Dispatch from Small-Town Germany

Madison Bikes Board member Harald reports some impressions from his recent stay in Germany. This article was originally published on Harald's blog, Ride or Pie?!


I grew up in small-town Germany. Welzheim, my home town, is a city of 10,000 people. It's on the edges of the Stuttgart metro region (population 2.7 million), about 30 miles from Stuttgart itself. My parents still live in Welzheim, and I visited them for a week this March. And, of course, I rode my bike.

Lovely small roads make for great biking

So as Welzheim is in Europe, there obviously is a lot of bike infrastructure, right? And nobody drives a car. Well, note quite. Germany with good reason is known as a nation of cars (Mercedes Benz and Porsche have their headquarters in Stuttgart). And in a small, rural town like Welzheim, there's actually not much obvious bike infrastructure to speak of. There are zero protected bike lanes, bike parking is pretty mediocre, and even on-street bike lanes don't exist, with the exception of an advisory bike lane on two streets. And yet, the biking experience is much better than you'd expect.

Traffic calming is one big reason for this. On most residential streets, the speed limit is 30 kph (19 mph). More importantly, the streets are built so that people by and large actually drive at that speed. The streets by default are much narrower than a typical US residential street. So when a car is parked on the street, two cars generally can't pass each other, keeping speeds down. Further, intersections are usually unsigned, meaning that the person coming from the right has the right of way. Effectively that means that at each intersection you have to be prepared to stop. Actual stop signs, on the other hand, are so rare that my navigation app actually gave me a voice notification the few times that I did encounter one.

Traffic signals are also much rarer than in the US. The whole town of Welzheim has not one signal. Roundabouts, on the other hand, are plentiful. Starting in the 1980s, new intersections on busier streets often were built as roundabouts, or old ones were retrofitted. On the 8-mile drive from the nearest train station to my parents' house, you will encounter no fewer than 10 roundabouts. Now in the US, among bike advocates and the general population, roundabouts have a bad rap. Much could be said here, but it's important to note that German roundabouts are built smaller than US ones, and multi-lane roundabouts like the one we have on Mineral Point Road in Madison are very, very rare. More narrow lanes means people driving have to slow down more and aren't tempted to pass people on bikes on the roundabout approaches or in the roundabout.

Some residential streets are designates as "traffic-calmed area," a concept similar to the Dutch woonerf. Cars must drive at walking speed, and people walking and biking are entitled to the whole street. Again, those streets are usually built in a way that makes it clear that people must drive slowly.


What about commercial streets? Welzheim's main street looks like this:



The speed limit is 20 kph (12 mph), and as a pedestrian you can easily cross the street wherever you like. Through strategic placement of planters or on-street parking spots, there will be locations where two cars can't pass each other, keeping speeds down.


Going one step further, some cities have pedestrian malls in their city centers. This is Schorndorf:




Biking is sometimes restricted in these areas, either banning bikes at specific times or asking people to bike at walking speed. Deliveries by car or truck are permitted only during a short time window each day.

Bike parking is not that great by Madison standards. If there are bike racks at all, they often default to what Germans call the Felgenbieger (rim bender) style of rack. This is probably one reason that kickstands are very common on bikes, allowing people to just park their bike wherever when they go for a quick trip to a shop.

E-assist bike on a rim bender rack
Note the wheel lock on the bike on the right. Good enough for a quick stop.


At train stations and in larger cities, bike parking facilities tend to be better. For instance, at the Bad Cannstatt train station, there is a "bike station" where you can valet your bike (and also have it repaired while its parked there). With the Judge Doyle Square bike center, Madison is poised to get similar facilities. We'll have to see how well they work without a transit location.

The bike station is run by a charitable enterprise, training and employing people with disabilities or other challenges

 


Once you get out of town, biking can be really awesome. One feature of the region is a dense network of farm or forestry service roads and tracks. For historical reasons, parcel sizes in this part of Germany are very small. This is an aerial image of Welzheim and its surroundings (Image: Google Maps).

