In case you missed it: This week is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Or as we like to call it: International Winter Bike Anywhere Day. As per usual, the weather will be dubious, but we have a great line-up of events!
7-9am: AM Bike Station at the Monona Terrace (look for us just off the path next to the bike elevator parking lot). We will have hot coffee donated by Cafe Domestique, snacks and swag! Be ready to share why you winter biking… The first 15 people to show up will get a Madison Bikes buff!
4-7pm: Bike Happy Hour at the Settle Down Tavern’s (117 S Pinckney St.) outdoor Tundra Club! There will be Tundra Club hot toddy drink specials, solo stoves and fire pits to keep us toasty.
Starting at 5pm: $10 cocktails at the Hilton Garden Inn Madison Downtown (770 Regent St, right off the SW Path) AND $8 flatbreads from 5-7pm!
noon-10pm: $1 off your first pint at Working Draft Beer Co (1129 E Wilson). Just mention Winter Bike Day and the discount will be applied.
Cars made way for cyclists at the Holiday Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park on Monday, giving those on foot or two wheels one last chance to see the display for the season. […] Everyone loves (the) Holiday Fantasy in Lights, but if you’re not in a car it’s kind of like, you can go through on your bike, you can walk through, but you have to weave through the cars,” Kliems said, “so we thought it’d be great to have one day to take your time walk through, take your stroller, bike through.”
The Transportation Commission will meet on Wednesday, and the Safe Streets Madison program is on the agenda. As a reminder: Safe Streets Madison was created last year to combine a number of smaller funding pots and use them more effectively. With a data-driven approach, projects are prioritized based on their safety benefits and to close gaps in the biking and walking network, as well as their cost. City staff twice a year create a list of top-scoring projects and then bring that to the Transportation Commission for approval. You can find the first batch of proposed projects, totaling over $600,000, here.
Bike Fitchburg meeting
Bike Fitchburg switched up their monthly meeting format. Each month they will meet at a different bike-friendly business in the city on the 4th Monday. Tonight it is at Race Day Events/Griessmeyer Law on Sub-Zero Parkway. Meeting starts at 7 pm.
Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge
The process to create a new master plan for the Lake Monona waterfront between Machinery Row and Olin Park is moving along: The three design teams will present their final proposals at the Central Library on Thursday. The meeting is in person, but it will also be streamed live on City Channel. After the public has provided input on the proposals, an ad-hoc committee will pick one proposal and send it to the Board of Parks Commissioners and the Common Council for approval. Back in December, Madison Bikes presented our priorities and concerns to the ad-hoc committee. You can watch a recording of our presentation here.
International Winter Bike Day: February 10
Save the date: Like every year, Madison Bikes will celebrate International Winter Bike Anywhere Day in early February. This year the day falls on a Friday, and we’re exploring some after-work celebration options. More details to come, here and on Facebook.
That was quite the snow event on Friday! If you were out riding: Awesome! And if you chose to ride the bus or hide at home: That’s cool too. As a reminder, you can find a recording of our winter biking Q&A on YouTube. And there is another opportunity to learn about riding through winter: The UW Bicycle Resource Centeris hosting a 1-hour class on Wednesday at noon. Free and no registration required.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it, but by all account, the Bike Fed organized another great Santa Rampage ride on Saturday! The Wisconsin State Journal has some coverage.
BCycle season is ending. Starting on the 14th, BCycle will collect their bikes for the winter and return on March 15.
Last week’s update called out the new Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program. The Common Council approved the new program unanimously. Thanks to everyone who spoke at the meeting or submitted written comments. The Council also approved the Metro Network Redesign, which is aimed to make Metro service less complex and more frequent (with the tradeoff that some areas will see reduced service and longer walks). The network redesign will be implemented next summer.
Speaking of the Common Council: Election season is rapidly approaching and there has been a flurry of news about who is and isn’t going to run for council. It’s hard to overemphasize how important it is to have alders who are supportive of biking, walking, and transit. With a lot of incumbents not running for re-election (and redistricting changing things up), have you considered running in your district? You have until January 3 to file your paperwork.
