

Fecha: Sábado, Agosto 11, 2018
Hora: 10:00 am

Inicio de la Recorrida: Villager Mall on Park Street (2300 S. Park Street. Madison, WI)

Distancia: 7 Millas
Ruta: Sur de Madison
TENDREMOS AGUA Y SNACKS

ESTE ES UN EVENTO FAMILIAR - PARA PREGUNTAS HABLE CON BALTAZAR 608-469-5448
¿Necesita una bicicleta o un casco para usar durante el viaje? Tenemos bicicletas y cascos para prestar

Apoyo mecánico disponible antes del viaje gracias a Down with Bikes.

¡Gracias a todos los socios, colaboradores y voluntarios por su apoyo!

 


New transportation committees and new infrastructure

older_couple_by_Humanities.jpg

 

The past week:

It’s a slow week ahead, but it’s been an exciting past week. A number of new piece of infrastructure are either open or in place. Take a look at the video on the MB Facebook group to check out the new bridges in Vilas Park. The new version of the path through Crazy Legs Plaza – at the intersection of Monroe and Regent – is now open. Users report it is a good design and easy to negotiate. An improved curb cut at the Capital City Path and Dunning – by the Harmony Bar – will make the diagonal crossing better.

The first meeting of both the new transportation committees happened when they met in joint session this past Tuesday. The Transportation Commission – which is the one that is supposed to deal with the implementation and day-to-day decisions for our transportation system – will meet again this coming week and then again on August 22. It is unclear if the two city committees will continue to meet jointly for awhile, or if they have set future meetings for the Transportation and Planning Board – the more long range-looking body. There are no meetings for that body on the city calendar at this time. Also, two if the committees that are no longer meeting – the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission and the Transit and Parking Commission – had their meetings televised on cable and streamed on the city website. No word if the city will stream the new transportation bodies’ meetings as well.

 

The week ahead:

Tuesday the Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at 5:30 pm at Memorial Union. We normally meet just outside the beer window by the Stiftskeller. If the weather is bad, we’ll be in the Stiftskeller. Come on by to say hello or to help out with outreach and communications.

Wednesday the new Transportation Commission will meet for the second time. Mostly, they will be going over basic business such as electing a chair and vice-chair. But they will also have a staff presentation about the structure of the various components of the city transportation divisions. So if you want to know who does what, you can attend at 5:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building.

Saturday the August MadTown Unity Ride will take place starting at 10 am and leaving from the Villager Mall. This is a slow family ride through the south side of Madison. The distance will be between 7 and 10 miles. If you don ‘t have a bike or helmet, you can borrow one during the ride.

The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community, the Senior community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-to moderate-income community in the Madison Southside. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside.


Weekly Update: New transpo commissions, not much else

This is going to be a short one.

On Monday, Bike Fitchburg will have its (rescheduled) monthly meeting. 6:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library.

The main event this week is the joint meeting of the newly formed Transportation Commission and the Transportation Policy and Planning Boards. As a reminder, the creation of these board is part of a larger overhaul of how the city makes decisions on transportation-related matters. In June, Tom Lynch was appointed as the Director of Transportation, and now these new bodies will have their first meeting. Looking at the agenda, much of the first meeting will probably be spent on procedural issues like election a chair, and also figuring out what the purview of each body is going to be. The only business matter on the agenda is about Mayor Soglin's proposal to create motor vehicle registration fee. Tuesday, 5pm, City County Building, Room 354.

On August 5, Cycling Without Age Greater Madison will hold a first training for volunteers. Email cwagreatermadison@gmail.com for more information, or look them up on Facebook.

 

 


Weekly Update: A better bike challenge, Atwood, low-stress map

I want to start this week’s post off by promoting a short survey by some folks over at Bendyworks who formed a new group tentatively called “People for a New Bike Challenge”. They are seeking local input by people who are familiar with the National Bike Challenge to, as the name suggests, develop a new bike challenge to encourage people to get out and ride. The survey is short and took me less than five minutes to complete. If you haven't participated in the National Bike Challenge before, you can still complete the survey and provide input.

Last Week

On Tuesday, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board released its low stress mapping tool. The tool allows you to select from Low, Medium, and Unrestricted routing options which will give you a suggested route based on your preferred level of cycling stress. The tool is pretty straight forward to use so feel free to give it a shot.