 

All those little strips of fields that you can see are owned by different farmers (and the same is true for forest parcels). And of course that means that each farmer has to be able to get to his or her field. The service roads to get them are public right-of-way, but motor vehicle access is limited to farm traffic. 
Farm road
Forest service roads are usually unpaved
Navigation on these roads and tracks used to be a challenge. There is no orderly grid system, and it could often be hard to tell where any given road would take you. Fortunately, over the past decade or so, communities have made much progress on signing bike routes that string together little pieces of road to connect villages and cities.
The green signs point show bike bike route destinations and distances; the small square signs underneath them are for touristic bike routes; the yellow sign is for hiking.



I want to be clear that there are some problems with these routes: Welzheim is in a rather hilly area, and the easiest routes up those hills are often taken up by roads. So if you follow a bike route, you should always be prepared for steep climbs. The routes also do not get cleared of snow in the winter. And finally, sometimes the routes are geared more toward recreational biking instead of providing the most direct route. But overall, they provide an amazing low-stress network for people biking, for recreation and transportation alike.

Some snow left on this forest road



Are there any takeaways for bike advocacy in Madison? Obviously some of the things I have described we can't recreate here. The issue of traffic calming may offer some lessons, though. Many advocacy efforts here in the US focus on creating protected bike lanes as a way to enable people of all ages and abilities to bike. And there are good reasons for that. But at the same time we shouldn't lose track of the fact that traffic calming can also create spaces that are great for biking and walking (and have other benefits such as reduced noise). This applies not only to residential streets, but also to commercial corridors. This does require being serious about it, though. Merely slapping a 20 mph speed limit sign on an otherwise unchanged street is not going to be enough. And neither is the occasional speed bump or sporadic enforcement. Diverters that prevent cut-through traffic, reducing the width of a street, creating bump-outs at intersections--these are some measures that may transform a street into one that many people will feel comfortable biking on.

A second takeaway is that good signage can add a lot of value at little cost (financial and political. In a way, the farm roads in Welzheim are similar to, say, the network of multi-use paths in Fitchburg.

Fitchburg path network (Map: OpenStreetMap contributors)

 

You can get to many destinations on those paths. But unless you're really familiar with the area, navigation is a challenge. Similarly, if you're riding on the Southwest Path or Cap City Trail, knowing where to turn off to get to a destination on Monroe or Willy Street is not obvious. Good signage would help with this. Dane County actually developed a "Bicycle Wayfinding Manual" (warning: big pdf) to address this issue, but implementation has been slow so far.

Weekly Update: Bcycle returns, St. Patrick's Day

This edition of our weekly update is brought to you from an airport in Germany. I've been visiting my parents for a week and am now back on the way to Madison. Stay tuned for a post about biking in Germany. Until then, here are the latest bike-related events for the week.

Lots of bikes in Freiburg, Madison's sister city in southwest Germany

On Monday, the Madison Bikes Events Committee is going to lay out the schedule for our organization's events for the year. If you're interested in being involved, please come to Barriques on W Wash at 6pm or email our volunteer coordinator Heather.

I've been told that spring hasn't fully arrived in Madison yet, but that does not deter BCycle from starting the 2018 bike share season on Thursday. Welcome back! 

On Saturday, you can join Madison Bikes board member Baltazar for the regular Tour of the Latino Family/Tour de la Familia Latina. This month's theme is St. Patrick's Day/Dia de San Patricio. Meet at Olin Park at 1pm

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to info@madisonbikes.org.

 

 


Winter returns - Weekly update March 5, 2018

Last Week

Here’s hoping most of you were able to get out on the bike and enjoy the warm weather. I ride all winter long, but rarely get out of the city on my winter bike. It’s such a great feeling to get back out to the sights and sounds and smells of the country.

 

And for those that don’t follow the activity on the Madison Bikes Facebook Group, here’s a collection of some of the top articles recently shared:

Back to the Future at the Wisconsin Bike Summit

Careful campus planning means safe, sustainable commuting

Most UK parents back air pollution exclusion zones around schools

Local bike shops come to terms with their industry’s ties to the NRA

The Environmentalist Blind Spot on Transportation

 

This Week

Monday: Next Sunday is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and that means today is the last MEAThead ride of the season. They’ll be back again in the fall after the easy weather is gone again.

