What a [Bike] Week! Weekly update for June 11, 2018

 

 

 

We had wonderful weather for Bike Week and all the activities: not too hot, not too cold, and almost no rain! Thanks to all who came by, chatted at the commuter stations, threw a little into the donation box, and signed up to be on the mailing list. We had a great time and met some new people, many of whom didn’t know about Madison Bikes.

This brings me to a reminder to all current Facebook friends and email subscribers: If you know someone who would like to know what’s happening with bicycling in Madison, please send them over to us. They can follow us on Facebook, participate in our group discussions, and/or sign up to get our blogs and weekly updates emailed to them directly.

We are a stronger, more effective organization when more people join and participate. One of our goals is to keep bicyclists up to date with what’s happening on city committees, in your neighborhood, and when plans or votes are coming up that will affect bicycling. Your voice is very important, and you can help us by getting your friends to join as well.

 

On to the weekly update for this week. After all the activities last week, the coming week is pretty slow for meetings and activities.

Monday

Madison Bikes Events Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Barriques, 127 W Washington. All the Madison Bikes committees are looking for additional volunteers and committee members, so if you are interested in helping plan events, we could really use your help. The Winter Fashion Show, Annual Party/Member Meeting, and Bike Week commuter stations are just some of the events that this committee has planned. Don’t know whether it’s for you? Stop by to say hello and ask a few questions. They’ll be glad to see you!

There will be a special meeting of the Plan Commission, at 5:00 pm in Room 103A of the City/County Building, to approve updates to the Comprehensive Plan. This will guide how the city grows, and where, for the next ten years. It’s been through a lot of work and discussed by almost every committee of the city – including several transportation committees -- and now needs to be passed by the Plan Commission and Council. If you would like to see everyone who’d looked at it and what input they had, you can follow this link and click on the documents.

Tuesday

The Middleton Pedestrian. Bike, Transit Committee will be at 5:30 in the Council Chambers in Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Avenue. It looks like the city is taking the first steps to build a much-needed path along Century Ave. This has been a missing link in the metro area for quite some time, with none of the existing options – ride in the main lanes with fast-moving traffic or use the sidewalk -- particularly safe or inviting. But it’s just the start of the process, because this is what is listed on the agenda:

The City of Middleton received three responses to its Request for Proposals for consultant engineering services to design a 10 ft. wide path along the north side of Century Avenue, between Old Creek Road and the eastern city limits (near Mendota County Park).

Saturday

There are two rides scheduled for Saturday.

The Clean Lakes Alliance will have its annual Loop the Lake ride and fundraiser, starting at Olbrich Park at 10:00 am. The ride is the familiar ride around Lake Monona (about 13 miles), but you’ll be doing it with a few hundred other people. Although most people will finish in about 75-90 minutes, the course will stay open until 2:00 pm. More information at the link about or at the Facebook event.

Tour de Familia Latina/Latino Family Tour will start at 1:00 pm at Quan Park, hosted by BiciClub Latino de Madison. They are meeting at bit outside downtown Madison to avoid all the other events going on downtown. Quan Park is right next to the Wingra Creek Path and behind the Alliant Center. From there, they will be biking to the Lower Yahara River Path, a beautiful ride. All are welcome, and the ride is geared toward families and riders of all ages and abilities.

 

All these events are also listed on the Madison Bike Community Calendar. If you would like to have an event listed, send it over to us.


Monday Update: Bike Week in full swing

It's June, and it's peak biking season in Madison. Wisconsin Bike Week started on Saturday and will serve a packed calendar of events this week.

We from Madison Bikes had a blast at Ride the Drive yesterday, offering free ABC Quick Checks and chatting with lots of you! If you signed up for our newsletter at Ride the Drive: Thanks for stopping by, and welcome to Madison Bikes! More pictures on our Facebook page.

Monday

On Monday there will be commuter stations at

  • Cap City Trail and Ohio Ave
  • SW Path and W Wash
  • Cap City at Machinery Row
  • Cap City at Law Park
  • Middleton: Old Middleton Road at Asbury Path
  • Fitchburg: Badger State Trail at Marketplace Dr

In the evening, come to Genna's for a Women's Cycling Happy Hour (open to all women-identified people), starting at 5 pm.

