Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Winter maintenance and more

To start this week’s post off, I’d like to highlight an important public meeting happening tonight at 5:00 PM in room 201 in the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The City of Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) is going to take up the discussion on winter bike-way maintenance. Although the city is generally good about clearing paths on weekday mornings after snow storms, there is a lot of room for improvement regarding winter bike-way maintenance, especially with respect to on-street bike lanes, and evening and weekend path clearing.

A snowy Madison street, badly cleared and with on-street parking

Previously, a subcommittee of the Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC) drafted a list of Bicycle Facility Maintenance recommendations that included many related to winter maintenance. Read the legistar file here for more information about the subcommittee and its recommendations. Many of the recommendations were based on responses collected to a winter bike survey that identified major issues including with on-street bike lanes and the windrows at path/street crossings.

This meeting presents another opportunity for the public to comment on winter bike-way maintenance. Since this is the first time the new TPPB is going to hear about this item, it is important to show up and let them know about any issues you regularly encounter while riding throughout the winter, and to support the recommendations of the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup. Again, this meeting is happening tonight at 5:00 PM in room 201 of the City County Building. Read the full agenda here.

Last Week:

On Thursday, the second Public Involvement Meeting (PIM) for the Wilson St. Corridor Study happened, and at the meeting several alternatives were presented for three sections of the corridor: From Broom St. to Henry St., from Henry St. to Butler St., and from Butler St. to Blair St. Read about the study and the proposed alternatives here.

For those of us who don’t follow the Madison Bikes Facebook page, there was a good discussion of recommendations for warm winter gloves. Winter biking can be fun and rewarding, and staying warm and comfortable is an important part of making that happen.

Also last week, the city opened up a survey to help with the development of an East-West Bus Rapid Transit corridor. The survey is open to everyone, including those who only ride the bus once in a blue moon or never at all.

This Week:

Today, Monday, December 10, there is the meeting of the TPPB mentioned at the top of this post. Other than the discussion about winter bike-way maintenance, the board will be looking at the Wilson St. and Bassett St. corridor studies. Although they are being considered as one agenda item, they are in fact separate studies being done in conjunction with separate projects. There will also be a discussion of transit priorities. Here, again, is the agenda for this meeting. The meeting starts at 5:00 PM in room 201 of the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Madison.

Tonight is also a MEAThead ride. This ride starts every Monday at 7:00 PM November through March regardless of the weather. Tonight’s ride is the FreshMEAT ride, so if you’re new to MEAThead rides or just want to boost your winter riding skills, the ride starts at Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St in Madison. Read more about the group on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 11, Madison will be having its second Public Information Meeting (PIM) regarding the Bassett St. corridor study. This PIM will feature discussion and alternatives of the Bassett St. corridor from University Ave. to the railroad crossing, and will include the 400 block of W. Wilson St. due to the fact that it is currently used for the Broom-Bassett one way couplet. Read more about this project on the City’s website.

Wednesday, December 12, Madison’s Transportation Commission (TC) will have a meeting at 4:30 PM in room 201 of the City County Building. Read the full agenda here. At this meeting, the commission will discuss changes to Metro service on Routes 37 and 38. They will also discuss the quarterly traffic report by Madison Police. There will also be a discussion about Pleasant View Rd. between Mineral Point Rd. and US-14/University Ave.

Also Wednesday, at 6:00 PM in room 302 of Madison Central Library at 201 W. Mifflin St., the city will have its Kickoff Open House on the Madison East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Planning Study. This will be a great opportunity to connect with City leaders and talk about the BRT planning study. Read more about this Kickoff Open House at the event website.

Thursday, December 13, is Madison’s Greener Smarter Future, a presentation and discussion led by Mayor Paul Soglin, Transportation Director Tom Lynch, and Traffic Engineer Yang Tao. They will be discussing the future of Madison’s transportation network and how we can achieve a greener, smarter transportation network. Read more about the event here. The meeting will take place starting at 6:30 PM in room 260 of the newly renovated Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Saturday, December 15, either race your fat bike in Verona for the season opener of the Big Cheese race series. Or join BiciClub Latino de Madison for the Tour de la Familia Latina. The ride starts at 1:00 PM. As of this posting, no further event information is available, so keep an eye out for that, but the ride usually starts at Olin Park near the west shore of Lake Monona.