Tuesday: On Tuesday, the Madison Bikes Communications Committee will meet up at the Memorial Union. Check out the About Us section of our webpage for more info on any of the Madison Bikes Committees.



For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to info@madisonbikes.org.


Warm weather expected - Weekly update Feb 26, 2018

For those that may not be fond of cold-weather riding, this week will give you a little taste of spring. Surely winter is not over, but the temperatures should be high enough to tempt the fair-weather riders. Enjoy some of the opportunities below or work on improving the city. 

 

Monday, February 26

Bike Fitchburg monthly meeting; 6:30–8:30 pm. Come to the meeting and let the folks working to make Fitchburg an awesome place to bike you’re your ideas and concerns. Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd.

The MEAThead Ride leaves from Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St 7:00 pm. The ride follows the lake loop with the option to add on a trip through the Arboretum. This weekly ride is ends the last week of March, so if you haven’t gotten to meet up for this ride yet and have been thinking about joining the group, the time is now.

 

Wednesday, February 28

Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee; 6:00–7:30 pm at Bendyworks, 106 E Doty St #200. Stop by to see what this committee is planning or talk about any ideas you might have on what we can do on the advocacy front.

Middleton Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Committee; 6:30–7:30 pm, Middleton City Hall, Council Chambers, 7426 Hubbard Ave. The agenda can be found here.

 

Thursday, March 1

Madison Bikes Development Committee; 6:00–7:30 pm, Colectivo Coffee - On the Square, 25 S Pinckney St.

 

Ontario Park Bike Path Meeting; 6:00–7:00 pm, Whitehorse Middle School, 218 Schenk St. Come learn about a proposed bike path through Ontario Park. This is a short path that makes a critical connection for the Whitehorse School kids and the Eastmoreland neighborhood. More information on the planned bike/pedestrian connection to the Capital City path can be found on the project website.


Winnebago and more - Weekly update for Feb 19, 2018

 

Update on Winnebago projects

This past week saw the public meeting to discuss the reconstruction on Winnebago Ave. We’ll have to get an update later this week from Grant or another person who attended, but just today came news that the project has been delayed, along with changes to the diagonal crossing of the Isthmus Path at Riverside.

Below is information sent out by Alder Marsha Rummel. Mark your calendars for March 27, when the main Winnebago project will be before the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission to discuss a revised design.

1. Winnebago diagonal crossing canceled, planning to resume after construction season ends.

Last week I posted a tentative date for the Winnebago diagonal bike crossing project at Riverside for February 26. It is not happening. I have been informed the project has been delayed. Recommendations from the community and Ped Bike to add bike connections to Winnebago at Merry St made Engineering realize that they did not have sufficient funds allocated in 2018 for the project. City Engineer Rob Phillips promised me that staff would engage with the public in the early fall to look at a larger project for next/future year.

2. Winnebago reconstruction delayed for parking study.

If you attended the second Winnebago reconstruction PIM meeting last week or last December and signed up for the email list, you would have received this email from project manager Jim Wolfe on Friday: The City has decided to delay the upcoming meetings and mailings for 2018 reconstruction of Winnebago St. between Second and Bashford. The updated schedule for the project is noted below. With this additional time, City Traffic Engineering will conduct a parking study of the area, and this data will help with deciding on a proposed design for Winnebago St. The project website will also be updated with this revised schedule.

Pedestrian, Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Commission: March 27
Mail estimated assessments: April 6
Board of Public Works public hearing: April 18
Common Council public hearing: May 1
Bid project: early May
Start construction: early June

The parking study will provide important data to show how residents, employees and visitors park on the four block area from 2nd St to Bashford. The study will be done twice - soon and after March 15 when alternate side parking ends. There are benefits to Option 2 but I have heard concerns about the loss of parking so this study will provide important information to help decisionmakers.