Tuesday

Madison Bikes is joining HotelRED to host a commuter station today! We promise: You won't have to bundle up like we did in this picture from our commuter station during Winter Bike Week!

Tuesday's commuter stations will be at:

  • Cap City Trail and Ohio Ave
  • SW Path at HotelRED with Madison Bikes
  • SW Path and W Wash
  • Cap City at Dickinson with bacon cheddar waffles
  • Cap City at Central Park/McPike Park
  • Cap City at Law Park
  • Middleton: Old Middleton Road at Asbury Path
  • Fitchburg: Velo Underround (where Cap City, Cannonball, SW Paths intersect)

Our friends from Bombay Bicycle Club are hosting a ride and social in the evening, starting at the Hop Garden in Paoli. And north of Madison, join the 1st Annual Pedal For Paws, Creekside Family Bicycle Night in Sun Prairie.

Wednesday

On Wednesday, stop for free morning treats at:

  • Cap City Trail and Ohio Ave
  • SW Path and W Wash
  • Cap City at Brearly
  • Cap City at Machinery Row
  • Cap City at Law Park with Bratcakes
  • Middleton: Old Middleton Road at Asbury Path
  • Fitchburg: Badger State Trail at Marketplace Dr

Sun Prairie Bicycling Advocacy Group is hosting their Brats, Brews, and Bikes Ride in the evening. Meet at 6 pm at Wetmore Community Park.

Not part of Bike Week: The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board has their regular meeting at 6:30, Water Utility (E Olin Ave).

Thursday

More commuter stations!

  • Cap City Trail and Ohio Ave
  • SW Path and W Wash
  • Mifflin Bike Boulevard at Paterson: Celebrate the new diverter!
  • Cap City at Law Park with Bacon on the Bike Path
  • Middleton: Old Middleton Road at Asbury Path

In the evening you can pick among several social events: Revolution Cycles will have a Hot Pizza and Cool Drinks happy hour on the Cap City Trail behind their shop. On the way there, stop for a root beer kegger on the Cap City between First and Division. If you live in Waunakee, join Bombay for a 25-mile ride, departing 5:30 pm at Prairie Elementary. And in Middleton, you can join community leaders for an 8-to-10-mile ride featuring recent investments in bicycle routes and amenities, and learn about future plans and opportunities.

Friday

It's your last chance to hit one of the commuter stations. Today you can find them at:

  • Cap City Trail and Ohio Ave
  • SW Path and W Wash
  • Cap City at Law Park
  • State St at Johnson (Short Stack Eatery
  • Middleton: Old Middleton Road at Asbury Path

Bike Week doesn't end on Friday, but it is the day for the big bike week celebration at HotelRED from 5-6:30 pm.

Women-identified folks who want to learn about setting up the suspension on mountain bikes can head to Fitchburg Cycles for a "suspension clinic."

Saturday

Bike Week ends with several options for riding your bike: The Trek 100 charity ride takes off from Waterloo. Bombay hosts a women's ride starting at the Glacial Drumlin trailhead in Cottage Grove. And women-identified folks who want to test some MTBs should head to Blackhawk trail system in Middleton. If you prefer a Madison event, head to the UW Campus for an "open house of interactive programs on the UW-Madison’s East Campus Mall and along the Lakeshore Path."

For more details about any of the bike week events, go straight to the Bike Fed's calendar.


Monday Update: Volunteers Needed, Director of Transportation Nominated, Bike Week

Call for Volunteers

Madison Bikes is looking for volunteers for the following events preceding and including Bike Week:

Saturday, June 2, we are looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides to the Olin Park south parking lot for the Ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival. There are currently three feeder rides planned. On the east side, there is a feeder ride starting at the Olbrich Park Biergarten that leaves at 11:00 AM. On the west side, a feeder ride is departing from EVP at Shorewood Hills at 10:30. There is also a feeder ride starting from Cafe Domestique on Williamson St. for folks living on the near east side. The feeder rides will collect at Olin Park around 11:30 AM where Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes are co-hosting a ride to the Parks and Trails Unite Festival which leaves at 11:45 AM. If your neighborhood wasn't listed and you want to lead a slow-rolling feeder ride, drop a comment on the event's Facebook page with a location and a start time to be added to the list of feeder rides. It would be great if we could get feeder rides from all corners of the city!