Free Bikes 4 Kids‘s 2022/23 season is in full swing. The first stage, i.e. collecting used bikes, is done, and now it’s time to fix up those bikes for the big give-away in the spring. This takes a lot of volunteer effort, and to honor that effort, FB4K are hosting a volunteer appreciation party at the Main Depot on Wednesday from 4 to 6:30pm. “If you helped us in any way in 2022, you are invited to celebrate with us! And, if you haven’t yet had a chance to help but want to in 2023, please feel free to attend and meet our crew. We’ll have some snacks and beverages and great conversation.”
Also on Wednesday: The Transportation Commission has their final meeting of the year. Some relevant items on the agenda:
Annual Review of Winter Bike Maintenance
There is a proposal for unprotected bike lanes on E Washington Ave between Pinckney and Blair. The layout of the lanes changes between buffered lanes, unbuffered lanes at the curb, and unbuffered lanes in the door zone.
Some changes to the design of bike facilities of the Bassett/W Wilson Street project. As far as I can tell from the drawings, it replaces buffered bike lanes on the 400 block of W Wilson with a sidepath; and the cycletrack up W Wilson gets a raised crossing at Hamilton/Henry.
Complete Green Streets: The policy that will guide how we allocate the public right-of-way to different uses is up for review and approval. There is a lot to digest in the report.
One more event on Wednesday: It’s time for the monthly Madison Queer Bike Ride. I haven’t seen any details yet, and so check their Instagram account before heading to the start.
On Saturday, Slow Roll, Black Saddle, and Revolution Cycles are hosting a “Holiday Lights Extravaganza“: “We’ll leave Garver Feed Mill close to 6:30pm and pedal around lake Monona to the lights display at Olin. This ride tends to move slowly with a few stops to enjoy each other’s company. It gets pretty magical.”
It’s Halloween today and under normal circumstances this would call for a happy, lighthearted weekly update post. But on Thursday morning something terrible happened: A driver struck and killed Tom Heninger as he was biking across John Nolen Drive at North Shore Drive. This crossing is both one of the busiest in the city and also a hot spot for crashes involving people on bikes. Madison.com has an obituary for Tom.
This was the third deadly bike crash this year. According to Community Maps, which keeps records of fatal crashes going back to 2001, there have never been as many deadly bike crashes in a year. Our thoughts are with Tom’s family and friends.
Winter Walk Bike event tonight
There is no good way to transition from writing about a deadly bike crash to what is supposed to be a fun event about winter biking and walking. Madison Bikes board members are joining the City’s Bike/Ped Outreach coordinator Colleen Hayes at the Madison Bicycle Center tonight starting at 5pm.
What exactly happens at the Madison Bicycle Center? How can I make winter walking and biking work for me? What resources are out there to make it easier to commute to work using alternatives to a single occupancy vehicle? Find out the answers to these questions and more* on Halloween night. Join us Monday 10/31 at 5:00 pm for an open house at the Madison Bicycle Center, run by Freewheel Community Bike Shop, and stick around for the Access Hour live from the MBC at 7:00 (or listen on WORT 89.9FM) to hear from local active transportation experts. *Will there be costumes? I hope so! Will there be a caramel apple making buffet? Likely! Will there be door prizes? Definitely!
The Madison Bicycle Center is located at 202 Pinckney St. Join us in person or listen in on 89.9 FM or the live stream.
Bike Count Webinar recording available
If you missed last week’s webinar on analyzing bike count data from Madison, Fitchburg, and Lincoln (NE), you can now watch a recording, check out the slides, or read a recap blog post on the League of American Bicyclists website. We’ll probably post our own summary post in the next few weeks to highlight lessons learned. Thanks again to the Bike League, Eco-Counter, Bike Fitchburg, and the City of Madison for all working together on this.