 

Meetings and events this week

The week is a little short on city meetings, but there are still lots of things to do.

Monday: After a full day of strategic planning on Sunday, the board decided to cancel our board meeting on Monday at the Library. These meetings are always open to the public, but we won’t be at the library this month, so we don’t want you to come out in the horrible weather predicted, just to find us MIA.

But the MEAThead ride is still on, as it is every Monday through March. They will be leaving from Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago, at 7:00 pm for a no-drop, Lake Monona loop with optional loop through Arboretum.

Tuesday is the Spring Primary Election, so bike on over to your polling place and make your voice heard! There are primaries in Districts 6, 11, and 15 on the County Board, so if you live in one of those areas (near east, neat west, and far west), then you will see a county board race on your ballot. There is also a state-wide primary for Supreme Court Justice, so everyone can vote in that one. Spring voter turnout is very, very low, so your vote will be especially important. Not sure where to vote, who’s on the ballot, or who the candidates are? Head on over to the League of Women Voters of Dane County website to read candidate statements and answers or to find out where to vote. Polls are open 7:00 am – 8:00 pm, and you can register at the polls. Find out more about how to vote and what you need to register or what voter IDs are acceptable at the ink above or on the City of Madison Clerk’s site.

Because Tuesday is Election Day, the Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meets on Wednesday this month – 5:00 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building. You can see what’s on the agenda here. It looks like a pretty short agenda, but they will be discussing the winter maintenance policy for bike facilities. Did you know you can watch the PBMVC meetings on cable or on your computer, just in case you want to know what they are doing, but don’t want to go downtown? Head over to the Madison City Channel and watch it live or check out the recording later.

Also on Wednesday is the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee meeting at 6:00 pm in the offices of Bendyworks, 106 E Doty St #200. As with all our committee meetings, you are welcome to attend to either watch or participate.

And that’s about it for the week ahead. We’ll have more information on Winnebago later, or go to our Facebook groups to join the discussion.


Monday Update: Winter Bike Week recap, Winnebago, Tour de la Familia Latina

Another successful Winter Bike Week is over! Did you have the opportunity to stop at any of the commuter stations, the social rides, or at the celebration at Nutty Bar on Friday? Sadly, even though of course I was biking to work all week, my schedule was so busy that I could only make it to two of the many events. But I've seen the pictures and read reports from others, all saying that. Here are some impressions from last week (thanks to Peter Gray, Linda Larsen, Kevin Hayes-Birchler, and our board members for the pictures):

If you can't see the images in your email, please open the post on our website.

Thanks go out out to the Madison Bikes board members and volunteers, our many community and business partners who stepped up and partnered with us to make the second Madison Winter Bike Week another success!

Bandung's Nutty Bar
Cafe Domestique
Canteen Taqueria & Tequila Bar
Clean Lakes Alliance
EVP Coffee
HotelRED
Liv Cycling/Fitchburg Cycles
Madison Bike Winter
Monday Night MEAThead Ride
Orange Tree Imports
Revolution Cycles
Rockhound Brewing Co
Taqueria Guadalajara
The Cargo Bike Shop
Underground Food Collective
UW Bicycle Resource Center
UW Health

We'll be back next year -- let us know if you want to partner with us for Winter Bike Week or any of our other events.

This week

On Monday, the Madison Bikes Events Committee meets at Barriques on Atwood. If you'd like to get involved with our events, just stop by!

On Tuesday, please come to the Winnebago Street public input meeting. As Grant has outlined in his post, the choice is to either keep things as they are, or to create a Winnebago Street that works for everyone. Tuesday, 2/13, 6-8 pm at the Goodman Community Center.

On Saturday, Madison Bikes board member Baltazar is hosting another Tour de la Familia Latina. Meet at Olin Park at 1 pm.

And on Sunday, the Madison Bikes board will have its annual strategic planning session to identify our priorities for the coming year and beyond.

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If you have an event that you’d like added, send the details to info@madisonbikes.org.