Sunday, June 3, we are looking for volunteers to help out at the Madison Bikes ABC Quick Check tent. If you can at least identify basic maintenance issues then we could use your help. Sign up for a volunteer shift here. The two shifts are from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Please plan on showing up 10 to 15 minutes prior to your shift.

Tuesday, June 5, we are looking for a few volunteers to help run the Madison Bikes Bike Week booth at HotelRED from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. We primarily need folks to engage commuters in conversation, and we would welcome your help even if you can't stay the full two hours. If you can help in any way please send an email to volunteer@madisonbikes.org.

 

Last Week

This last week we had quite pleasant weather and a week full of events for Bike to Work Week. Hopefully you all got to take advantage of the nice weather and got out on your bikes.

On Tuesday, we saw Tom Lynch nominated as the city's new Director of Transportation. The selection was praised by numerous current and former city council members and other members of the community who have worked with Mr. Lynch on various transportation projects, and we are certain he will make a good Director of Transportation. Another bonus is that Mr. Lynch is a year round commuter cyclist, so he will be able to bring to his position a viewpoint that we are hopeful will greatly improve transportation options here in the City of Madison.

This Week

On Tuesday, at 5:00 PM, the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) meets and will discuss the Blair St. corridor report which includes the two additional intersections of John Nolen Drive on the isthmus, and they are being asked to approve the geometry of the John Nolen/Williamson/Wilson/Blair intersection so Engineering can move forward with bids and construction as quickly as possible. City Engineering will also be present at the meeting to update the commission on projects they are pursuing, including for requests for proposal (RFPs) for two important multi-use path connections: one along Starkweather Creek behind the Garver property called the Garver Bike Path, and one that would create the first low-stress connection to the city's bike network for residents living in the Burke Heights neighborhood called the Autumn Ridge Path.

Proposed route for Phase 1 of the Garver Bike Path

Proposed route for the Autumn Ridge Path

Also on the agenda is the adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is the result of two years of gathering public input through the Imagine Madison website and public meetings to create a guide that should help shape public policy around the future growth of Madison. This plan will also be at Thursday's meeting of the Long Range Transportation Committee. Here is the link to the public PBMVC agenda.

On Wednesday, at 7:00 PM ,there will be a community meeting to discuss the April 27th crash on Midvale Blvd. that killed pedestrian Greg Nametz, and severely injured his wife, Patty. The meeting will be at Queen of Peace Gathering Space. Read more about it on Alder Arvina Martin's web page.

The Long Range Transportation Planning Committee (LRTPC) meets this Thursday, May 31, at 5:00 PM. Adoption of the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is also at this committee. The LRTPC will also be asked to adopt amendments to the Elderberry, Pioneer, and Junction Neighborhood Development Plans. Here is the link to the public LRTPC agenda.

Saturday is National Trails Day, and to celebrate, Dane County is hosting the Parks and Trails Unite Festival, which starts at 10:00 AM and runs into the night until 7:00 PM. There will be music happening at both ends of the newly completed segment of the Lower Yahara River Trail. The event is free and open to the public. As mentioned earlier, Bombay Bicycle Club and Madison Bikes will be doing a group ride to the festival with feeder rides from around the town. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to lead feeder rides from their neighborhoods, so if you want to lead a feeder ride, leave a comment on the event's Facebook page with the location and time of departure for your ride.