New family bike riding group
Daniel and his family just recently moved to Madison, and he decided to put on a new family bike ride. Apparently the first ride was a big success and more rides are to come. The best way to find out about rides is to follow @familiesonbikes on Instagram or join the corresponding group on Facebook.
It’s definitely fall out there, with some hints of early winter. We hope you’re still out there riding, and if you’re new to riding in the colder season, check out our video with some tips for riding in the fall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1N-J4NWTnU
Forward to Vision Zero – Madison: Building Safe Streets for All Through Data, Smart Street Design, Equity, and Engagement
At last week’s Transportation Commission meeting, the City presented it’s grant application for the Safe Streets 4 All program. This is a federal grant to help cities fund the implementation of their Vision Zero plans. Madison’s application includes projects totaling $20 million, and the list of proposed projects is impressive. Some bike-relevant examples:
Raised crossings on the Southwest Path
a path/protected bike lanes along Badger Road
protected bike lanes and intersections on Broom St
redesigning Regent St to follow Complete Streets principles
upgrading bike lanes on Park Street between Langdon and W Wash
making Whitney Way a safe and complete Street
protected bike lanes/path on W Beltline Frontage Road
dedicated funding for quick-build safety projects (and money to turn them into permanent projects if they’re successful)
dedicated funding for protected bike lanes
If Madison were to receive the grant, this could be transformational for getting closer to Vision Zero, i.e. eliminating all fatalities and serious traffic injuries. Madison Bikes submitted a letter of support for the application.
Front wheel flat fix workshop
The UW Bicycle Resource center has a Front Wheel Flat Fix workshop on the schedule on Wednesday from 6-7pm. Free and open to the UW community. Attendance is a first-come, first-served and no registration is required. https://transportation.wisc.edu/bicycling/university-bicycle-resource-center/#UBRCclasses
Pump Track Skills workshop for kids 15 and under
Madison Parks and Slow Roll Cycles are teaching kids skills at the pump track at Aldo Leopold Park on Thursday at 3pm. The workshop covers “pump track rules and safety, how to correctly pump, and how to ride a berm. Slow Roll Cycles will also offer pre-ride bolt checks and tire pressure checks on bikes. The class is free to attend, designed for kids 15 and under with a good working bike and helmet. Advanced registration is required.” More info and registration here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/cal…/learn-pump-track-skills
For our email subscribers: Because of a mistake, you are receiving this email on Tuesday rather than the usual Monday. Apologies for the delay.
Madison Bikes board open house Sep 26
It’s not this week, but I want to make sure this is on our calendar: On Monday, September 26, we are hosting an open house for the Madison Bikes board election! If you’re curious to learn what it means to be on our board or are considering running for election this cycle (lots of open seats!), join us at the Brittingham Park shelter from 6-7pm. (If the weather is really bad, we’ll move to Union South). Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can order an appropriate amount of snacks.
Sidewalk assessment policy
The Transportation Policy and Planning Board only has one big item on their agenda for tonight, and it may sound boring: “Street Assessment Policy Changes.” However, the question how pays for what when a street gets built or reconstructed has important policy implications. Right now, when a street is reconstructed, adjacent property owners generally pay 50% of the cost of the curb and the sidewalk and none of the cost for the driving and parking lanes. One outcome of this policy: Property owners are often opposed to adding sidewalks as part of reconstructions because they’re on the hook for half the cost. Sidewalks are crucial for accessibility and the safety of those walking and rolling. Therefore, the proposed new policy would assess the full cost of 10 feet of pavement instead; the curb and sidewalk cost would be covered by the city. Additionally, property owners would no longer be charged for the sidewalk repair program, which fixes broken and uneven sidewalks.
CORP movie night
Your local mountain bike advocates, Capital City Offroad Pathfinders (CORP) are hosting a movie night at Capital Brewing’s beer garden in Middleton on Wednesday night. On screen: Biketown, ” a movie about the community that is needed to get mountain bike trails built, and the communities that mountain biking builds.” Ticket’s at $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 16 are free.
