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Bike News Newsletter Weekly Update

Bicyclist killed in crash, West Area Plan, BCycle tour

The worst possible news on Friday: Around 6:20 p.m., according to the Madison Police Department, a 35-year-old man riding a bicycle was hit and killed by a driver on Lein Road near Parkside Drive. His name has not yet been released. The incident report says police impounded the vehicle believed to be involved and located its owner, but are still investigating.

The West Area Plan … area. (City of Madison map)

Comment on city planning

The public comment period for Madison’s West Area Plan — addressing future growth and development in the area enclosed by North and South Midvale boulevards, the beltline and Middleton — will be extended, according to the Department of Planning, Community & Economic Development, though a new end date has not been announced. Public input was to close on March 20, but a notably noisy public meeting on March 12 apparently signaled the need for more time for feedback.

While the recent meeting went off the rails over potential zoning changes, the plan addresses bicyclist and pedestrian safety that may benefit from continued supportive comments: new bike lanes and underpass improvements on several school routes, traffic-calming through street design and road narrowing on some of the area’s diciest thoroughfares, and the Sauk Creek Greenway shared-use path that has piqued the same sort of reactionary ire that packed the recent public meeting.

There are some pleasant things to share!

If you didn’t catch Madison resident Daniel Eckberg’s Isthmus essay on how much walkable and bikeable neighborhoods enrich the lives of the people who call it home, give it a quick read.

On foot or two wheels, “It’s amazing how much more you notice at that pace, how many hole-in-the-wall spots you find, how many hidden paths you uncover,” Eckberg writes.

If you have the choice, he figures, you ought to consider choosing a neighborhood friendly to walking and biking. Good advice! And enough — shouldn’t it be? — to spur us to make more of Madison just that kind of accessible for people who don’t have a choice.

BCycles at Tenney Park station. (Chris Barncard)

The bikes are back in town

If you were about town over the weekend, braving almost seasonably (for a change) brisk temperatures and wind, you may have noticed the return of bikes to many BCycle stations around Madison.

This Thursday, March 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., you can get a closer look at BCycle operations — covering topics like battery charging and bike safety — on a Madison Bikes tour of the bikeshare’s Madison facility, 312 N. 3rdSt. You can even join a group ride to BCycle, gathering at Law Park, 410 S. Blair St., at 4:30 p.m.

See you there!

Other items on the calendar:

March 18, 5:30 p.m.: Tancho Drive Public Path Information Meeting (via Zoom)

March 25, 6 p.m.: Madison Bikes Community Meeting “Vision Zero & Active Transportation Planning” with Renee Callaway, Madison Public Library Central Branch, 201 W. Mifflin St.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Weekly Update

Snow time like the present (for a bike ride)

A lone, smiling bicyclist rides from right to left along a snow-covered bike path lined by leafless trees and light poles
It’s just pretty out there, some of the time. (photo by Harald Kliems)

Nothing cuts the chill of winter quite like camaraderie. And a hot drink. And a fireplace. And getting the blood pumping by turning some pedals outdoors. And … you know, there are lots of ways to warm up your winter, especially if you’re willing to experiencing it on your bicycle.

Bring your bar mitts full of winter cycling joy and agony to a pair of Madison Bikes events on Feb. 9 to celebrate International Winter Bike Day:

  • Hot coffee and doughnuts — donated by Cafe Domestique — just off the Capital City Trail from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Monona Terrace parking lot near the bike elevator
  • A warm fire and happy hour hangout for winter biking commiserating from 4 to 6 p.m. at Working Draft Beer Company, 1129 E. Wilson St.
A group of bicyclists dressed for winter gathered on the snowy bike path, with Monona Terrace in the background
Winter Bike Day 2023 (photo courtesy Harald Kliems)

Bike Fitchburg will celebrate the slippery season earlier in the week, with bagels and coffee and light bike mechanical service at a commuter station from 7 to 9 a.m. at Velo UnderRound, the junction of the Capital City Trail, Badger and Military Ridge state trails and Cannonball and Southwest Commuter paths.

