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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (12/05/16)

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Santa Cycle Rampage 2015 (Photo credit: Peter Gray)

Last Week

Last week the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission voted not to approve the proposed cross section geometry for Monroe Street that repeats the existing, car-centric cross section with no improved access for people on bikes and very limited treatments for people on foot. The proposal will move on to the Board of Public Works in two weeks and the Council will vote on it in January. PBMVC also received an update on the E. Johnson Street /First Street project which has shifted from the unbuffered 4′ bike lanes on Johnson to a 2-way segregated path from Baldwin to First. You can watch the meeting online here.

The first public meeting of the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor study was well attended with an overwhelming ask to improve conditions for people on bike and people on foot. The city plans to reconstruct the sections of Wilson/Williamson closest to Blair in 2018. The plan is to do that work in a way that will support a later reconstruction of Blair Street, including the intersection itself (that work is not currently scheduled). The presentation is available on the project web page here.

This Week

On Monday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup meets to continue review of a draft bikeway maintenance policy for the Public Works departments and Bike Fitchburg hosts a Holiday Shindig at Roman Candle.

Imagine Madison is the name for Madison’s Comprehensive Plan update. The first public meeting will be on Monday at the Central Library with a second chance for the same content on Wednesday at the Villager Mall

If you’re interested in helping support the work of Madison Bikes, consider heading over to Cafe Hollander at Hilldale on Tuesday for the Madison Bikes Communication Committee meeting. Email harald@madisonbikes.org if you’d like to attend.

And on Saturday, it’s Madison’s turn for the Santa Cycle Rampage.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (11/28/16)

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Winter Bike Fashion Show (Photo credit: Rob Streiffer)

Last Week

Last week the Madison Bikes Events Committee met to evaluate how things went with the Bike Winter Fashion Show and to start planning future events. Watch for a blog post later this week with a summary and more pictures from the event. The focus will now turn to working on Madison Bike Winter Week in February. If you’re interested in helping out with plans, check the Madison Bikes calendar and join the committee at their December 19 meeting.

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Winter Bike Fashion Show (Photo credit: Rob Streiffer)

This Week

There are three important meetings this week that will have a big impact on bike travel in the city.

On Tuesday, the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission will deliberate on two critically important street reconstruction projects: Monroe Street & East Johnson Street/First Street. The commission is being asked to approve a proposed cross section geometry for Monroe Street that maintains the rush hour travel lanes in order to prioritize motor vehicle throughput. The commission will then recieve its first look at the E. Johnson Street /First Street project.

On Wednesday, the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Ad Hoc Committee will continue to work towards a rewrite and reorganization of our current transportation ordinance and associated committees. And then at 7:00 at the Monona Terrace, the public is invited to the first in a series of meetings to look at the John Nolen Drive and Blair Street corridor. Actual reconstruction for this corridor is still many years out, but the work to influence design alternatives begins now, and it’s a crucial piece in Madison’s bike infrastructure.

I really encourage anyone that can make it to attend these meetings. In particular, if you use or would like to use Monroe Street or East Johnson Street you should attend the PBMVC meeting and share your opinions. The same holds true for the John Nolen/Blair meeting on Wednesday. The TORC meeting is a little bit wonkier and probably only makes sense for those that are interested in the structural/policy side of things.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (11/21/2016)

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) held a public involvement meeting on the I-39/90/94 study. WisDOT shared what alternatives it plans to move forward into the next stage for consideration. They plan to add capacity either through additional lanes in the existing corridor or (more likely) by constructing an additional ‚Äòreliever route’ north of the existing corridor. In terms of impact on biking in Madison, our biggest opportunity will be to advocate for additional freeway crossings. There is currently consideration for one between Cottage Grove Road and Milwaukee Street, another over Highway 30 west of Thompson Road, and a pair over the interstate and Highway 151 on the far east side of town.

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On Sunday we had a great turnout at High Noon Saloon for our Winter Bike Fashion Show. Stay tuned for a blog post with pictures and other highlights from the show!

This Week

There’s not much scheduled around town this week in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. One exception is the Madison Bikes Event Committee meeting on Monday at Barriques on Atwood. The agenda includes a review of the Fashion Show and a look ahead at planning for upcoming Madison Bikes events. Committee meetings are open to anyone interested and a great way to connect with us.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (11/14/16)

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Last Week

On Thursday, City Engineering and Strand Associates unveiled an updated East Johnson Street proposal for the reconstruction between Baldwin and First Street. Their first draft, shared with the public back in April, called for 4′ unbuffered bike lanes along Johnson. There was significant feedback from the public at this first meeting that this was an inappropriate design and that it would not accommodate users of all ages and abilities.

