There’s a lot to report from last week’s three transportation-related committee/commission meetings. The Pedestrian, Bike, and Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) started out with another quarterly Traffic Enforcement Activity Report. I pressed Lt. Knight (again) to bring us more actionable information. You can see an example of the report and spreadsheet that is presented each quarter. It’s a lot of data, which basically just shows how much work the Traffic Enforcement team has put in. Citations go up and down based on hours worked and don’t really tell us anything about trends in dangerous activities. Instead, I argued that we need analysis of crash data that helps us pinpoint the leading causes and locations of collisions resulting in injury and loss of life. From there, we would be able to start working on interventions to address these issues. While we should be encouraged that Madison ranked third best in the nation in the recently released Dangerous by Design report, it’s still clear that pedestrian and bicyclists make up a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities in our city. This is definitely an area where we need to look to the data to guide our work.
Next up at PBMVC was a motion to recommend approval of the draft Madison in Motion Sustainable Master Transportation Plan. I’ve been critical of this plan in the past, calling out the lack of specific and clearly articulated action items, lack of accountability, and absence of performance measures. Without these things, this plan is destined to collect dust on the shelf. I shared those comments again here beginning at 00:32:30.
There was also a good discussion about a proposal to complete the Demetral Path connection (you can watch via the link above beginning at 01:00:00). This is an updated proposal from the one that came forward almost a year ago that would have had a significant impact on the OM Village. The new concept (see above) proposes to move the path through the existing parking lot of the commercial building to the north. I enthusiastically support closing this gap as it will become a major corridor for people on bikes once the bike facilities are added to E. Johnson as part of that project. However, I did ask Engineering to explore an alternate routing of this connector within the public right of way. This would save the city $300K in land acquisition costs and would avoid several problems associated with the current proposed alignment. PBMVC voted to refer the item to its February meeting and asked that Engineering develop in detail that alternate concept for further evaluation.Read more
Madison Bikes Events and Communications Committees met last week to make final preparations for Madison Bike Winter Week. Madison Winter Bike Week will be from February 3 to 10. Stay tuned for more details coming this week!
Looks like we’ll have at least one more warm day on Monday before winter comes back. If you’re looking for a social ride, consider joining the MEATheads leaving Ford’s Gym at 7:00pm sharp and looping around Lake Monona.
On Tuesday, the Ped/Bike/Motor Vehicle Commission has a full agenda.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! It’ll be another relatively quiet week for bike events in Madison.
There are three options to get involved on Monday. For those living or frequenting the isthmus, Marquette Neighborhood Association Traffic Committee meets at Wil-Mar at 5:30. The Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at Barriques on Atwood at 6:00 to finalize plans for Madison Winter Bike Week. This is one of the things that may happen during that week:
And at 7:00 Freewheel Community Bike Shop will hold its annual stakeholder meeting. Freewheel is a community bicycle workshop run by volunteers with a range of bicycle skills that seeks to serve the low-income community in Madison, encourage bicycle ridership, and demystify bicycle maintenance.
On Tuesday, there’s another opportunity to work with Madison Bikes by attending the Communications Committee meeting (5:30 at Great Dane Hilldale). Email email@example.com if you're interested in attending.
I hope everyone had some time to relax and rejuvenate over the holidays. It was great to see a number of you out on your bikes celebrating in style on the New Year's Ride.
On Monday, Madison Bikes has its monthly board meeting at the Central Library. This meeting is open to the public and anyone who’s interested in getting involved in 2017 should consider attending.
After that, it’s a pretty quiet week until Saturday: If you’re headed to the Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap, make sure and stop by the Madison Bikes table to say hi. We’ll have our remaining Madison Bikes winter edition T-shirts for sale.
And for women interested in taking a fat bike out for a spin, Bell Joy Ride and Revolution Cycles are teaming up with Surly for a demo at the Quarry Ridge trails.
Year One for Madison Bikes is coming to a close (don't forget about our fundraising drive!). Here is our top ten of blog posts from 2016, in chronological order.
Our organization officially launched during Bike Week in May! This was a big moment for us. [link]
We met Elysha at a Cap Times talk on biking in Madison. She told us how she loved her family's car-light life in Madison and how she spread that love when they had friends visiting from out of town. [link]
See the rest of the list after the break.Read more
Members of the Long Range Transportation Planning and Transit & Parking Commissions received presentations and provided feedback on the UW Campus Master Plan and the Madison Comprehensive Plan updates last week. These are both long range plans that offer a look into what city and university staff are thinking in relation to our transportation future. You can watch a recording of the presentations and discussion here thanks to the City Channel.