This Week

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Transportation Commission will meet virtually at 5 p.m. Their full agenda includes a long list of high-profile projects looming in the city’s near future, including adoption of the the Lake Monona Waterfront Master Plan — with its underpass routing cyclists and pedestrians beneath John Nolen Drive — and a presentation on the pilot project that would turn about three blocks of State Street into a pedestrian mall.

Map of I-39/90/94, with several corrsings and potential crossings highlighted because the city wants to impress the importance of bike and ped infrastructure improvements at those sites upon DOT planners.
Many I-39/90/94 crossings

The Commission will also take up the state Department of Transportation’s planned study and reconstruction of Interstate 39/90/94 through the city’s east side, considering an endorsement of prioritizing safe connections for pedestrians and bicyclists across the rebuilt highway.

There are 17 crossings and potential new crossings of I-39/90/94 as it passes Madison, and the mayor and a group of city council members have proposed a list prioritizing the city’s concerns. Topping the charts are Milwaukee Street’s narrow and entirely sidewalk-less overpasses and a long-anticipated connection linking the Capital City and Glacial Drumlin state trails south of East Buckeye Road.

But wait, there’s more. The commission will peruse the annual report on Vision Zero Madison, the initiative to eliminate all fatal and serious injury crashes on city streets by 2035 (which just released its first quarterly newsletter of 2024), and the Northeast Area plan, which points out 10 sites for intersection improvements and planned infrastructure to address a “fragmented” bike network.

If you’re into paving, there are a pair of 2024 resurfacing projects ready for public information meetings:

Jan. 30, 5:30 p.m.: North Franklin and Stevens streets

Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m.: West Washington and Henry streets

Take this week with a conservative application of salt, and wheel into the next ready to celebrate cycling in the snow.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison pag

Categories
Newsletter Weekly Update

Yes, Virginia, there are road diets.

This week, consider giving the gift of your input on city transportation projects and planning. But first, the rampaging:

Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Santa Cycle Rampage rolled through the Isthmus on Saturday, bringing cheer to all the good children and cargo-bike-adapted dogs. The event put a bow on many a newscast, because the only thing more fun than riding in an itchy, fur-trimmed hat is watching scores of Santas pedal by.

Mineral Point widened sidewalk: It’s happening!

The Common Council last week made a final decision on the fate of the widened sidewalk along the north side of Mineral Point Road (for details, see last week’s action alert). After much public comment and debate, the Council did the right thing: Alder Figueroa Cole made a motion to adopt the Transportation Commission’s proposal (i.e. 8-10 ft of sidewalk along the whole stretch, except along Nautilus Point Park, where a separate path will be built). This resolution passed 13-4-1 (yes/no/abstain). Thanks to everyone who emailed the council or spoke at the meeting. Consider sending your alder a note of appreciation if they voted in favor.

YES

D1 Duncan
D2 Bennett
D3 Field
D4 Verveeer
D5 Vidaver
D6 Rummel
D8 Govindarajan
D10 Figueroa Cole
D14 Knox Jr
D15 Martinez-Rutherford
D16 Currie
D18 Myadze
D20 Harrington-McKinney

NO

D7 Wehelie
D9 Conklin
D11 Tishler
D19 Slack

ABSTAIN

D12 Latimer Burris

EXCUSED

D13 Evers
D17 Madison

West Area Plan

The 10-year guide to land use, transportation, parks and open space for the chunk of the Madison bounded by Midvale Boulevard and the Beltline comes before three city commissions this week. The plan includes the Sauk Creek Corridor’s contentious bike path, a road diet with lane reductions for portions of Gammon and Old Sauk roads — with space to be repurposed for a side path and added buffering for bike lanes — and new connections between dead-end streets and establishing rights of way for potential future public roads. Nick Davies posted a brief summary on the Madison Bikes Facebook group.

