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E-Mail Newsletter Weekly Update

Bikeways meeting recap; social ride on Friday

Last weekend was RAW weekend: The Bike Fed organized the Ride Across Wisconsin, with people biking from La Crosse all the way to Milwaukee.

Last week’s update didn’t include the public information about the 2023 Bikeways improvements that took place on Thursday. The Bikeways program is a pot of money in the city budget to create small improvements to the bike network, or to repair parts of the existing network. This round there are four projects:

  • UW Arboretum Entrance: This is a 10’ shared use path connecting Manitou Way with McCaffrey Drive, which is the western entrance to the UW arboretum. This project is contingent on the granting of an easement from the University of Wisconsin. It includes an RRFB pedestrian crossing.
  • Odana Road Cycletrack: This is primarily an on-street, two-way protected cycletrack on the south side of Odana Road from Wedgewood Way to Charles Lane, where it connects with a spur of the Southwest Commuter Path. This project is adjacent to the Odana Hills Golf Course. It includes new curb and gutter and limited pavement replacements near Wedgewood Way as well as the Southwest Commuter Path spur.
  • Lakeside Cycletrack: This is an off-street, two-way cycletrack on the south side of Lakeside St connecting two sides of the Bay Creek Neighborhood in south Madison. It includes the removal of parking on the block, pavement replacement, and new curb and gutter. This project has been discussed in a public informational meeting for 2022 Bikeways.
  • Elver Park Path: This is a repair of an existing path in Elver Park between McKenna Boulevard and South Gammon Rd., and a section of the Greentree Park Path north of McKenna Boulevard. This project will include a new culvert at the north end of the path to improve drainage.

You can watch a recording of the August 17 meeting here and send any additional feedback to mgalindez@cityofmadison.com. The next step is that the city will take the input and then bring the projects to the Transportation Commission later this year. We’ll keep you posted.

Social ride this Friday

Remember: This Friday, Madison Bikes and Madison is for People are hosting their joint social ride. Start at the Law Park BCycle Station at 6pm and ride around the Lake Loop until we hit the East Side Club for a get-together. The weather forecast looks great, and so we hope to see many of you! Facebook event link.

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

West Area Plan, Sheboygan/Segoe, Monona Waterfront update, State Street mall

From my recent travels to Germany: The Stuttgart cog railway with its bike trailer.

On Monday at Monona Terrace, you’ll have the opportunity to get an update on the Lake Monona Waterfront Master Plan. Architecture firm Sasaki will present on progress that has been made since they’ve been announced the winners of the master plan design process. “The evening includes a half-hour presentation by the team starting at 6:30pm followed by a Q&A session and an open house to meet team members and Parks staff.”

Also on Monday is the monthly Bike Fitchburg meeting. I haven’t seen a location announced yet, and so maybe confirm that the meeting is taking place.

On Wednesday at noon there is a virtual meeting about the West Area Plan. Transportation will be an important part of the plan, and so it’ll be important to speak for safe streets and low stress bike connections. If you can’t make the Wednesday meeting:

  • There is an additional, in-person meeting on August 2, 2023, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Rennebohm Park Shelter
  • And you can take a survey
Map of the area encompassed by the West Area Plan

Later on Wednesday, there is a Transportation Commission meeting. There are several items of interest on the agenda:

  • North Stoughton Road: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will present on their plans for North Stoughton Road. Stoughton Road is one of the deadliest corridors in the city, it lacks safe walking and biking facilities, and it cuts neighborhoods in half. Based on previous experience, WisDOT’s primary interest will be to move cars, and so it will take a lot of pressure from the public and the City to get to an acceptable plan. So please sign up and speak for a human-centered road rather than a highway.
  • Another big item will be the proposed pilot to turn the 400-600 blocks of State Street into some kind of pedestrian mall. Now that Metro buses no longer run on this stretch of State Street, there is an opportunity to change the layout of the street. But there are also a number of constraints, such as fire access — and ensuring that bikes continue to be able to use State Street to get through downtown. The first step will be to develop a plan for a pilot project, which will be put in place next year.
  • Good things are in the works for Sheboygan Ave and Segoe Rd. The City proposes lane reductions, improved pedestrian crossings, buffered bike lanes, and in some stretches even concrete curb protected bike lanes! Since these improvements will require the reduction of some of the on-street parking, there probably will be some opposition. You can register in support and sign up to speak at the meeting here.
Proposed cross-section of Segoe Road with protected bike lanes

Last but not least: On Sunday you can join another “BI-weekly Bike Ride For Trans Rights.” This is a recurring bike ride around Lake Monona in support of trans rights. 9am at the Cap City and Walter St crossing.