Screenshot of the bicycle stress map of Madison

Also announced last week was the first meeting of the new Transportation Commission (TC) and the new Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB). The first meeting of the two committees that formally replaced the Pedestrian Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Commission, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee, and the Transit and Parking Commission will be a joint meeting taking place on July 31 at 5:00 P.M. The location of the meeting has yet to be announced so stay tuned for that information.

There was also some discussion on the Facebook page about maintenance of a the bike path that runs between Madison and Sun Prairie along US-151 after pictures were posted of plants overgrown onto the path. Apparently that interjurisdictional path has neither jurisdiction it goes between maintaining it, so further discussions surrounding that path are warranted.

Weeds trying to take over the bike path (Photo: Dalton Aeschlimann)

This Week

Monday, July 23, Bike Fitchburg is having its monthly meeting. As usual, the meeting starts at 6:30 P.M. at the Fitchburg Public Library located at 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

The Bike Fitchburg meeting has been rescheduled to next Monday (7/30).

Tuesday, July 24, the Atwood Avenue reconstruction project goes before Madison’s Common Council for final approval of the roadway geometry. This project was recently considered as an alternative to the Buckeye and Cottage Grove Road projects as the city and the county had disagreements over the future roadway maintenance responsibilities for these streets, which are both county highways and in places are completely surrounded by the city. Last week, however, the city and the county managed to come to an agreement, so a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a funding agreement with the county over those two projects will be introduced to the Common Council on Tuesday, where it will then be sent to the relevant committees for review before going back to Council for final approval. What this all means for the eventual time line for construction of these road projects remains to be seen.

And on Saturday, the Madison Trek Stores are having a mountain bike demo at Quarry Ridge. This event had to be moved from last weekend because of wet conditions. Let's hope the weather holds up this time around.


Weekly Update Winnebago Moves Forward

Last Week

Winnebago Update:

The Common Council met this past Tuesday and passed a variant of Option 1 for Winnebago this week. This is the cross section that provides 13' for parked cars and bikes and 10' for cars, trucks, and buses with no buffer. It will function similarly to how it does today, although with a narrower travel lane (10' instead of 11'). Alder Kemble was the sole alder to speak against adoption and for the need to make Winnebago a street accessible by bike for riders of All Ages & Abilities. All the other alders that supported Option 2 previously, seemed to have tired of the debate and voted instead to prioritize on-street car parking over All Ages & Abilities bike facilities. Construction is expected this fall.

This week

Monday

The Madison Bikes Board will have their monthly meeting from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Monday, July 16 at the Madison Public Library, 201 W Mifflin St, Madison, WI 53703. Please attend and learn what we are up to and how you can get involved!

 

Wednesday

Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet from 6:00 pm – 7:30pm at Bendyworks, 106 E Doty St #200, Madison, WI. The committee is always welcoming new people, if you’d like to help us out with our work on advocacy issues, feel free to stop by.

Madison Area Transportation Planning Board will meet at 5:00 pm in Room 103A of the City-County BldgThe new application for the low stress biking network is on the agenda

Saturday

Tour de Familia Latina/Latino Family Tour hosted by BiciClub Latino de Madison will be from 10 am to 1 pm, check out the Facebook event for more information. This is a great ride for the whole family. 

Bike For Boys & Girls Club brings family, friends, coworkers and neighbors together for a fun-filled ride through picturesque Dane County one summer morning every year. Pledges raised support the ongoing mission of Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to provide programs that inspire and enable our youth to realize their full potential. Hundreds of riders will pedal their way across the finish line and into the post-ride party of cold drinks and even colder custard. You can get involved as an individual rider or join a team. Cyclists of all ages and abilities can join in on one of three planned routes. Sign up today and help empower Dane County kids. 

Mountain Bike Demo The best way to find the bike that's right for you is to spend time riding a few different models. Join Trek at Quarry Ridge to test ride a variety of all-new Trek mountain bike models! All you need to bring is a helmet, an ID, and your own pedals if you prefer something other than standard flats. Expert technicians will be onsite to help with fit and to answer questions.

Send us your events!

Remember, if you have an event that you'd like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us.


Weekly Update: The county giveth, and the county taketh away

Last week

On Saturday, a great group was Riding 24 Hours in Support of Immigrants and Refugees, some for a short time, some for longer. You can see the photos, on Baltazar's Facebook page. 