Sunday kicks off the start of Bike Week. The 10th annual Ride the Drive starts at 11:00 AM and lasts until 3:00 PM. The route is along scenic John Nolen Drive and North Shore Blvd. which will be closed to motor vehicle traffic for the public to enjoy. The ride is family-friendly, and there will be entertainment, food, and fun! Join the MadTown Unity Ride starting at 10:30 AM on a ride from the south side of Madison to Ride the Drive. Madison Bikes will have a tent at Ride the Drive that includes a basic maintenance ABC Quick Check. As a reminder, we are still looking for volunteers to help out at this event, so if you are available and can at least identify a basic maintenance issue, please sign up for a spot.

Look for more information on Bike Week events in next weeks blog post. You can also see what events are planned for Madison at the Wisconsin Bike Federation's Bike Week website.


Winnebago will wait, and Bike Week is coming soon

Last Week

This past Tuesday the Madison Common Council failed to overturn the Mayoral veto on the Council approved option #2 for the reconstruction of Winnebago St. This essentially sends the design for the project back to the drawing board. Rather than hiding in a corner and licking our wounds, we should consider this an opportunity to make the design of the entire length of Winnebago -- from the Yahara River to Union Corners a complete street for all users. We will need to stay engaged as the restarted process moves forward. Stay tuned for updates on design proposals and meeting schedules.

This coming week has a few Bike to Work Week events leading up to the big Wisconsin Bike Week events scheduled for the first week of June. (As of Sunday night, when this was posted, the Bike Fed website was down, so we can't link to the events calendar. But we'll get more information to you well before things start on June 2.)

This week

While it looks like this week will be somewhat challenging on the weather front, there are some fun biking events that should make you forget about any rainy day woes and help you enjoy the ride. There are also a few meetings worth keeping tabs on.

On Monday, May 21, Bike Fitchburg holds its monthly meetings from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd. Anyone with an interest in improving biking in Fitchburg should feel free to attend.

Tuesday, May 22 Local cyclist and personal trainer Krierstin Kloeckner and Harbor Athletic Club Wellness Center host a free Yoga practice for Bike to Work Week. Practice starts at 6:30am and runs until 7:15am. Bring your own mat! Harbor Athletic club is located at 2529 Allen Blvd, Middleton.

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm Short Stack Eatery, at 301 W Johnson St, will have mechanics from Wheels for Winners to help you get your bike in tip top shape. Have a beer and hang out with Madison bike lovers! AND, if you ride your bike to the pop-up there will be discounts and raffle prizes. Come hang out with us and win cool stuff!. Did I mention beer?!? More info here.

Also on Wednesday the Middleton Pedestrian/Bicycle/Transit Committee meets 6:30 - 7:30pm at the Middleton City Hall, 7426 Hubbard Ave. The agenda should be at this link, but it doesn't seem to be working, so if someone has a link, we'll throw it up here. http://sire.cityofmiddleton.us/sirepub/meet.aspx 

Thursday, May 24th Harbor Athletic Club and local cyclist Kierstin Kloeckner continue rocking the support for Bike to Work Week with a free Pilates class from 6:30- 7:15 am. Set the alarm early and head over to Harbor to limber up before the ride in to the office. Bring your own mat!

Saris again coordinates with Metcalf’s Bratfest Friday, May 25th to bring us the annual Bike Your Brat to Work Day! The first 200 cyclists to bike through the brat fesr at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way will get to up to two bratwursts, compliments of Saris! Plus, cyclists get to bypass dozens of cars. Be early if you want to be sure to grab that breakfast brat, as there's typically a line of hungry bicyclists ready for their breakfast brats. This event kicks off the World’s Largest Brat Fest, bright and early on May 25th. 


A mayoral veto: It's the weekly update for May 14


Last week

After the Council approved option # 2 for Winnebago St, on Tuesday, May1 -- a big win for safety because the option provided more buffer between the bike lanes and motor vehicle traffic – the Mayor then decided to veto the Council’s action. You can read his veto letter here.

We anticipate that the Council will try to overturn the veto this coming week. See Tuesday’s upcoming events for more information.

On Saturday, Robbie and Harald presented work at the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison. Other board members, volunteers, and friends of Madison Bikes also attended.