City Engineering and Strand (the contractor for this project) went back to the drawing board and, based on that feedback, came back with a much improved concept. This new proposal includes a two-way separated multi-use path from Baldwin through the end of the project limits at First Street (see image above). This is a significantly improved design and shows the value of a real commitment to public input.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t very much time for questions and dialogue as another group needed to use the space, so many questions about the project remain unanswered. Of primary importance are the following:
  1. How will people on bike travelling east on Johnson Street connect to this 2-way facility at Baldwin?

  2. How does this serve the predominantly low-income residents of Sherman Terrace and those connecting to/from Fordem Avenue?

  3. How does this address the disastrous First Street crossing for people on foot and on bike?

  4. How do we improve access for people on bikes on First Street, especially given the proposed six lanes of motor vehicle traffic and the critical importance for bike and pedestrian access to the planned public market?

I’m hopeful that the design team will schedule additional time for public deliberation before committing to a final recommendation. In the meantime, you can review all the information available for the project here and send your feedback and questions to: Chris Petykowski, Alder Zellers, and Alder Palm.

This week

This week Tuesday, WisDOT is holding a Public Involvement Meeting to receive feedback and input on six corridor improvement alternatives for I39/90/94 from Madison to Portage. The primary question on the table will be about expansion. This won’t have a significant direct impact on biking in Madison, but is an important piece of the larger transportation puzzle.

And then on Saturday, treat yourself to a fun afternoon at the Winter Bike Fashion Show at High Noon Saloon. Doors open at 11:30 and the show starts at noon. This is a great event to bring a winter bike curious friend.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (11/7/16)

Not much to report from last week, but there are some interesting happenings in the week ahead.

On Monday, both the Madison Bikes Board and our Events Committee will meet with a focus on the final preparations for our Winter Bike Fashion Show at High Noon Saloon. You can still send us pictures of your winter bikes, gear, and adventures at winterbike@madisonbikes.org, to be featured on the blog and/or at the Fashion Show.

On Tuesday, get yourself to your polling place (if you haven’t already). Madison B-Cycle is offering free rides on election day, so there’s no excuse.

On Wednesday, the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Maintenance Policy Workgroup will meet to review the draft Bikeway Maintenance policy along with a first draft of a map that will help winter cyclists identify which routes receive priority clearing after a snow event.

If you’re looking for one meeting to attend this week, I’d suggest Thursday’s East Johnson Street Reconstruction Meeting. Engineering will unveil their updated plan based on feedback from their first public meeting earlier this year. This will be a critical connector between Baldwin and First Street and will also include some potentially big alterations to First Street as well. Come see the plans and share your thoughts with city staff.

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.
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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (10/31/16)

Last Week

On Monday, Robbie and I had a nice chat with Brian Standing on WORT’s 8 O’Clock Buzz. Check it out here or on the WORT FM website. As a reminder, you can find all past news coverage of Madison Bikes here.

https://soundcloud.com/wort-fm/madison-bikes

Tuesday’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission meeting had a full agenda including a first look at a number of upcoming cross sections and a review of a new Request for Proposal for the Downtown Bike Center that will be built at Judge Doyle Square. I raised a number of questions and concerns about the RFP, referencing details found in this 2012 Report. While I’m very supportive of the bike center in concept, I think there’s a good chance of it failing if it’s not implemented and operated effectively. What could be worse publicity than a $1M bike investment in the heart of downtown that goes underutilized? As always, PBMVC meetings are available to watch online for anyone interested in tuning in live or watching the recordings.

And while I was at PBMVC, Harald stopped in at Hotel Red for the Regent Street/South Campus open house. A neighborhood plan was already adopted back in 2007. But while that plan sets some priorities and parameters for development, this open house was intended to carry the conversation forward and look at various options for bringing the plan to life. Biking featured fairly prominently, with ideas like improving the SW Path or to “explore bike opportunities” in the area of Regent Street where Budget Bicycle Center is located. Providing bike facilities on Regent Street, however, didn’t seem to be part of any plan. It didn’t become clear during the open house what the next steps are going to be or who to direct feedback to.