Categories
Bike News

West Wilson Street: Challenges and Opportunities

This post comes just before the second Public Information Meeting about the 300 block of W. Wilson St. At this meeting there will be a presentation of alternatives for the 300 block reconstruction project that is due to be completed in the summer of 2019. This public meeting will be on Thursday, December 6, 7 pm in Room 260 of the Madison Municipal Building. After this meeting, City Engineering will present the proposed alternatives to the Transportation Commission along with whatever modifications they made to the alternatives based on public input acquired during and after the meeting. After the project clears the Transportation Commission, it will likely go to the Board of Public Works, and finally to the Common Council for approval.

If you live, work, or bike in or around West Wilson Street and want to see conditions for people on bikes improve, consider attending the meeting on Thursday night.

Map of bike routing and connectivity issues between the Capital City Trail and downtown

Figure 1: Bike routing and connectivity issues between the Capital City Trail and downtown.

Although this post will be primarily about the 300 block of West Wilson Street, this will tie in with a series of posts about the importance of the West Wilson Street corridor, the Bassett-Broom one-way couplet that uses the 400 block of West Wilson, and how we can improve the connection between Law Park and the downtown area. The next post will focus on the reconstruction project of N. Bassett St. between Dayton St. and W. Washington Ave. There will be a public meeting on Tuesday, December 11 where alternatives to that project will be presented.

Ever since the early history of Madison, the Monona lake shore has always been well separated from the isthmus. The railroad was the first barrier erected that separates the lake from downtown. In the 1960s, the John Nolen Drive causeway was constructed and another pedestrian barrier was created between downtown and the lake. It is somewhat ironic that the causeway got named after the famous city planner who harshly criticized the railroad that it follows as being “inconvenient and ugly”, saying about the rail line, “their tracks occupy what was a particularly beautiful stretch of lake front, crossing an arm of the lake in South Madison.”[1]

The Capital City Bike Path, also known as the Isthmus Bike Path, greatly improved the pedestrian access to the lake shore, but there were still significant connection issues limiting access, primarily caused by the presence of U.S. highway 151 cutting its way through the isthmus. In fact, U.S. 151 must be crossed if one wishes to access the Monona lake shore from the southwest of Blair Street.

Presently there are four pedestrian ways across this major barrier: A crossing at North Shore Drive, a crossing at Broom Street, the Monona Terrace bike elevator, and crossing at the John Nolen/Williamson/Wilson/Blair intersection more commonly known as “the hairball”. For someone desiring to bike downtown to the Capitol coming from the south, the Broom to Wilson Street connection is the most desirable option, however inconvenient due to the nature of the on-street connections. This connectivity issue from the south to the downtown area was highlighted in the November 8th Public Information Meeting for the 300 Block W. Wilson St. project, as seen in Figure 1, above.

From the project’s web page, the City plans on resurfacing and replacing utilities on the 300 block of W. Wilson St. in the summer of 2019. This project presents a great opportunity to improve biking along the isthmus and to improve bike access to the downtown core. The current conditions of the 300 block of W. Wilson are a 40 ft. curb-to-curb width occupied by two inbound lanes and one outbound lane (Figure 2). Currently the only bike accommodations on this block are faded sharrows painted on the outbound lane.

Figure 2: Current condition of the 300 block of W. Wilson St. A bicyclist can be seen riding in the outbound direction.

Figure 2: Current condition of the 300 block of W. Wilson St. A person can be seen riding in the outbound direction.

From the same corridor study mentioned above, the City found that the traffic volumes for Wilson St. “have been relatively consistent for over 40 years”(Wilson St. PIM presentation, p. 6). During the course of the study, the city found an average daily traffic (ADT) volume of 3660 vehicles per day (VPD) inbound from Broom St. and an ADT of 4650 VPD outbound, with a majority of that traffic going to or coming from the John Nolen Drive causeway (Figure 3). The story is similar at the Hamilton/Henry/Wilson intersection with a clear majority of inbound traffic using Hamilton St. (3750 VPD) and a clear majority of outbound traffic using W. Wilson St. (4400 VPD).

Figure 3: Traffic Movement Volumes at the Broom St. intersection with W. Wilson St.

Figure 3: Traffic Movement Volumes at the Broom St. intersection with W. Wilson St.