 

This Week

On Monday, the Madison Bikes Board will meet at 6 pm at the Central Library. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This Tuesday, we anticipate the Madison Common Council will try to overturn the Mayor’s veto of the vote to build option # 2 on Winnebago. The original vote was 11-6, with one alder absent, one abstaining, and one who was chairing the meeting. 14 votes are needed to overturn the veto, and one person who voted in the minority has already said he will vote to overturn.

Everyone can hep by contacting your alder to ask that they uphold the action passed by the majority. There was a robust public outreach process and many committee meetings that came before the Council vote, so it is disappointing that the Mayor wants to undo all that work.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in Room 201 of the City-County Building. You can register to speak, watch in person, or watch the meeting on Madison City Channel. It’s a great lesson in local democracy, and you might become a better advocate or more informed citizen.

On Wednesday, the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee will meet at 6:00 pm at Bendy Works, 106 E Doty St, 2nd floor. If you’d like to help us out with our work on advocacy issues, feel free to stop by.

Friday, Sun Prairie’s advocacy group will be holding a bike commuter station at Canery Row from 6:00-8:30 am. So if you happen to be out that way, stop by to say hello.

We can expect to see quite a few weekend events, as the warm weather is finally here.

Saturday, there are two events. First, from 9:00-noon, Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 East Gorham St is holding a bike rodeo. There is a long list of activities for all ages and abilities. Get a tune up, try out an electric bike, get some safety training for kids, enter the raffle, and learn how to fix a flat.

Then from 1:00-4:00 join others visiting galleries and art exhibitions by bike for Bike the Arts. The fun starts at the Bubbler at the Central Library and then moves on to other locations. A full list of locations and times can be found here.

Sunday, there is a ride for women to check out mountain biking, or just join others. All levels of expertise welcome, whether this is your first time or know the trails very well. Head over to the Bell Joy Ride on the John Muir Trails the Southern Kettle Morraine, N9097 County Road H, Elkhorn.

You can always get the info on these events by checking out the Madison Bikes Community Calendar. Have an event that you’d like to put on our calendar? Send it out way.

 

In case you missed it

Here’s what we were talking about on our Facebook group:

Baltazar is asking people to vote on the name for the community latino bike group that is formalizing their organization.

There was a spirited discussion about the Mayor’s veto of the Council vote on Winnebago.

Grant posted the results of a survey on what people want in Monona to improve walking and biking.

Does banning hand-held cell phone use actually improve safety?


Monday Update: Mifflin diverter, Monona open house, city rankings

Last week

The highlight of last week certainly was the Common Council voting in favor of buffered bike lanes on Winnebago Street. Madison Bikes put a lot of energy into this project, and we're very pleased that in the end, a majority of alders supported the project. You can watch a recording of the debate about the project on City Channel (starts at 1:04:00). Here's the voting record:

Alders voting in favor of Option #2 (buffered bike lanes): Bidar-Sielaff, Demarb, Eskrich, Hall, Kemble, Martin, Palm, Phair, Skidmore, Wood, and Zellers.

Alders voting against Option #2: Ahrens, Cheeks, Clear, King, Rummel, Verveer.

Carter was excused, Baldeh was chairing, and Harrington-McKinney abstained.

Please consider sending a quick email to your alder to thank them for or let them know your opinion on their vote.

[Breaking: We just learned that Mayor Soglin has vetoed the council's decision. The Council now has to vote on it again, and the project will need a 2/3 majority to pass. Read the mayor's letter here.]

Also at the Common Council was the Madison Yards project. This is a huge development project on the city's west side, next to the Department of Transportation building on Sheboygan Ave. If you followed the news coverage and Facebook discussion after the council meeting, there was some confusion about an amendment that seemingly affected plans for bike lanes on Segoe. The amendment was voted down and bike lanes on Segoe (and other affected streets) remain part of the project.

At the Board of Public Works, the East Mifflin diverter passed unanimously. The diverter blocks motor vehicles from entering Mifflin at Blair and should help to keep traffic volumes on the bike boulevard in check. The city's report on the test installation of the diverter was positive, but public testimony at the meeting had a large number of critical voices. The project will now go to the Common Council.

