This time of year is always a little dicey for people on bikes. Lots of new people have just moved to town, parents are moving their kids into apartments, people are trying biking in a real city for the first time, and they are all confused by one-way streets and how we get around in Madison. Lots of the people driving have never seen bicyclists actual using the street, or they don't expect paths to be so crowded. The only thing anyone has taught the freshmen about biking is, "Stay of the way of cars."
Everyone is a little on edge. Now throw in flooded streets that redirect everyone to a few corridors on the east side, and it gets worse. My very-experienced and strong colleague, who commutes eight miles each way through the east side, told me that they worst part of his Madison Flood 2018 commute is that drivers are racing through the yellow (or red) light because they are so backed up and late.
Just take a breath, enjoy the ride, and be patient with all the confused newbies. Be happy that you are probably going the same speed as you normally do, and you can navigate around most of the flooding via side streets, sidewalks, and use of fenders.
And we should all give a big thanks to city staff for sandbagging the area around the Monona Terrace path so we could still use it. Not every city would care enough to do that. Everyone has probably seen this already, but just in case you've been away and wonder what's open and closed, you can find maps of conditions--including a crowd-sourced map of bike path closures--on the city's website.
The week ahead
The Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet at Memorial Union at 5:30 pm. If the weather is nice, we be just outside the beer window of the Stiftskeller. If it's raining, we'll be inside the Stiftskeller. If you have enjoyed these updates and our Facebook group, consider joining us to talk about how we communicate with our members and friends. We now have over 1500 subscribers to the Facebook group!
Also on Tuesday, the Mayor will release his Capital Budget at the Council meeting, which will then go through all sorts of committees and hearing before being passed in October. There's no link to the budget right now, but the capital budget is for financing large projects--things that are financed to pay off. This is where things like roads, paths, buildings, big equipment, construction, and other large projects are seen. Keep an eye on this to see what the city's priorities are for transportation. Nothing else major on the Council agenda, but in case you're interested, you can see the whole thing online.
The new Transportation Commission meeting has been cancelled, but the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (the MPO) will meet at 6:30 pm at the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Room 357. The MPO, which is the body that plans and allocates federal money for all the transportation projects in the entire metropolitan area--not just the city-- has been switching off its meetings between downtown and the Water Utility building on Olin Ave, so best to check their calendar to see where they are meeting. For this meeting, they will be holding a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2019-2023. That means they will be voting on what they plan to find for the next five years. This is revised every year, but gives you an idea what they are planning on doing. Want to see what's in there? Here's a link.
The September MadTown Unity Ride will leave from the Villager Mall 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. More information can be found on their Facebook event linked above.
The flooding in Madison and Dane County is probably still on everybody's mind. Our Facebook group saw over 100 new members in the days after the initial rains. A crowdsourced map of bike path closures, created by Madison Bikes supporter Paul Wilson, has been viewed over 30,000 times. Please continue updating the map -- the city told us that it has been very helpful. And you can sign up to volunteer to help with sandbagging.
Many of the regions mountain bike trail systems were damaged by the rains as well, especially Blackhawk and Pleasant View. Capital Offroad Pathfinders has more details and is always looking for volunteers to help with trail repairs and maintenance.
Madison Bikes Party
Our big party to celebrate biking in Madison is coming! Save the date: September 29, noon! Thanks to our great location sponsors Starting Block Madison and American Family Insurance, the party will be in the beautiful new Spark building on East Washington Ave. Ticket sales will go live shortly, and we'll have more details for you.
Kudos for the great flier to our new volunteer Natalie!
Fish Hatchery Road
Last week the first public meeting about reconstructing Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg took place. Improving bike facilities doesn't seem to be high on the agenda:
However, based on a report from a Bike Fitchburg member who attended the meeting, there was some discussion "complet[ing] the multi-use path along the west side of Fish Hatch to the Beltline Bridge and create a bike/ped under road crossing at the Nine Springs water way. Better lane designations were recommended specifically near the Green Way Crossing intersection with regard to cyclist riding north of Fish Hatchery and the automobiles gaining access to GWC or the eastbound beltline." Bike Fitchburg will probably discuss the project at their monthly meeting, tonight at 7pm at the Fitchburg Public Library.