These usage trends would seem to indicate that we should rethink how W. Wilson works, at least on the 300 block. Using the available 40 ft. curb-to-curb width currently in existence, the 300 block of W. Wilson St. could be converted to a two lane street with 6 ft. bike lanes and 2 ft. buffers on both sides (Figure 4). This would substantially improve the bikeability of this corridor as apart from fully separated bike lanes similar to what N. Bassett St. got last year, buffered bike lanes provide a substantial improvement to the comfort and feeling of safety riders experience while using the facility. We have yet to see what alternatives will be proposed at the meeting, but we hope there will be at least one option that includes high quality bike lanes and an improvement to the Broom/Wilson intersection.

Figure 4: What safe and comfortable bike facilities could look like for the 300 block of W. Wilson St. as mocked up in Streetmix.

Further improvements to the connection between the Capitol square and the Capital City Trail to the south should reconsider how W. Wilson St. is used Hamilton and Blair. For one, the Judge Doyle Square project, which includes a Bicycle Resource Center, will be best accessed via this corridor. There is also a planned pedestrian/bicycle bridge over John Nolen Drive east of the Monona Terrace which will intersect with W. Wilson St. just west of the King/Weber/Wilson intersection (Figure 5), which is currently a one-way only for all vehicle traffic. Finally, since topography is a legitimate concern for people riding bikes, it is important to note that the grade of W. Wilson St. from the south is far more favorable than Hamilton St., as seen in Figure 6. This would seem to suggest that allowing eastbound bicycle access on Wilson St. between King St. and Hamilton St. would benefit people wishing to access downtown by bike greatly.

Figure 5: The easement for the future pedestrian/bicycle bridge over John Nolen can be seen just to the right of the new building at 151 E. Wilson St.

In the future, the city is considering constructing a bike path connection on the north side of the railroad between Broom St. and Hamilton St., however this does not address the need for a bike facility on W. Wilson St. itself. For one, it neglects people wanting to bike who are inbound on W. Wilson St. from west of Broom St. It also neglects to consider bicyclists who reside on the 300 block, and any visitors they may have. Finally, since this is still in the conceptual stage, it would not provide any improvements to downtown access for many years, while improvements to W. Wilson could happen much sooner.

Figure 6: Comparison of average grade of S. Hamilton St. between Wilson St. and Main St. with the average grade of W. Wilson St. between S. Hamilton and Martin Luther King Blvd.

Bibliography

1: Nolen, John, 1869-1937, Madison : a model city, 1911

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Winter, Bikes, Madison… Madison Bikes Winter Bike Fashion Show!

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Last Week:

In case you missed it, there was an election on Tuesday. Thank you to everyone who participated in the democratic process. Every vote mattered!

Yesterday was also Veteran’s Day. To our veterans, thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Over night on Thursday, Madison had its fist snowfall of 2018! It couldn’t have come at a better time since this Saturday, November 17th, is the Madison Bikes Winter Fashion Show! This ALL AGES event will be at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wisconsin from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. FREE! Learn about ways you can keep riding in the colder weather months, and come share your winter biking stories! Further reasons to attend: We’ll have a Metro bus for you to practice putting your bike on the bus, and we’ll have great door prizes courtesy of our supporters Saris and Planet Bike!

Sometime over the weekend the repairs to the sinkhole near Wingra Creek were completed and Olin-Turville Court has been reopened to traffic! To those of us who use this route to commute it was fortuitous that a convenient detour was available and many learned of a pedestrian bridge they had not known about previously!

In other good trail news: The Cap City Trail is officially open again.

And finally, the City of Madison posted a job opportunity for Pedestrian Bicycle Administrator. Read more about that full time position here and spread the word to potential applicants.

This Week:

Today, Monday, November 12, there is a meeting of the City of Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB). This board deals with policy surrounding the city’s transportation issues including biking. On this week’s agenda is an update to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan. Also on the agenda is an item pertinent to winter bike commuters, and that’s on Winter Bike and bike lane usage characteristics. Read the full agenda here.

Tuesday, November 13, is the Madison Bikes Communications Committee Meeting. This meeting will start at 5:30 PM at the Stiftskeller in the Memorial Union on Langdon Street.