Places for Bikes released their new city rating system on Wednesday. The scoring system incorporates a variety of data sources on ridership, infrastructure, community perceptions, safety, and current investment levels. Madison scored 3.3 out of 5 possible points. This puts us on 6th place overall, and 3rd among large cities. Where we did worst was in the "acceleration" category, which rates "how quickly a community is improving its biking infrastructure and how successful its encouragement programs are at getting people to ride."

On the weekend, the Wisconsin Bike Summit took place, including the Madtown Unity Ride on Friday evening, "celebrating the unity and diversity of Madison and to connect communities together." Channel 3000 has a short segment on the ride.

Oboi Reed from Equiticity presenting at the Summit (Photo: Peter Gray)

This week

Tonight, on Monday, the Madison Bikes events committee has their monthly meeting. The next big event on the horizon is Ride the Drive and Bike Week in early June. 6pm at Barriques on Park. New faces are always welcome!

If you want to see better biking and walking in Monona, attend the ped/bike open house on Tuesday. The city's bike and ped ad hoc committee will give a presentation on the committee's goals and an open house to discuss potential improvements. 6pm at Winnequah Elementary School.

On Saturday you need to choose between two bike events: REI is hosting their Big Backyard Bike Bash. Dreambikes will accept donations of bikes and used parts at the event, and you can get free safety checks and use the bike was station. 10-4 at REI on the west side. If you'd rather combine biking and Craft Beer Week, join the 80s-themed Madison Bike & Brew Tour. All proceeds from the event go to Down with Bikes, Madison's newest mobile bicycle repair non-profit. 11am at Alt Brew.

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.


Breaking: Common Council votes for buffered lanes on Winnebago

At last night's meeting, the Madison Common Council voted in favor of reconstructing Winnebago Street from Bashford to Second with buffered bike lanes and canopy trees (option 2)! Madison Bikes supported option 2 with a position statement that you can read below. The decision to remove on-street parking and reallocate that space for safer and more comfortable bike facilities and street trees is a major victory for active transportation and livability in our city.

We'll have more details later. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this happen!


Monday Update: Transit, Winnebago, Bike Summit

Editor's note: Our weekly update team has a new contributor. Let's welcome Jim Wilson, a Madison Bikes volunteer and co-chair of our advocacy committee!

Spring has sprung! The bike counters on the Cap City Path and on the Southwest Commuter Path show that ridership has jumped over 300% since the weather has finally gotten warmer.

Last week

Last Tuesday, the Pedestrian Bicycle Motor-Vehicle Commission approved the inclusion of the Mifflin St. traffic half-diverter. The next step in the approval of the half-diverter is getting it approved by Board of Public Works this Wednesday.

City Engineering also
gave an update on some of their projects including the big Atwood Ave. project. Of note, Engineering is now exploring a cross section of Atwood that would continue the on-street bike lanes on Monona Dr. north to where they can meet up with the multi-use paths on both sides of the street. This change was credited to feedback they received from the public at the last Atwood PIM on April 6, so thanks for turning up to make your voices heard! Other projects included an extension of the 8 ft sidewalk along the east side of Whitney Way south across the beltline intersections, and the installation of an off street pedestrian connection from the Cannonball Path to Todd Dr. along the beltline frontage road.

Possible Atwood Ave. configuration just north of Cottage Grove Rd. through the pinch point in front of American Family.

City Engineering is also doing some good work overcoming several of the challenges it’s been facing such as the change in state law preventing cities from using condemnation powers for pedestrian or bike projects, and in the challenges they’ve had establishing new paths along rail corridors. In their presentation on the 2019-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), they have started to move forward with an alternate to the previously planned Goodman Path in what they’re calling the Garver Path and the Autumn Ridge Path. The Garver Path would connect the Cap City Trail to Milwaukee St. through the Garver lot and O.B. Sherry Park. The first section of the Autumn Ridge Path would connect Portland Pkwy with Ziegler Rd. and would include a new ped/bike bridge over Highway 30. Plans are also moving along for sections of the West Towne Path and the Cap City Trail connection with the Glacial Drumlin that they think they can get done without condemnation powers, however other sections have been postponed indefinitely because of the change in state law.