Wright Stuff Century
The highlight of Bombay Bicycle Club's ride calendar each year is their Wright Stuff Century. You can ride between 32 and 125 miles in the hills west of Madison. More details and registration here.
In the aftermath of the flooding in Dane County, Madison Bikes supporter Paul Wilson has create a Google Map where everyone can add reports about flooded or washed out bike paths. We were just contacted by the city, and they're asking people to contribute to this map (instead of using the Report-a-Problem website). There's still a lot of water going downstream, and so flooding will continue to be an issue.
If you have issues adding to the map, you can still use the Report-a-Problem form.
Please respect bike path closures, and be safe out there! And thanks to Paul and the community for providing up-to-date information on biking conditions.
Capital City Trail update:
As of today the trail is still unpaved at the Nob Hill Rd. trail head. New pavement has been laid at the other end of the trail, between Syene and County MM. Chris James with Dane County Parks gave us an update on the project and they are hopeful that the trail project will be completed by Labor Day weekend. We will all be glad once this project is complete!
Capital City Trail at Nob Hill Rd. as of August 20. Image credit Jim Wilson.
Madison Bikes Party
Save the date for the Madison Bikes Party. We'll celebrate biking in Madison with our members and anybody else on Saturday, September 29 at StartingBlock Madison. Many more details to come!
Monday, August 20, at 6:00 PM Madison Bikes is going to have party planning session to iron out some of the details for our party. If you want to help out, send a quick email to email@example.com and he'll send you more information.
Tuesday, August 21 is an important Middleton Common Council meeting. Local bike advocates are trying to get Middleton to include bike lanes on the recently reconstructed High Point Blvd. between Greenway Blvd. And Terrace Ave. This is an important north-south route that parallels the beltline and is the only convenient north-south route in the area for people on bikes. This route would be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of bike lanes. Please consider sending an email to the Middleton Common Council or attending the meeting in support of bike lanes on High Point. Here’s a link to the Common Council meeting. The agenda item is near the bottom of the page under Ordinances – First Reading. Read about the proposal here. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM in the Middleton Council Chambers in the Middleton City Hall at 7426 Hubbard Ave. in Middleton.
Wednesday, August 22, is the next meeting of the Transportation Commission. The meeting starts at 5:00 PM in room 351 of the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. You can read the agenda here. At the meeting will be a few informational presentations including an update on the Gammon Rd geometry and the 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
Also Wednesday is the first Public Input Meeting for the Fish Hatchery Road reconstruction project. The City of Fitchburg will reconstruct Fish Hatchery Road between McKee Road and the Beltline, anticipated to begin in late 2019. The meeting will take place at the Fitchburg Public Library Meeting Room at 5530 Lacy Road in Fitchburg. The Meeting Room is on the second floor. Please consider attending this meeting.
Friday, August 24: Come to the BendyWorks offices downtown and see Live on King Street from their awesome location. They are hosting FreeBikes4Kids Madison for a fundraiser. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunsquabi-live-on-king-street-with-fb4k-at-bendyworks-tickets-48951415000
Saturday, August 25, join the Capitol Off Road Pathfinders for the grand opening of the Cross Plains Trail. Check out the Facebook event here. You can find the group at their REI tent at the corner of KP and Bourbon Rd. The event starts at 10:00 AM with some fine-tuning work on the trail. At noon they will have the official ribbon cutting, food and drink, and the inaugural rides of the new trail.
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.
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:
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.
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/
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.
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!
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
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:
Here is the link to register for the ride (Registration is free)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!
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 Bldg. The new application for the low stress biking network is on the agenda.
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!