On Wednesday, the Transportation Ordinance Rewrite Committee continued its work on reimagining and rewriting Madison’s transportation ordinance. It seems like the group has settled on the concept of creating a new Transportation Planning and Policy Board and is looking at potentially combining all of the other transportation commissions into a new single Transportation Commission. While there is certainly value in connecting the dots between the various elements of our transportation system, the new commission is currently drafted to have only seven seats with no requirement for representatives from any of the transportation modes that we are trying to strengthen (ped, bike, transit). This is really important and fundamental work, so please stay tuned and be ready to advocate to keep cycling’s seat at the table.

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On Thursday, Alder Eskrich and city staff rolled out their vision for a reconstructed Monroe Street. After months of planning, a series of public input sessions, and an online survey all calling for significant improvements to pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and a commitment to green infrastructure, the proposal instead continues to prioritize motor vehicle throughput and on-street parking by not changing anything. That’s right: The rush hour travel lanes and miles of underutilized street parking will remain untouched and people on bikes and on foot will continue to watch from the sidelines. There’s a lot to dig into with this project and, in particular, the failed public engagement process. The proposal will go to the Pedestrian, Bicycle, Motor Vehicle Commission in November, Board of Public Works in December, and then will look for final approval at the Common Council meeting in January.

This Week

There are two opportunities to get involved directly with Madison Bikes this week. On Tuesday, join the Communications Committee at Cafe Hollander and, Wednesday, meet up with the Advocacy Committee at Cargo Coffee. Check the calendar for details and feel free to stop in and check it out.

On Thursday, there’s a Public Market Site Design workshop: “As the City continues to make progress on implementation of the Public Market, this workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the site design and how the Public Market connects with surroundings amenities, natural features, properties, infrastructure, etc.” Getting meaningful access by bike is often best accomplished at this early design phase.

And, on Friday, you have an opportunity to support the Bike Fed and statewide bike advocacy by attending the 2016 Saris Gala.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (10/24/16)

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New sharrows on Jenifer Street

Last Week

Last week, Madison Bikes joined City of Madison Traffic Engineering for a webinar and discussion on “Safer Intersections for Peds & Cyclists.” The focus of the webinar was on protected bike lanes, and examples were shown from Vancouver and the Netherlands. Protected intersections are ultimately an extension of protected bike lanes, so we’ll need to work on getting a few protected lanes installed before we can take advantage of the designs shared here. City staff said that there are currently no plans for a protected bike lane in the city…

In other news, buses will be returning to a newly reconstructed Jenifer Street, which has also received bike sharrows. The new cross section is 2′ narrower than it was before reconstruction and also features some bump outs for improved pedestrian crossing. Time will tell how these small adjustments will affect bike travel on Jenny.

The Madison in Motion Oversight Committee talked some more about performance measures and will start sending the draft plan around to city committees with hopes of council adoption in early 2017.

And the Madison Bikes Events Committee continued its planning for the Winter Bike Fashion Show slated for Saturday, November 19 at High Noon Saloon.

This Week

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Monday: Robbie and Grant will talk Madison Bikes on WORT 8 O’Clock Buzz, and at 5:30 pm city staff give a complete streets presentation in the Lake Edge neighborhood in response to some neighbors’ concerns about adding sidewalks and bike lanes on an upcoming project.

Tuesday: The Pedestrian, Bike, and Motor Vehicle Commission includes a review of an Request for Proposals for a Bike Center operator in the new Judge Doyle Square project downtown. At 6:00 pm at Hotel Red there’s a Regent Street Visioning Open House.

Wednesday: Work continues on rewriting the city’s transportation ordinance including an updated transportation committee structure at this month’s Transportation Ordinance Review Committee meeting.

Thursday: City staff will present a new proposed cross section at the Monroe Street Cross Section Open House at Edgewood College at 6:00 pm. This is the last planned public meeting before the design moves through city committees and the council.

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.

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Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (10/16/16)

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Last Week

The week started out with an event in Middleton: Local cyclist and bike advocate Kierstin, who the week before had been forced off the road by a person driving aggressively, organized a Middleton Bike Infrastructure Ride on Monday evening. The ride showcased some of the significant gaps in the bike network in Middleton and brought together both local advocates and supporters from Madison (and Madison Bikes…). Kierstin will publish a guest post about her the ride and her efforts on the Madison Bikes blog later this week.