The three commissions (with links to agendas and virtual meetings) on the calendar are:

Plan Commission, 5:30 p.m. today, Dec. 11

Transportation Commission, 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13

Board of Park Commissioners, 6:30 p.m., also Wednesday, Dec. 13

The Transportation Commission will also consider plans for the reconstruction of East Wilson Street, scheduled for 2024, which could include a two-way, sidewalk-level bicycle path on the south side of the street. Details (in a pdf) here.

More holiday diet discussion

Mineral Point Road is scheduled for resurfacing in 2024 from its eastern origin at Speedway Road and Glenway Street to its intersection with Midvale Boulevard, work that may include a road diet that would remove street parking and add bike lanes.

Madison Bikes wants your input on events

The Madison Bikes board meets today from 6 to 8 p.m., in the virtual way (Zoom link here).

More importantly, you are invited to join an in-person community meeting for 2024 event planning, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Room 104 of the Madison Public Library’s Central Branch, 201 W. Mifflin St. It’s an opportunity to brainstorm and begin planning events for next year’s calendar:

We want to hear from you! Do you have a specific bike-related skill you can share with the Madison Bikes community? Are you interested in volunteering to teach a class or lead a ride? Sign up to share your expertise (or the thing you wish you knew) on a topic related to biking that will benefit our community! Also, there will be pizza.

Yes, there will be pizza. Diets are for roads.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Categories
Newsletter Weekly Update

Bikeways projects, Mineral Point Rd meeting, ‘Street Project’ movie around the corner

Madison’s Transportation Commission meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday to take up an agenda that includes a pair of Bikeways 2023 projects. The Bikeways program covers “small improvements and repairs to the city bike network,” and the projects up for review fit the bill. Each is just a skinny block long and meant to ease bikes past higher-traffic interruptions in otherwise lower-traffic routes.

One of the two projects — both scheduled for construction in 2024 — would add an off-street bike path along Seminole Highway between Manitou Way and McCaffrey Drive, providing an easier entrance to the UW Arboretum. The other project would reconfigure West Lakeside Street between Gilson and Rowell streets, removing street parking on the south side of West Lakeside and replacing it with an off-street, two-way bike path close by Franklin Elementary School, Bernie’s Beach Park and Goodman Pool.

This stretch may be fresh in the minds of bicyclists, as it was part of a detour last week while the Cap City Trail was closed for repairs along the John Nolen Drive causeway. Here’s a reminder that after a break for the weekend, those repairs restart for the work week, and this portion of the Cap City is to be closed again Monday, Oct. 23, through Friday, Oct. 27. The detour will get even more use in the planned future, when it’s time to replace John Nolen bridges.

Mineral Point Road “Widened Sidewalk” meeting tomorrow

If you missed Craig’s in-depth post on the Mineral Point Rd project yesterday, here’s a reminder that a public meeting on the project is taking place on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The meeting will be in person at Vel Philips Memorial High School; a Zoom option is available.

More on the calendar

Today, Bike Fitchburg meets at 7 p.m. at Osprey Apartments, 5118 Lacy Road in Fitchburg.

Wednesday: District 11 Alder Bill Tishler is hosting a book discussion of “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World” at Sequoya Library from 7 to 8pm.

Saturday, there is a Bike Trials Competition at Mountain Road Farm in Excelsior.

Monday, Oct. 30, Madison Bikes, the Wisconsin Student Planning Association, and the Wisconsin chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism present “The Street Project,” a story about humanity’s relationship to the streets and the global citizen-led fight to make communities safer, at 6 p.m. in the Marquee Cinema at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St. Before the film screening is a happy hour at 5 p.m. in The Sett Pub, also at Union South. After it, a panel discussion. Admission is free, but please RSVP here.

Event flyer for The Street Project screening

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at info@madisonbikes.org to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.