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Newsletter Weekly Update

John Nolen intersection, Greenbush Safe Streets, and a Bike Week preview

A cute dog called Gigi in a backpack of someone riding a bike on the Cap City trail at Fair Oaks

I hope everybody is enjoying the long weekend. Because of the holiday, this will be a short update.

John Nolen Drive

The design for the rebuilt John Nolen Drive intersection as North Shore Drive was on the Transportation Commission’s agenda last week. A lot of people had submitted written comments in favor of an underpass solution (if you haven’t done so already, read our board member Craig’s post in support of an underpass). But staff made clear that an underpass was not within the scope of the current project and the focus of the meeting was about the at-grade crossing options. Staff presented two options: One that includes a “channelized right turn” (commonly known as a slip lane or multi-stage crossing, “Alt 2”) and a simpler intersection design with direct crossings (“Alt 4”). Neither option would preclude a future underpass.

Alt 2, the design options with channelized right turns, which was ultimately recommended by the Commission
Alt 4B, the less complex intersection design

Both designs had advantages and disadvantages for people walking, biking, and rolling across the intersection in terms of how long it will take to cross, how long one has to wait, and how safe the crossing will likely be. In the end, the Transportation Commission recommended moving forward with the channelized right turn option. Staff and consultants will now work on the details of that design option and bring it back to the Transportation Commission.

Greenbush Safe Street Meeting

The City will be hosting another neighborhood Safe Streets meeting on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30pm.

Streets in the Greenbush Neighborhood have been identified for consideration of safety improvements and improving connections for walking and biking. Streets identified include Drake St and Mills St. This meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss changes on Randall Ave to support the new Metro Transit Route including changes to the traffic calming circle at Vilas Ave and parking changes near the circle.

The meeting is virtual and you can register here: https://cityofmadison.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqc-yupj8qH9Jqzsr_a_DeJ_gtQCvxSLjN

There is also on option to provide written feedback on safety concerns in the area: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBLCYF

Madison Bike Week preview

Bike Week is less than a week away! If I’m counting correctly, we are up to 50 events! New events keep coming in, and so if you haven’t checked the full schedule in a while, go take a look: https://www.madisonbikes.org/events/bikeweek-2023/

We have a great mix of events that have been around for many years and new events at new locations. Madison Bikes is hosting a few events:

  • On Saturday (June 2), our board member Craig and Alder John Duncan will go on a far west bike infrastructure tour
  • On Tuesday, we’re teaming up with Curbside Cycles and the University Hill Farms Neighborhood Association for an afternoon Bike Station at Fire Station (Regent and Midvale)
  • On Wednesday morning, join us for a ride with the mayor and a press conference. Followed by a post-ride Coffee on the Square at our wonderful sponsors Wonderstate Coffee
  • On Thursday, we ride to Paoli to fetch a keg of beer for…
  • …the Friday Madison Bike Week Party at Brittingham Park!

Again, check out the full schedule — I don’t think we’ve had this many events since before the pandemic! Madison Bike Week is a community effort. All this wouldn’t be possible without the support from local businesses, community groups, city staff, volunteers, our great board. And our awesome sponsors!

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

John Nolen Drive funding; Bike Week; University Ave detour

Our board member Robbie (right) at the press conference announcing federal funding for the John Nolen Drive project

It was a big week for John Nolen Drive: On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission for the first time was asked for feedback on the proposed rebuild of the causeway and the intersections with North Shore Drive and Broom St (meeting video). And then on Thursday the city announced that they had received a $15 million grant from the federal government to fund the project. This injection of money means the project can actually move forward within the project timeline. Madison Bikes had sent a letter of support when the city had requested the funding back in September.

Now that funding is in place, it is crucial that the design of the project takes into account the needs of people walking and biking, and places safety over considerations such as motor vehicle delay. On the same day that the Transportation Commission discussed the project, news reports shed new light on the crash that killed Tom Heninger as was he was crossing John Nolen at North Shore by bike: The driver who killed Tom allegedly drove between 59 and 63 mph (the speed limit is 35 mph), entered the intersection after the light had turned red, and was holding a phone in his hand. We must ask of any design: How will it contribute to preventing senseless death and injury at this location?