Cap City Trail closing, but new links might be in the works

About half of the Cap City Trail will be closed for six weeks starting Monday, so I hope everyone got one last ride in over the beautiful (and finally cooler) weekend. The county is repaving the trail from Nob Hill Road to Glacial Valley Road. In case you don’t know those cross streets, that’s more or less from just south of where the path crosses under the Beltine to just short of Fish Hatchery Road. It will be six weeks before it’s open again, but we’ll have a smoother riding experience.

One the other hand, the county also announced that they are soliciting projects from communities to connect local bike trails to the existing county system trails. This is a great program, because smaller communities otherwise may struggle to find funding for important connections. The county program will pay up to 50 percent of the cost of design, engineering, and construction.

The week ahead

Other than the inconvenience of a major bike route being unavailable, things are going to be pretty quiet this week.

Monday 

The Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Barriques on S Park St. We would really love to have some additional volunteers help us plan our events. Right now, we are working on the annual party for September, but there are lots of events we could do with more help. So, if you are great at throwing parties, or just are a good organizer of community events, come by and check out the committee.

Tuesday

The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at 5:30 pm at the Memorial Union Terrace. If you would be interested in helping us with blog posts, social media, or other outreach activities please feel free to stop by. We are usually near the outdoor beer window, but up on the level of the theater wing, but if you cant’s find us, shoot an email to Heather, the committee chair.

Also on Tuesday, the Council will be considering the Winnebago project yet again. This time the recommendation is for Option 1B. Harald sent out an action alert on Sunday, so check there for more information.

The council will also be confirming the new citizen members of the new Transportation Commission and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board. These two committees will replace the PBMVC, Transit and Parking Commission, and the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee. (There are two files, so there are two links above.)

A little Easter egg seems to be on the Council agenda, something that has been needed for a long time. It looks like an underpass of the railroad that runs parallel to Old Middleton Road is planned to connect Craig Ave to Old Middleton Rd. This would provide a pedestrian-bike route from University Ave to Old Middleton west of Whitney Way. Map/satellite image here (it takes a loooong time to load.)

Saturday

You can join the July Unity Ride at 10 am. MadTown Unity Rides are organized by local groups to celebrate the unity and diversity of Madison Southside and to connect our communities together.The target audience for these rides is Black, Brown, Indigenous people of color, LGBT+ community and other communities that have been affected by discrimination who live or work in a predominantly low-tmoderate-income community in the Madison Southside. We use these rides as a vehicle to increase social cohesion at the neighborhood level, as well as highlight the assets and inequities which exist in neighborhoods across the Madison Southside. This is a family ride, so they will be going at a very relaxed, slow pace. The distance will be between 7-10 miles. And if you don’t have a bike or helmet, The group can arrange to lend you one. For more information and a map of the ride, check out the Facebook event.

Send us your events

Remember, if you have an event that you'd like us to include on the Community Calendar, send it to us


Action Alert: Winnebago Street, Again...

Winnebago Street is back at the Common Council, and we need your support.

A very brief reminder of what happened so far: In early May, the Common Council voted in favor of reconstructing Winnebago Street between 2nd St and Bashford with buffered bike lanes ("Option 2"). Mayor Soglin then vetoed the Council's decision. At a later Common Council meeting, there weren't enough votes to overturn the veto. Therefore the project was put on hold. This presented an opportunity for re-thinking the project in a larger context, all the way from the Yahara River to Union Corners.

What happens when your bike lanes are narrow and without protection...

Instead, Engineering brought back a new iteration of Option 1--the one that squeezes people on bikes into an unbuffered lane, with parked cars on one side and cars and buses on the other. And the one that the Council did not approve. The changes that Engineering made are merely cosmetic. The plan still forces people to bike in the door zone. They do not make the street safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.

Image credit: Bob Moore

Please write to the Common Council before the meeting on Tuesday and ask them to vote against this proposal. You can email the council at allalders@cityofmadison.com, and you can find your district's alder here. This is what I'm going to write:

Dear Alders:

I'm writing about the proposed plan to reconstruct Winnebago Street between 2nd St and Bashford Ave (agenda item 52086). I greatly appreciate that when the plan was in front of the Common Council in May, a majority of you voted for a cross-section that would have created buffered bike lanes. This would have created a Winnebago Street that is safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. The plans that are in front of you now fail to achieve this. People riding their bikes on Winnebago would be squeezed between a narrow parking lane on one side and motor vehicles on the other. The changes that have been made do not change that basic fact. Please do not approve the proposed design.