The discussion on the John Nolen Drive corridor wrapped up the meeting and several questions about the geometry of the Williamson/Blair/Wilson/Nolen intersection caused the acceptance of the report and approval of the geometry to be postponed until next month’s Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission meeting.

This Week

On Monday, the Wisconsin Transit Riders Alliance is having its annual meeting at the Madison Public Library from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which will include a discussion of the LaCrosse Area Planning Committee’s efforts to establish a regional transit program in the region, despite the state’s efforts to thwart the creation of Regional Transit Authorities since 2011.

This Tuesday, the final geometrics for the Winnebago St. reconstruction will be approved at the Common Council meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM in Room 201 in the City-County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Madison, WI, 53703. This is the last opportunity to submit public comment about the project, so everyone interested in seeing a better Winnebago St. cross section should show up or write to their alder or both. Madison Bikes encourages support for the Option 2 cross section for the following reasons:

  • space for bigger, canopy-type street trees
  • better access for walking from southeast side of street, especially with the elimination of the current grade separation
  • better, shorter crossings for people on foot
  • buffered lanes for bikes instead of a door-zone bike lane on a bus route with narrow lanes
  • ADA accessible bus stop at Fourth St
  • narrower lanes for motor vehicles to encourage lower traffic speed

You can read the recent Action Alert for more information about this project. We could use as much public support as possible for Option 2 as it gives us buffered bike lanes and more space for trees, which would be an improvement to the corridor for both bicyclists and pedestrians over Option 1.

Also on Tuesday, Madison Bikes Communication Committee is having its monthly meeting at 5:30 PM. This meeting will be at the Stiftskeller in the Memorial Union and is open for anybody who wishes to attend.

On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board starting at 6:30 PM in the Water Utility building at 119 E. Olin Ave. in Madison, Room A-B. On the agenda is the approval of a letter to WisDOT supporting the Village of Cottage Grove’s application for Stewardship funding for the Glacial Drumlin Trail connection. You can find the full agenda here.

Also Wednesday, the Mifflin-Blair half-diverter is in front of the Board of Public Works. The Board meeting begins at 4:30 PM in Court Room 354 in the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Madison.

On Saturday, the Wisconsin Bike Fed is hosting its annual Bike Summit in downtown Madison. The event starts at 9:00 AM and will be a great opportunity to network with other bike advocacy groups around the state. The full schedule of events can be found here

Also on Saturday, the Capital Off Road Pathfinders are having their annual party/fundraiser at Machinery Row starting at 6:00 PM and running until 9. CORP has done some incredible work building and maintaining off-road mountain bike trails in the area.


Action Alert: Winnebago Street at the Common Council

We've written about the Winnebago Street reconstruction several times. But now it's decision time: The Common Council will decide the future of the street at their meeting next Tuesday (5/1). Without a strong showing of support from the public, the Council will most likely go with Option 1. Alder Rummel supports Option 1, as does the Board of Public Works. Some of the neighbors affected by the conversion of on-street parking into space for trees and bikes will likely speak at the meeting, supporting option 1.

So please voice your support for Option 2 by speaking at the meeting or writing to your district's Alder.

As a reminder, these are some of the arguments in favor of Option 2:

  • space for bigger, canopy-type street trees
  • better access for walking from southeast side of street, especially with the elimination of the current grade separation
  • better, shorter crossings for people on foot
  • buffered lanes for bikes instead of a door-zone bike lane on a bus route with narrow lanes
  • ADA accessible bus stop at Fourth St
  • narrower lanes for motor vehicles to encourage lower traffic speed

Rendering of Option 2 (Image: City of Madison Engineering)

Grant wrote a comprehensive overview of the project and its implications for people walking and biking on Winnebago here. The Isthmus also covered the debate in a recent article.