Pick Me Up at the Border
Bike Fitchburg also will have a fundraiser this week. But rather than watching a movie it involves riding your bike to the Illinois border (or points in between), during the night. Pick Me Up at the Border starts at RaceDay Events in Fitchburg on Friday at 6:30pm. Registration is $15.
‘Cross in Waterloo
Cyclocross season is well under way. This weekend’s race takes place in Waterloo on Saturday. The “Battle of Waterloo” has free registration for juniors (ages 9-18) and first-time riders. Racing starts at 9 am.
Want to become more involved in local bicycle advocacy? Consider joining the Madison Bikes board of directors.
Madison Bikes is looking for people who are dedicated, passionate, strong communicators, good compromisers, organized organizers, and able to commit time and energy to promote biking as a priority in the city of Madison. We do not have paid staff and everything we do—from advocacy to organizing to communications to events—is driven by our 15-member volunteer board and volunteers.
We will have several seats up for election on our Board of Directors, with elections taking place in December.
If you are interested in joining our board, please complete this application form by October 7 Deadline extended to October 14. If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please forward this post/email to them and ask them to apply.
In the application, we ask for your availability for our November board meeting. All applicants are invited to that meeting for a brief Q&A with our current board members.
Our organization is committed to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic board committed to equity and anti-racism in our work. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and other groups who are underrepresented in bike advocacy.
The Madison Bikes board is an all-volunteer working board. At a minimum, we expect board members to:
Attend our monthly board meetings (6-8 pm every third Monday of the month, virtual for the foreseeable future), and our community/work meetings (6-7:30 pm on the fourth Monday of the month; sometimes virtual, sometimes in person)
Commit to doing work outside of meetings, for example organizing Madison Bike Week, attending public meetings, or writing for our blog.
Have a passion for our organization’s vision: Making Madison a city where anyone can ride a bicycle conveniently and comfortably to any place in the city and neighboring communities year-round.
Be committed to be on the board for at least one year (terms are for 3 years)
Other examples of things our board members do:
Write for our blog
Moderate our Facebook community group
Plan, organize, and promote events like Madison Bike Week, Winter Bike Week, or the Winter Bike Fashion Show (online or in-person events when those return)
Attend city-held meetings (public input meetings, City Council meetings, local and regional transportation committee meetings)
Write email templates and action alerts
Mobilize the community to advocate for bike projects
Meet and liaise with community partners (neighborhood associations, non-profits, other bike advocacy groups)
Contribute to fundraising and organizational development efforts
Are you unsure whether being on our board is right for you? We’d be happy to answer questions by email or schedule a Zoom chat with one of our current members! Just email email@example.com. We will also host an in-person board member candidate open house on September 26. Stay tuned for details.
It was supposed to happen during Madison Bike Week, but this Wednesday it is finally time for the inaugural queer bike ride. Every second Wednesday of the month the “party-paced” ride will depart in Law Park at 6pm. This month’s route follow the Cap City Trail and make a stop at the Great Dane in Fitchburg. Follow @madisonqueerbikeride on Instagram for the latest updates and details. All bodies are welcome.
Pflaum Road has bike lanes, but they lack physical separation from motor vehicles.
We are in contact with the family of the victim to organize a memorial and ghost bike dedication. Stay tuned.
Every person killed or injured while biking is one too many, and we must continue to do whatever we can do to reach Vision Zero: No more death or injury on our streets. But as for the injured, they can rely on products like those CBD Capsules to alleviate their pain.
How the City subsidizes driving
Bike activists have long pointed out the many ways in which driving is subsidized, at the federal, state, and local level. Don’t believe us? Well, the listen to Tom Lynch, the City’s Director of Transportation. At last week’s meeting of the Transportation Policy and Planning Board he presented a stark local example of these subsidies: The new Wilson Street garage in downtown. One parking stall in the garage costs the city about $450 in debt service and operations. The revenue from parking fees, on the other hand, is merely $212. This leaves a gap of $240 per month per stall that goes to people who drive their cars downtown!