You can provide input on the design through this survey: Take the John Nolen Drive Survey. You can find some helpful background in this video, as well as last week’s newsletter.

Madison Bike Week is coming!

Madison Bikes logo with a stylized person riding a cargo bike. In the cargo bike there are two children and a dog.

Madison Bike Week will be from June 3 to 10 this year!

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Madison Bike Week! We’ll keep posting updates here and on Facebook.

Registration for Bike Week events is open now. Some things you can do:

  • Host an event: Set up a tent outside and offer treats to people on bikes, or offer bike checks, or other fun activities! Invite your community, your staff, your customers to come along and celebrate together. Consider partnering with other business or community organizations.
  • Offer deals and benefits to people riding during this week.
  • Host a group bike ride! Do you already run a weekly ride? Awesome – add it to the calendar for the week!
  • Run a non-profit table at our end of week party on Friday, June 9th.

If you are interested in hosting an event or otherwise participating with your organization or business, sign up here: https://www.madisonbikes.org/events/bikeweek-event-registration/

University Ave bike detour

Detour sign on the Blackhawk Path

The University Ave construction project is entering yet another phase, and that phase included closing a section of the Blackhawk Path/Campus Drive bike path. Starting on April 19, the path will be closed between Marshall Court and Highland Ave. There is an official detour signed and mapped:

As you can see, the detour is not the most direct option and includes high-stress roadways like Highland Ave. Depending on your origin and destination, other options may make more sense (thanks to our community for some of these suggestions).

  • If you’re coming from the west on the path and want to get across University Ave to the Kendall Bike Boulevard, this is best done at the Marshall Ct/Ridge St intersection. The intersection is signalized and you can go straight through.
  • You may be tempted to ride on Marshall Court and then cut through the VA Hospital’s parking lot to Highland. However, that is not a public through street.
  • If you want to avoid the whole area and take the scenic route, ride on Lake Mendota Dr and then take the Lakeshore Path into central campus (but be aware that there will be construction on Lake Mendota Drive as well)

Our Facebook group also has a useful thread for other detour options.

Meet the Parking Utility Manager

Parking and parking policy don’t always get the attention that they deserve. But setting a framework on how a city provides, required, and charges for car parking can have a great impact on how people move throughout the city. Our friends from Madison is for People invited the city’s new parking utility manager, Stefanie Cox, to their Transportation Committee (TC) meeting this month on Monday, April 17th at 8pm.

Join us and listen in as we learn about parking in Madison, discuss her vision for the role, and chat about potential changes and improvements to the status quo. Unlike our regular meetings, we will be hosting the TC meeting over Zoom, so be sure to RSVP here for the meeting link.

E-bike survey

Do you ride an e-bike? People for Bikes, Portland State University, and the University of Tennessee are doing a survey study and are looking for participants. Similar studies have been done by them in 2013 and 2018, and it certainly seems that since then e-bikes have seen a huge boost in popularity. You can take survey at https://tinyurl.com/ebikesurvey2023

MTB injury study

Speaking of research: Researchers at UW-Madison just published a study on MTB injuries, based on a survey of members of a local riding club. The main take-away: Novice riders saw injuries more frequently than experienced riders. But the injuries of more experienced riders were more severe. Find the whole study in the Wisconsin Medical Journal (open access).

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

TC/TPPB merger; decriminalizing biking; equity for non-drivers; jobs

A person biking on Observatory Drive toward the UW Hospital. There are still remains of snow on the ground.
https://botsin.space/@cyclists_of_msn

TC/TPPB joint meeting

The Transportation Commission (TC) and the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) are having a joint meeting on Monday. One of the main agenda items is a proposal to combine the two bodies into one. Currently, the TPPB is tasked with making higher-level policy decisions about transportation, whereas the TC’s job is to make sure those policies are implemented. However, what counts as a policy decision and what counts as implementation isn’t always neatly delineated, leading to duplication and friction between the work of the two bodies. If the proposal moves forward, the two bodies would be combined into a new Transportation Commission.

