There were a couple transportation related items discussed at last week’s City Council Meeting. It was a six-hour-long meeting with many important discussions. You can watch all or parts of it here.
- Item 19: Update to panhandling ordinance - Some have suggested that this ordinance rewrite is about trying to stop panhandling in our roadways, but Mayor Soglin tries to make the case that this is really about public safety. Perhaps this new focus on roadway safety will carry over to initiatives to reduce accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists on our city streets. 3:40:15 is the start of the item and 3:51:00 is the mayor’s speech.
- Item 27: Comprehensive Plan update - This will be gearing up later this year and into next. It will be a good opportunity to try and get some real transportation vision in a City of Madison plan. The Planning Department says this version will have greater emphasis on equity, health, sustainability, and resilience. (4:20:15)
- Item 125: Capitol East District Parking Structure - Parking and parking policy have a lot to do with how our city develops and a lot to do with where we allocate roadway space and transportation dollars. Interesting discussion about the subsidies involved in order to encourage development in our downtown. (5:20:00)
On Wednesday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup met and reviewed a first draft of a Bicycle Maintenance policy. We’ve been making good progress and hope to have something pulled together by the end of the year.
Monday: Madison Bikes Board Meeting - if you are interested in participating in any of our committees, send a message of interest via this online form. And India, one of our directors, leads another Mondays Around Monona ride.
Tuesday: UW Madison Draft Campus Master Plan Public Input Meeting - There was some good discussion about one element of the plan, the redesign of University Avenue and its bike facilities, on our Facebook page recently.
Saturday: Ride over to Revolution Cycles for Ladies Night with Molly Hurford, "where all your questions will be answered—from women-specific ’issues’ to cyclocross training to nutrition."
Sunday: Bike the Barns, "a delicious charity bicycle tour raising funds for Partner Shares, featuring local food and CSA farms!"
Also, the 2nd annual Love to Ride program, a month-long local bike challenge developed to help more people rediscover the joys and benefits of riding a bike, runs from September 12 – October 7, 2016. Businesses can compete for team prizes and bragging rights based on their employees’ participation. Individuals get points for their own rides and, even more importantly, for encouraging others to ride. Visit the Love to Ride Madison website to find out more and to register. Sign up to be the Challenge Champion at your business and help spread the word!
As always, you can also find all these dates on our Community Bike Calendar.
Good bike parking is an important but often overlooked component of bike infrastructure, despite its relatively low cost. By and large, the situation in Madison isn't too bad. The zoning code requires a modest number of bike parking spots to be installed in new developments, and many developers and businesses have come to acknowledge the benefits of providing bike parking.
But sometimes a little citizen activism is needed.
Other than the Mondays Around Monona ride, I wasn’t able to attend any of last week’s events. Sounds like the Sun Prairie Transportation Summit was well attended: video of the event (see screenshot above) is available to watch here. If you’re following the Monroe Street reconstruction process (you should be) here’s a link to last week’s Green Infrastructure World Café presentation. September 29th will be the Summer Input Review and Cross Section Workshop at Wingra School followed by the Cross Section Open House on October 27th. If you have any interest in seeing bike lanes on Monroe Street, you should plan on attending both of these meetings.
On Wednesday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup will meet to review a first draft of a bikeway maintenance policy. On Saturday, consider joining the Bike the Art Kickoff Tour! organized by the Arts & Literature Laboratory.
Also, just announced last week, is a public comment open house for the Madison in Motion, Sustainable Master Transportation Plan on 9/20. I’ll go into more detail about this plan and what to expect at the open house next week, but for now just plan on two big bike events that week. The other event, of course, is the Madison Bikes Kickoff Party at the High Noon Saloon on 9/19. Donate online now and we’ll see you on the 19th!
If you missed the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meeting on Tuesday, you can watch it online here. It was a long one (over 3 hours) with conversation centered mostly on 1) the Quarterly Traffic Report from City of Madison Police Dept 2) a Racial Equity and Social Justice Presentation and 3) updates to the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (with a particular focus on trying to make that program more accessible and more equitable for all neighborhoods).
I’ve become very disappointed with the information that is presented each quarter from our Police Department and am concerned with the lack of focus around actually increasing safety for our road users. Lt. Knight shared with the commission that, yet again, the bike safety grant funds that the department received were used to target cyclists failing to come to a foot-down stop at major path/street crossings. Without getting into discussions around the Rolling Stop (also known as the Idaho Stop), it’s clear that this is not the highest leverage enforcement activity to increase safety for people on bikes. People on foot and on bike are the most vulnerable and at-risk users of our public streets today and we need to start to work towards meaningful interventions that will reduce traffic violence.
On Monday, join We Are All Mechanics for their Mondays Around Monona, "leisurely Monday night bike rides for beginners and experts alike." slow roll. On Wednesday there are two bike transportation related meetings: Sun Prairie Transportation Summit and Williamson/Jenifer Parking & Bus Route Discussions. On Thursday, Monroe Street Reconstruction engagement continues with the Green Infrastructure World Cafe. Mark your calendars now for September 29th; this will be the key community meeting for Monroe Street reconstruction where discussion will begin in earnest around what cross-section concepts should be further developed.
The Madison Bikes Board of Directors met last week and fleshed out some more details for our party at the High Noon Saloon on 9/19. Stay tuned for more details.
The Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meets this Tuesday, 8/23/16, at 5:00. Topics for this month include a Racial Equity and Social Justice Presentation by City of Madison Racial Equity Coordinator, Toriana Pettaway, and a review of revisions to the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program.
The Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Commission meeting for this month was cancelled and there will also be no Long Range Transportation Committee or Madison in Motion meeting in August.
The public input meeting about pedestrian, bike, and transit improvements for the Monroe Street Reconstruction was the big event last week. Coming up next week is a visioning session about Jackson Street Plaza (where the Cap City Trail crosses Atwood Avenue). Read more after the fold.
The public input process for the Monroe Street Reconstruction project continues with the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit World Café , to be held Thursday, August 11 at Edgewood College from 6:00-9:00 PM. This will give users of these modes a chance to say what is important to them and think about trade-offs on the street.Read more
Please welcome our guest blogger Elysha Jones. Elysha and her family love biking and live in a car-light household. Elysha tells a great story about having out-of-town guests and showing them how awesome biking in Madison can be. Especially for those of us who already regularly ride, it is easy to forget how others perceive biking—dangerous, weird, requiring special gear, not for families, and so on. Elysha's post puts this in perspective and reminds us that getting around by bike in Madison is pretty convenient and fun. Thanks for sharing, Elysha!Read more
Ride the Drive is my favorite Madison bike event. For a few hours each year, what is usually a busy thoroughfare full of cars gets transformed into a quiet, peaceful space full of smiling people. Media reports and roadside signs before the event reported that "John Nolen Drive is closed to traffic," but what those signs should have said is "John Nolen Drive is opened up to people." This year I was unable to ride the drive myself because of a broken wrist. Instead I took pictures of happy people on bikes, unicycles, inline skates, ... Enjoy and let us know what your favorite Ride the Drive moment was!Read more