Some quick tips for writing an effective comment:

  • Primarily address your district's alder, but also include allalders@cityofmadison.com as a recipient
  • Start the letter by saying why you care about this issue. Do you live in the neighborhood? Do you frequent businesses on Winnebago? Does your kid go to East High? Does your commute take you in Winnebago (or would it, if conditions were better)? Do you support the city's sustainability goals? Do you like big trees on all Madison streets? Have you had a good/bad experience riding or walking on Winnebago? Etc.
  • Short letters are fine, as are long ones
  • Make it clear that you support Option 2
  • Ideally send your letter by Monday evening

Feel free to share your comments in the comment section below or on Facebook so that others can see them as well.

 


Monday Update: No more snow!

Hard to believe that this was less than a week ago (Photo: Gordon Sussman)

 

On Sunday, the Tour de la Familia Latina/Tour of the Latin Family, had a great ride, with more than 50 folks riding bikes in Madison while biking up trash they found in recognition of Earth Day.

This week, after what felt like fourth winter, it seems that spring is finally here. If it felt warm on Sunday, it was - we finally broke 60 degrees and lots of folks were out on bikes taking advantage. Weather should be in the 50’s and 60’s so we should see lots more folks getting out and enjoying riding.

Awesome weather aside, there are a few meetings, including one very important meeting of the Joint Pedestrian Bicycle Motor-Vehicle Commission and Long Range Transportation Planning Commission on Tuesday. The planned diverter at Blair and E. Mifflin is on the agenda for approval at this meeting. There are also a slew of fun events on Saturday celebrating biking through bike demos, socializing with bikes and beer, and music with a bicycle themed performance of UW Madison Madrigal Singers and Chorale.

 

On Monday, April 23 Bike Fitchburg holds its monthly meeting at Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711, USA, 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Anyone with input on improving cycling in Fitchburg should attend.

On Tuesday, April 24 A Joint Meeting of Pedestrian Bicycle Motor-Vehicle Commission and Long Range Transportation Plan Commission will decide on making the diverter at Blair St and East Mifflin permanent. This diverter is the first real change to the design of the E. Mifflin Bike Boulevard and will improve the safety of the roadway for all users. As Jonny Hunter, member of the Marquette Neighborhood Association's traffic committee, noted, “[Developer] TWall has been putting up significant opposition to this and has hired a lobbyist to fight the diversion.” It will be key to have folks show up in support of the traffic calming project. Also on the agenda: The consultants for the John Nolen/Blair project are presenting their final report.

The meeting begins at 5:00 pm and is in the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Room 201, Madison, WI 53703. The full agenda is available here.

After having to reschedule because of the snow, on Wednesday, April 25 the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee meets from 6pm–8pm at Bendyworks, 106 E Doty St #200.

On the weekend, you have several options for fun bike events. On Saturday, April 28 you can test ride mountain bikes at Quarry Ridge. For more information check out the event’s Facebook page here.

From 11:00am to 3pm check out Bike Day at Working Draft Beer Company at 1129 E Wilson St, as it celebrates bikes, beers, and better weather! Neff Cycle Service will be hanging out in the parking lot from 11am-3pm offering FREE bicycle safety checks and helping tune up bikes for Spring. Working Draft will have a full lineup of beers. I mean all the beers (hoppy, malty, lagers, ales, GF - you name it). Come get beered, socialize, and get the bike ready for the season! More info here and here.

At 7:00pm join the UW Madison Madrigal Singers, Chorale & Jazz Quintet for the concert: “Free Wheeling: A Tribute to the Bicycle” The performance is at Mills Concert Hall, 455 N. Park St. The UW Madrigal Singers and Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Gladstone, will join forces to present “Free Wheeling: A Tribute to the Bicycle”, Saturday April 28 at 7pm in Mills Concert Hall. The concert opens with no less than five world premieres, written specifically for this concert. There are two works from John Stevens, veteran composer and UW-Madison emeritus professor. “Toasting Song” is a rollicking number about the pleasures of both cycling and wine. “A Bicycler’s Song” takes a poem in praise of bicycles and cycling. Free and open to the public. Event Description here.



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