Thank you for you consideration.


Monday Update: Happy July 4th!

Last Week

It was the end of an era: The Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) met for one last time. Going forward, Madison now has a Director of Transportation, and PBMVC and many other transportation-related committees have been replaced by a Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB), and a Transportation Commission (TC). Time to get used to new acronyms and a new political process...

One important agenda item from the last PBMVC meeting was the return of the undead Winnebago Street Option 1 proposal. A few weeks back, the Common Council had voted for Option 2, which had buffered bike lanes and was supported by Madison Bikes. Mayor Soglin then vetoed the Council's decision, and at a subsequent Council meeting, there was no majority for any of the other options. Instead of going back to the drawing board and coming up with a comprehensive proposal for the whole corridor, Engineering made minor modifications to the failed Option 1 design and brought it back. "Option 1B," as it is now called, suffers the same flaws for people on bikes: In order to preserve as much free on-street parking as possible, people biking on Winnebago would be squeezed in between a narrow travel lane on one side and a narrow parking lane on the other. The proposal will be back at the Common Council on July 10, and it will be important to voice your opposition to Option 1B. Stay tuned for an action alert.

On a more positive note: The plans for reconstructing Atwood Avenue between Fair Oaks and Cottage Grove Road also were before PBMVC because the schedule for the project has been moved up. While not perfect, this project will greatly improve conditions for people on bikes and walking.

This week

Because of the holiday, things are quiet this week.

On Friday, Revolution Cycles Cycling Club has their kick-off party for the season. "Come meet the crew, learn about the club, try on some kit from Verge Sport, and enjoy yummy snacks from our sponsors, Banzo." 7pm at Revolution Cycles.

And on Saturday, the BiciClub Latino de Madison is organizing a 24-hour ride in support of immigrants and refugees. How does it work? "You can join this ride in two ways:

- Ride with Baltazar 30 minutes, one, two, three, or 24 hours.

- Ride anywhere 30 minutes, one, two, three, or 24 hours and post your pictures to this page's event. Ride solo or in teams

Only requirement: Use a white piece of fabric, or paper and write the following words: RIDING IN SUPPORT OF IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES and pin it to the back of shirt or jersey."

Also on Saturday is the Fitchburg Festival of Speed, which includes a sanctioned bike race as well as more relaxed riding options. More details on their website.


Dispatch from the Netherland, part 3: Innovation vs. Complacency

This is the third and final part of Jonathan Mertzig's series on biking and biking infrasctructure in the Netherlands. You can read part 1, about wayfinding and complete streets and networks here, and part 2 about multimodal transit and bike parking here.

While I was thoroughly impressed by the state of cycling in the Netherlands on my first visit, I think what has impressed me even more over the years is seeing the constant tweaks and innovations that continue to improve the biking experience.  The Dutch have established many great standards in areas like wayfinding and street design, but even these tried-and-true systems are constantly fine-tuned, like with a total refresh of wayfinding typography and various experiments in paving with eco-friendly materials and even glow-in-the-dark surfaces

In Tilburg, the city is trying out new “smart” traffic lights that use a cell phone app to track when cyclists are near. The lights can be changed in cyclists’ favor if a large group is approaching. A much broader rollout of a similar system is underway in nearby Den Bosch.

On my most recent trip, to the province of Noord-Brabant, I was pleased to find some cool things I hadn’t encountered before, like traffic signals in Tilburg and Den Bosch that track mobile phones to give clusters of cyclists a quicker green light, and a growing network of bike “superhighways” spreading from the center of Eindhoven (even including grade-separated portions avoiding the busiest roads!).   I’m always amazed at how careful thought and creative solutions are constantly applied to making biking better.

The province of Noord-Brabant is developing a network of “snelfietsweg” routes (basically freeways for bikes!) between major cities, converging on this stretch of spacious grade-separated paths around Eindhoven’s central station. Cyclists can quickly cruise below busy streets on a highway of their own.

Takeaways:  We can copy some really great, proven ideas from the Dutch to make cycling in Madison better, but don’t be afraid to promote some homegrown innovation!  And more importantly, just because we have reason to be proud of relatively great bike infrastructure and culture here in Madison, we should follow the most important lesson the Dutch provide:  Never stop improving!



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