 


A Winnebago Street for Everyone

This coming Tuesday (02/13/18), the city's engineering department will host a second neighborhood meeting on the Winnebago Street (2nd Street to Bashford) reconstruction project. The first meeting was held on 01/10/18 and this earlier blog post provides most of the background on the project. At Tuesday’s meeting, Engineering staff is expected to put forward two refined alternatives for consideration.

Alternative #1 considers narrowing the existing roadway by 2’ by skinnying up the main travel lanes and keeping the bike lanes and on-street parking as is. For people biking on Winnebago this would take what is already an uncomfortably tight environment for biking and make it even less practical.

Here’s what it feels like to be passed by a bus with the current 11’ travel lanes and unbuffered bike lane.

And here’s the current bike lane up against on-street car parking.

Best practice roadway design calls for 26’ of space to accommodate a bus, bike, and parked car lane. The current street only provides 24’, and this proposed Alternative #1 would take away another foot, leaving only 23’. This will make an already stressful bike facility much more stressful, particularly in winter conditions.

Alternative #2 would repurpose one side of on-street car parking. With this design, appropriate shy space or buffer is included between the bike lane and travel lane, as well as between the bike lane and parked cars. This design results in a biking environment that is considered Low-Stress and appropriate for riders of All Ages and Abilities. Another significant benefit of this design is that it will allow for widened street terraces that can accommodate street trees. (Alternative #1 keeps the existing street terraces, which are too narrow to support street tree plantings.)

Madison Bikes works to make Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year round. At the heart of that commitment is a commitment to equity. "Anyone" means people of all ages and abilities. A Winnebago Street that only works for 10% of people that would like to bike is a Winnebago Street that doesn’t work.

From NACTO’s recently published Designing for All Ages & Abilities: Contextual Guidance for High-Comfort Bicycle Facilities

 

Please consider coming to the public meeting on Tuesday and voicing your support for Alternative #2. For anyone unable to attend, please send an email of support for the all ages and abilities design alternative to the following:

Jim Wolfe (Engineering): JWolfe@cityofmadison.com

Christy Bachmann (Engineering): CBachmann@cityofmadison.com

Marsha Rummel (Alder): district6@cityofmadison.com


Sunday Update: It's Winter Bike Week!

Our Monday update comes a little early a week. Why? So that we can tell about all the great things happening during Winter Bike Week!

Winter Bike Week had a bit of a bumpy start, with both the fat bike race organized by the Clean Lakes Alliance, and the Madison Bikes Fat Bike Sled Pull being canceled because Lake Mendota was just too slick. Bummer, but that's how winter biking can be sometimes. On the other hand, I heard that Revolution Cycles and Surly Bikes hosted an awesome party and show on Friday night! I haven't received word yet from today's Liv/Fitchburg Cycles Winter Warm Up Ride to the Madison Winter Festival at Elver Park, but conditions should have been favorable!

During the whole week until Friday (2/9), you can participate in the Madison Bikes Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt. Take pictures of yourself and your bike and post them to the event page! Some examples from last year:

On Sunday (Feb 4), you can start the day early and watch the men's cyclocross World Championship races at Cafe Domestique, starting at 8am. If that's too early, Rockhound Brewing has some special brunch deals from 9:30am to 1pm. Just mention Winter Bike Week.

Monday morning will feature the Madison Bikes Kickoff Commuter station. Join us on the Cap City Trail near Machinery Row for coffee and treats, 7-9 am. In the evening, you can join the MEAThead ride, a friendly no-drop loop around Lake Monona, starting 7:05 pm sharp in front of Ford's Gym on Winnebago.

EVP Coffee on East Wash or University Bay Drive is the place to be on Tuesday: Winter riders can get a free small coffee, all day. And our board member Pepe will lead a slow roll to the Lower Yahara River Trail, across the bridge to McFarland. Departure at 6:30 pm at Gates & Brovi, or you can join at 7 at Colectivo on the Square or 7:20 at Olin.