It turns out all the traffic at Warner Park on Thursday was actually there to watch the Mallards play and not to carry in hundreds of participants for the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 Public Involvement Meeting. In fact, I’m not sure if there was anyone in attendance who wasn’t a staff person, transportation committee member or reporter. I didn’t stay for the whole slide deck, but I did look at all of the maps that depicted current and future bike routes. I think there’s a lot of work needed on these maps to make them meaningful sources of information. On the pedestrian side, there are clearly marked Tier 1 and Tier 2 priority gaps that are prioritized for improvements. On the bike side, there’s no way at all to tell where the most important gaps are currently or how we should go about prioritizing. Until we start clearly identifying our current All Ages and Abilities/Low Stress bike network and the missing links, we’re going to continue to struggle to make any real headway. These maps aren’t up yet, but should be available online soon.

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Protected intersection design in Chicago (Source: John Greenfield (https://www.flickr.com/photos/24858199@N00/26125689470)

This Week

Monday: The Madison Bikes Events Committee meets to continue planning for the Winter Bike Fashion Show slated for Saturday, November 19 at the High Noon Saloon.

Wednesday: On Wednesday, City of Madison Traffic Engineering is hosting a Webinar & Chat: Safer Intersections for Peds & Cyclists at the Madison Municipal Building at 2:00pm. The event is open to anyone, but please RSVP on the linked Facebook page.

At 5:00, the Transit & Parking Commission meeting begins and will include an informational presentation on a potential bus route move from Jenifer to Williamson Street.

Also at 5:00 will also be another chance to see the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 presentation, this time at Middleton’s city hall.

Thursday: Madison in Motion Oversight Committee meets for the first time since June. They’ll be reviewing the public input received to date and discussing next steps.

Also on Thursday will be your last chance to catch the Regional Transportation Plan 2050 presentation, this time in Fitchburg.

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.

Categories
Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (10/10/16)

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Last Week

It was a quiet week last week that gave Madison Bikes Board and Events Committee members time to meet. Things are starting to come together for the Winter Bike Fashion Show slated for Saturday, November 19th.

This Week

Monday: Help highlight the need for improved bike facilities in Middleton by joining Kierstin on her Middleton Ride for Safety.

Thursday: There’s something for everyone this Thursday. Head up to Warner Park to take a look at the draft Regional Transportation Plan and provide your feedback. Or stop in at the Old Sugar Distillery for the Love to Ride Finale Party. For those with connections to Sun Prairie, you should head to the Watertower Chop House for the Sun Prairie Bicycling Advocacy Groups October meeting. Or if none of that catches your interest, ride out to REI for a class on Cold Weather Cycling Basics class.

For details on any of these events, head to the Madison Bikes calendar. If there are events that you think are missing on the calendar, send them in to info@madisonbikes.org and we’ll get them posted.

Categories
Bike News

Madison Bikes Calendar Highlights (10/3/16)

Monroe Street Reconstruction Cross-Section Workshop

Last Week

There was some good conversation at Pedestrian/Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Commission about what to do with the suggestions that were received for potential pedestrian/bicycle improvement projects. You can watch the discussion here beginning at 41:00.

After a month off, the Transportation Ordinance Review Ad Hoc Committee reconvened to review Attorney Strange’s draft ordinances proposing the creation of a Transportation Policy and Planning Board, and the recreation of Transit and Parking Commission and Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission. The committee is weighing the benefits of that 3-body structure (keeping Transit/Parking and Ped/Bike) versus a 2-body structure that folds transit and ped/bike into a singular Transportation Commission. This is fundamental conversation around our transportation planning and implementation systems and will have a big impact on how these issues are managed going forward.

At Wingra School on Thursday, attendees had an opportunity to share their ideas at the Monroe Street Reconstruction: Cross Section Workshop. Based on the cross-section designs offered up by attendees, it looks like almost all groups favored removal of the rush-hour travel lane in favor of a turn lane to increase pedestrian safety crossing the street and the majority of the proposed cross-sections also included bike lanes with some removal of on-street parking. The city will be taking that feedback and doing some modeling in order to come up with draft cross sections for further consideration. These will be presented on October 27, 6:00-7:30 PM at the Cross Section Open House.

This Week

Bike the Art Tour

The Madison Bikes Board of Directors has it’s monthly meeting on Monday followed by a Winter Bike Fashion Show planning meeting. On Saturday, consider joining the second Bike the Art tour leaving from the Allen Centennial Garden at 12:45pm.