Wednesday, November 14, is the Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee Meeting. This meeting will start at 6:00 PM at Bendyworks located at 106 E Doty St #200.

Friday, November 16, is the Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) annual meeting. This meeting will take place at Motorless Motion on West Washington Avenue starting at 5:30 PM. There will be some routine business at the start of the meeting, but after that there will be news of all the work done over the past year and plans for 2019. Food and drink will be provided, and there will be an award given to Volunteer of the Year. Read about the event on Facebook here.

Saturday, November 17 is annual Madison Bikes Winter Bike Fashion Show, as mentioned earlier. This all-ages event will take place at the High Noon Saloon starting at 1 PM and going until 4. This is a free event and everyone is invited to come share their winter biking experiences and hopefully learn from others to improve their winter biking experience! Read more about this event here.

Before the Winter Bike Fashion Show, join BiciClub Latino de Madison for the Tour de la Familia Latina. ¡Le hacemos frente al frío! This ride will start at 11 AM and end at the High Noon Saloon to join the Winter Bike Fashion Show. Read more about this event here.

Also on Saturday is the Mayor’s Neighborhood Conference 2018. Bike Fed Program Director (and Madison Bikes board member) Baltazar will be teaming up with Madison Bike board member Harald to talk about biking and walking, and inequities in Madison. This is an annual conference that brings together community activists to form new connections and to learn about the great things happening throughout the city. Registration is $10 for the day and includes lunch, snacks, and a reception. Fee waivers are provided to City of Madison residents. Read about the event here on the city’s web page, or on their Facebook event page.

Sunday, November 18, is Cranksgiving, hosted by Revolution Cycles. This event, which originated in New York City in 1999 is part alley cat, part scavenger hunt, and part food drive. The event starts at 10 AM behind Revolution Cycles on Atwood Avenue. Plan to bring $15 to $30 for food, your bike, a bag, and a lock. Read all about the event here.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Looking for models; Latino Family Ride

Looking for Winter Bike Fashion Show Models

In case you missed it: The 2018 Winter Bike Fashion Show is just a month away, and we’re looking for models who want to showcase their approach to riding in the cold season. No modeling experience required! See more detail in this post or check out these pictures from previous years:

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Last Week:

The city last week closed the Wingra Creek Path between Park St. and Arboretum Dr. for a much needed resurfacing job. The project is funded as a part of City Engineering’s Bikeways 2018 program which funds regular maintenance of city pathways. The contract for the work specifies that the it should be completed within 21 days, so expect the path to remain closed for about three weeks while work is being done. The Bikeways 2018 project also includes the following resurfacing projects that may have a significant impact to commuters, each of which is expected to be about 14 days with signs notifying the public of the work at least seven days prior to closure:

  • The Aberg Ave. Path between Shopko Drive and the Packers Ave. off ramp. Access between Kedzie St. and Shopko Dr. shall be maintained during this work.
  • The Capital City Path between Jackson St. and St. Paul Ave. east of the Goodman Center by Wirth Court Park. Expect to see marked detour signs when this work is being done.

Also last week, Yang Tao was announced as Madison’s new City Traffic Engineer. Mr. Tao has served as the Interim City Traffic Engineer since May when the previous City Traffic Engineer retired, and he has served as the Assistant City Traffic engineer since 2016. Mr. Tao is a year-round bike commuter, so his appointment to City Traffic Engineer is widely seen as a good thing for the Madison biking community. His appointment will be submitted to the Common Council this Tuesday and he is expected to be formally hired by the city at the October 30 Common Council meeting.

This Week:

Today, Monday October 15 is the monthly Madison Bikes Board Meeting. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM at the Madison Public Library, Central Branch at 201 W. Mifflin St.

The Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 has been CANCELED. It is expected to be rescheduled for sometime next week, so keep an eye out for the rescheduled date.

On Saturday, October 20, join the Tour de la Familia Latina, or the Tour of the Latino Family. The ride will depart from its usual location at Olin Park at 1:00 PM.

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Bike News

Monday Update: Cap City Trail, local elections, cyclocross

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Don’t forget to secure your tickets for our party on 9/29!

Last Week:

The dry weather this past week has been quite a relief from the relentless rain we got at the end of August. Lake Monona’s level has gone down some, but not enough to clear the Isthmus Yahara River Trail or the Wingra Creek Path of flood water, so those paths remain closed until further notice.