The Wednesday commuter station is hosted by Canteen Taqueria & Tequila Bar on Hamilton St. From 7-9 am you can get free coffee, cookies, and pan dulce. Over lunch break, former Madison Bikes board member and UW Bike/Ped Coordinator Chuck Strawser will host a Bike Traffic Skills Class. Free and open to anyone. And in the evening you can join Aaron and the Madison Bike Winter Crew for their classic Dane-to-Dane social ride. Meet at the downtown Great Dane at 6:30 pm.

Winter Bike Week is for people of all ages. On Thursday, the kids will get their own commuter station! The Cargo Bike Shop, Cafe Domestique, and Underground Food Collective are joining forces to serve kid-friendly snacks and beverages on the Cap City Trail at Dickinson from 7-9 am. And if you appreciate an indoor commuter station, HotelRED delivers: Free pastries and coffee will be served in their lobby on Monroe/Regent from 7-9 am.

Winter Bike to Work Day

Friday is Winter Bike to Work Day. You can pledge to ride on their website, and also participate in a gift exchange with other participants from all over the world! If that's not enough incentive to ride your bike, Canteen will again host a commuter station on the Square, 7-9 am. Winter Bike Week will wrap up with a Happy Hour at Bandung's Nutty Bar. Drink and food specials will be available from 5 pm, and we may have some prizes for those who participate in our Scavenger Hunt.

Phew, this is a pretty packed schedule! Thanks to all my fellow Madison Bikes board members, volunteers, and business partners who have made this possible! Happy Winter Bike Week!  


Weekly update: Winter Bike Week on tap

The week of January 29 has several great events going on AND there is only one municipal meeting because it's the fifth week of the month! So celebrate all the reasons winter biking is spectacular and get ready for Winter Bike Week, which starts Friday.

February 2-4 the Clean Lakes Alliance hosts the annual Frozen Assets winter festival on the ice behind the Edgewater. Madison Bikes will be there, so come visit us. We’ll be doing sled pulls  behind fat bikes on the ice, and we’ll have an information table at the event. Friday night is the fat bike race, so come to participate or just watch the racers bike to Picnic Point and back.

 

Also happening this week:

Monday, January 29

The regular MEAThead ride around Lake Mendota leaves from Fords Gym, 2114 Winnebago St, at 7pm for a Lake Monona Loop ride, with an optional loop through the Arboretum. This weekly ride continues through March. We’ll keep mentioning it here but put it on your calendar!

 

Wednesday, January 31

Middleton Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Committee 6:30pm – 7:30pm at Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI. This meeting was scheduled for last week but changed due to scheduling conflicts. It is now on January 31st. The meeting does not appear on the City calendar but Kierstin Kloeckner has confirmed that the meeting is definitely happening. It just hasn’t made it to the calendar yet.

  

Friday, February 2

Madison Winter Bike Week 2018 - The celebration of all things winter biking runs from February 2 – February 9. The Madison Bike Events committee is hard at work finalizing the details on commuter stations and other events. Look for updates on events and activities on the Madison Bikes website and Facebook page.

 

Frozen Assets Winter Festival – Lake Mendota at the Edgewater Hotel, 1001 Wisconsin Place, Madison, WI 53703. Don’t miss the fat bike race to Picnic Point. The full schedule of events for the festival is here: https://cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets/

 

Frozen Assets Fat Bike Race: Race to Picnic Point leaves from Lake Mendota in behind the Edgewater at 5:00pm

Wisconsin Death Rip - February 2, 2pm – Sat, February 3, 5pm

Revolution Cycles, 2330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704 (Friday) and Blue Mount State Park, 4350 Mounds Park Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517 (Saturday)

Surly Bikes and Revolution Cycles in Madison team up again. This event should be a rocking good time with music, beverages, door prizes and bikes, or course! If you own a Surly, ride it to the shop for a prize! The shop party is Friday, February 2nd. Doors open at 6, music at 7. Music from Hrad Vallis and Madison's Sinking Suns. I already mentioned beverages but there will be beverages in abundance. Take your hangover to Blue Mound State Park on Saturday, February 3rd for the  Fat Bike Winter Demo at Blue Mound 11-5PM https://www.facebook.com/events/834821883394407/