After the joint meeting, the TPPB will have its own separate meeting, and there are several agenda items related to biking: First, a proposal to remove the prohibition of “trick riding” and riding on footbridges from our ordinances. What is “trick riding” and why is it prohibited? Well, that’s not really spelled out, and that’s part of the problem: Many municipalities have ordinances that make it illegal to ride no-handed, to engage in “fancy riding,” to ride without both feet on the pedals, and so on. These laws are rarely enforced, but when they are, research shows that they are almost always enforced in a racially discriminatory way. And in terms of safety they don’t have any positive impact. Is it a good idea to ride no-handed or pop a wheelie on a busy downtown street? Probably not. But an ordinance prohibiting it doesn’t improve safety. Madison already repealed the mandatory bike registration ordinance in 2020, and abolishing this ordinance is another step in the vein of decriminalizing biking. For a more in-depth perspective on this topic, I highly recommend this episode of the Arrested Mobility podcast and this BikeWalk Kansas City guide.

The other proposed ordinance changes are about bike shops: Did you know that if you want to open a bike shop in Madison you have to get a license first and then pay $100 a year to maintain that license? Or that you can be fined $10 for loaning a bike to a friend if it doesn’t have proper safety equipment? These ordinances are on the chopping block. You can register in support or opposition to any of the items here: https://www.cityofmadison.com/city-hall/committees/meeting-schedule/register

Transportation Commission

In addition to the joint meeting on Monday, the Transportation Commission is also meeting on Wednesday. The agenda is short and the only possibly bike-relevant item is a reconstruction of a stretch of Harvey St and Schmitt Pl. Harvey St runs parallel to University Ave, and as the University Ave reconstruction doesn’t include any bike facilities, this may be an opportunity for improving a parallel (but discontinuous) route.

Queer Ride

On Wednesday it’s time for the monthly Madison Queer Ride. 6pm, Law Park. “We will bike across Monona via John Nolen, take the Wingra path through to the SW Commuter and then make our way back to Law Park. Social hour and warmup at Garth’s.”

Advancing equity for non-drivers webinar

Did you know that 31% of the Wisconsin population are considered to be “non-drivers”? Some of us are too young or too old to drive, some have health conditions or disabilities that prevent us from driving, and some of us can’t afford to drive (or don’t want to). Nonetheless, everyone has mobility needs, and for non-drivers those needs are often badly met. The Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Board of People with Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights Wisconsin are hosting a “moderated conversation will consider what challenges exist and steps that can be taken in creating transportation equity for non-drivers in Wisconsin.” Tuesday, 11 am to noon on Facebook Live.

Bike-O-Rama

Over the weekend it’s time for Bike-O-Rama again. At the Alliant Center you’ll have an opportunity to look at and test ride hundreds (thousands?) of bikes from local retailers. Admission is free.

Fitchburg Bicycle Friendly Community survey

Fitchburg is going for gold. The League of American Bicyclist’s Bicycle Friendly Communities program previously awarded Fitchburg silver status, and now the city and advocates are hoping that they can level up. As part of the application and review, the Bike League is looking for input from local riders. So if you want to share your impressions of biking in Fitchburg, take a survey here. The feedback from that survey is aggregated and shared back to the city.

Madison Bike Week is coming! June 3-10

It’s only early March, but it’s never too early to put Madison Bike Week on your calendar. June 3-10 are the dates this year and we’ll soon start releasing more information. If you have any immediate questions or want to become a sponsor, shoot us an email.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

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
Bike News

This Friday (2/10): Winter Bike Day!

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.

Categories
In The News

Channel 3000: Holiday Festival in Lights offers special experience for pedestrians, bicyclists

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.”
Categories
In The News

WPR: Bike Riding through Wisconsin Winters

Our board member Robbie Webber shares insights on how to keep riding year round on the WPR Morning Show.

Categories
Newsletter Weekly Update

Safe Streets; Waterfront Designs; Save the Date for Winter Bike Day

Cyclists of Madison has a new virtual home on Mastodon. Follow us there: https://botsin.space/@cyclists_of_msn

Safe Streets Madison

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

Screenshot of our board member Aaron Levine’s presentation to the ad hoc committee

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.

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.

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E-Mail Newsletter Weekly Update

FB4K volunteer appreciation; Bcycle season ends; Transportation Commission; UW winter biking

A person riding their bicycle through heavy snow on North Allen Street.

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 Center is 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.”

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.