On Monday, the Madison Bikes Events Committee meets at Barriques on Atwood to continue planning for Winter Bike Week. Everyone is welcome to attend!
On Wednesday, celebrate winter solstice and the longest night of the year by joining Madison Bike Winter for their annual Fantasy in Lights ride including a stop at the Olbrich Park solstice bonfire.
I’ll be taking the following week off and back with weekly updates after the new year. See you in 2017!
2017 Fundraising Drive: We match your donations!
From now until December 31st you have a great opportunity to double the impact of your gift by supporting Madison Bikes!
We as members of the Madison Bikes board have agreed to match any donation received during the rest of the year, up to a total of $500! Your support helps us to work for improved biking in Madison and will help lay the groundwork for our advocacy and education projects in 2017.
By making a contribution today, your gift will go twice as far as we fight for better conditions for people on bikes in Madison. Please consider making a tax deductible donation now to support our cause.
The Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup continued its work on drafting a bikeway maintenance policy for the Public Works departments; Bike Fitchburg hosted its Holiday Shindig; the city held two public engagement sessions to kick off its Imagine Madison campaign (Madison’s Comprehensive Plan update); and on Saturday, the Santa Cycle Rampage rolled through town.
On Monday, the Madison Bikes Board will hold its annual meeting to approve the 2017 budget and elect officers. At the same time, the UW will hold another Neighborhood Open House on its Campus Master Plan Update (which includes a controversial proposal to take away space from bike facilities on University Avenue).
Tuesday, Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will hold its monthly meeting at the newly reopened Rathskeller and will look to start narrowing down its priorities for 2017.
And on Wednesday there will be a joint Long Range Transportation Planning Committee/Transit and Parking Commission meeting to review the transportation elements of the UW Campus Master Plan Update.
Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the Madison Bikes Winter Fashion Show! For those of you in attendance you know a good time was had by all. And for those who missed out on the fun, here's a recap of the afternoon.
Elysha Jones (remember her guest post on our blog?) also brought her bakfiets (Dutch for "box bike")
Harald Kliems rides a "heavily evolved," as he calls it, Surly Cross-Check year round
Finnley Sonnemann showed off his 20-inch tired Specialized fat bike
The runway show itself started with Matt summarizing the varying conditions to expect when winter riding. Our volunteer models showed a variety of gear, ranging from more technical wear to things just about everyone has in their Wisconsin winter collection (or can find at the thrift store).
Our 2016 Madison Bikes Winter Fashion Show Models:Read more
Last week the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission voted not to approve the proposed cross section geometry for Monroe Street that repeats the existing, car-centric cross section with no improved access for people on bikes and very limited treatments for people on foot. The proposal will move on to the Board of Public Works in two weeks and the Council will vote on it in January. PBMVC also received an update on the E. Johnson Street /First Street project which has shifted from the unbuffered 4’ bike lanes on Johnson to a 2-way segregated path from Baldwin to First. You can watch the meeting online here.
The first public meeting of the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor study was well attended with an overwhelming ask to improve conditions for people on bike and people on foot. The city plans to reconstruct the sections of Wilson/Williamson closest to Blair in 2018. The plan is to do that work in a way that will support a later reconstruction of Blair Street, including the intersection itself (that work is not currently scheduled). The presentation is available on the project web page here.
On Monday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup meets to continue review of a draft bikeway maintenance policy for the Public Works departments and Bike Fitchburg hosts a Holiday Shindig at Roman Candle.
Imagine Madison is the name for Madison’s Comprehensive Plan update. The first public meeting will be on Monday at the Central Library with a second chance for the same content on Wednesday at the Villager Mall
If you’re interested in helping support the work of Madison Bikes, consider heading over to Cafe Hollander at Hilldale on Tuesday for the Madison Bikes Communication Committee meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to attend.
And on Saturday, it’s Madison’s turn for the Santa Cycle Rampage.
Last week the Madison Bikes Events Committee met to evaluate how things went with the Bike Winter Fashion Show and to start planning future events. Watch for a blog post later this week with a summary and more pictures from the event. The focus will now turn to working on Madison Bike Winter Week in February. If you’re interested in helping out with plans, check the Madison Bikes calendar and join the committee at their December 19 meeting.
There are three important meetings this week that will have a big impact on bike travel in the city.
On Wednesday, the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Ad Hoc Committee will continue to work towards a rewrite and reorganization of our current transportation ordinance and associated committees. And then at 7:00 at the Monona Terrace, the public is invited to the first in a series of meetings to look at the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor. Actual reconstruction for this corridor is still many years out, but the work to influence design alternatives begins now, and it's a crucial piece in Madison's bike infrastructure.