 

Saturday, February 3

Wisconsin Death Rip: 10:00am Blue Mount State Park, 4350 Mounds Park Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517

 

Liv Winter Warm Up Ride to the Madison Winter Festival!: 10:00am to 1:00pm. This is a no-drop women’s group ride leaving from Fitchburg Cycles, 2970 Cahill Main, Fitchburg, WI  53711. This sounds like a fun social ride using Madison’s bike paths to go the Madison Winter Fest at Elver Park. More information on the ride and to RSVP is here:  https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/events/winter-warm-up-no-drop-road-ride/5908

 

Sunday, February 4

Madison Winter Bike Week 2018 and Frozen Assets final day. Get out there and bike to the Edgewater to see the end of the festival! We are still planning events for the week, and we'll have an update later in the week, but you can see some of the great events at the Madison Winter Bike Week 2018 page.


Back to meetings and get ready for Winter Bike Week - Weekly update

It’s bitter cold, then it’s amazingly warm; it’s snowing, then it’s raining. There’s ice, and then the streets are bone dry. That’s winter in southern Wisconsin. But there are lots of activities and city meetings to think about and attend. So here we go with our weekly update of the goings-on.

The week ahead

On Monday, both Madison Bikes and Bike Fitchburg will be holding meetings. The Madison Bikes Board of Directors meets at the Madison Central Library at 6:00 pm. Fitchburg Bikes meets at the Fiitchburg Library at 6:30 pm.

Also on Monday, the weekly MEAThead ride leaves at 7:00 pm from Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St, for a Lake Monona Loop ride, with an optional loop through the Arboretum. This is a weekly ride from November through March, so just put it on your calendar.

 

Tuesday, the monthly Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meeting (5:00 pm in Rm 201 of the City-County Bldg, agenda here) will take up a number of seemingly routine, but actually quite important matters. Remember that you can go to all city meetings to watch, and you can also register to testify on any item on the agenda. You can summit comments or your support/opposition via email or in writing in person. Your voice is important! To get more information on the items below, just click the agenda link and follow the attachments for each item.

The PBMVC will discuss the following items:

  • Projects within the neighborhood Traffic Management Program (AKA traffic calming).
  • Where new traffic signal will be installed.
  • A number of general city engineering projects that affect bicycling, including the project at Winnebago and Riverside, a few short path connections, and the repaving of the path that leads to Memorial High School.
  • Bicycle-specific projects coming up in this year, mosst of which are small items like flashing lights or curb ramps.
  • The city’s policy of bike route maitenance policy.

Also on the agenda is a state law being considered that would add electric bikes to the definiton of “bicycle” in state statutes. You can see a staff review of the proposed state law by Traffic Engineering.

If you’re not I the mood for a city meeting on Tuesday, you can head over to Manna Café on N. Sherman to join up with Down With Bikes for their biweekly winter social ride and games night. Leaving from Manna at 6:30 pm, they will weave through the North Side to arrive at Player’s Bar for ping pong, pool, and board games.

 

Wednesday

Although the Middleton Pedestrian, Bike, Transit Committee is listed on the Madison Bikes calendar as meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the Middleton City Hall, no evidence of it can be found on the City of Middleton meetings website. If you are interested in upcoming issues, it might be worth a call to the city to see if a meeting is scheduled.

 

Finally, on Thursday, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee will be meeting (5:00 pm in Room 108 of the City-County Bldg, agenda here.) The principal item on the agenda will be continued work on the transportation component of the Imagine Madison planning process, which is the update to the city Comprehensive Plan.

 

And some reminders:

If you have an event, meeting, or ride that you would like us to list on the Madison Bikes calendar, please drop us a note.

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for Feb 3, when we will be at the Frozen Assets Festival and Fundraiser for the Clean Lakes Alliance. It’s happening on the lake behind (or would that be in front of?) the Edgewater. Drop by and see us and enjoy all the activities, including a fat bike race on the ice on Friday, and on Saturday our popular fat bike sled pull. (Sorry, kids only.)



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