One bit of good news is that the Longford Terrace underpass on the Capital City Trail has been repaired! The trail is now officially open between Verona Rd and Fish Hatchery Rd. Although the pavement has been laid between Nob Hill Road and Glacier Valley Drive, that section of the trail remains officially closed until crews can install gravel shoulders and add signage at road crossings. According to the county’s website for the trail pavement restoration, they are expecting that section to reopen very soon.

This Week:

Today, Monday September 17 is the monthly Madison Bikes Board Meeting. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM at the Madison Public Library, Central Branch at 201 W. Mifflin St. We are currently asking for applications for new members on our board of directors. Learn more.

Wednesday, September 19 is the monthly Madison Bikes Advocacy Committee. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM at Bendyworks at 106 E. Doty St. Suite 200 in downtown Madison. If you’re interested in getting more involved in advocacy please feel free to join us! This week we will be focusing on candidate questionnaires for local elections coming up next spring with a focus on active transportation. Read more about the planning meeting here.

Saturday, September 22 there are many events to choose from.

  • At 9:00 AM there is the Cyclocross World Cup Waterloo. The event is hosted by Trek Bicycle and is the first UCI World Cup of the 2018-2019 season.
  • At 10:00 AM the Tour de la Familia Latina, or the Tour of the Latino Family, departs from its usual location at Olin Park. This is a special ride because it is the one year anniversary of the ride, and they will be unveiling their logo at a picnic after the ride.
  • Also at 10:00 AM is the Sun Prairie Slow Roll, hosted by Sun Prairie Moves. The ride is a slow-paced, family-friendly ride starting and ending in Orfan Community Park.
Categories
Bike News

Weekly Update: Party, High Point, Fish Hatchery, and New MTB Trail

Capital City Trail update:

As of today the trail is still unpaved at the Nob Hill Rd. trail head. New pavement has been laid at the other end of the trail, between Syene and County MM. Chris James with Dane County Parks gave us an update on the project and they are hopeful that the trail project will be completed by Labor Day weekend. We will all be glad once this project is complete!

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Capital City Trail at Nob Hill Rd. as of August 20. Image credit Jim Wilson.

Madison Bikes Party

Save the date for the Madison Bikes Party. We’ll celebrate biking in Madison with our members and anybody else on Saturday, September 29 at StartingBlock Madison. Many more details to come!

This Week

Monday, August 20, at 6:00 PM Madison Bikes is going to have party planning session to iron out some of the details for our party. If you want to help out, send a quick email to harald@madisonbikes.org and he’ll send you more information.

Tuesday, August 21 is an important Middleton Common Council meeting. Local bike advocates are trying to get Middleton to include bike lanes on the recently reconstructed High Point Blvd. between Greenway Blvd. And Terrace Ave. This is an important north-south route that parallels the beltline and is the only convenient north-south route in the area for people on bikes. This route would be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of bike lanes. Please consider sending an email to the Middleton Common Council or attending the meeting in support of bike lanes on High Point. Here’s a link to the Common Council meeting. The agenda item is near the bottom of the page under Ordinances –⁠ First Reading. Read about the proposal here. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM in the Middleton Council Chambers in the Middleton City Hall at 7426 Hubbard Ave. in Middleton.

Wednesday, August 22, is the next meeting of the Transportation Commission. The meeting starts at 5:00 PM in room 351 of the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. You can read the agenda here. At the meeting will be a few informational presentations including an update on the Gammon Rd geometry and the 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Also Wednesday is the first Public Input Meeting for the Fish Hatchery Road reconstruction project. The City of Fitchburg will reconstruct Fish Hatchery Road between McKee Road and the Beltline, anticipated to begin in late 2019. The meeting will take place at the Fitchburg Public Library Meeting Room at 5530 Lacy Road in Fitchburg. The Meeting Room is on the second floor. Please consider attending this meeting.

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Friday, August 24: Come to the BendyWorks offices downtown and see Live on King Street from their awesome location. They are hosting FreeBikes4Kids Madison for a fundraiser. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sunsquabi-live-on-king-street-with-fb4k-at-bendyworks-tickets-48951415000

Saturday, August 25, join the Capitol Off Road Pathfinders for the grand opening of the Cross Plains Trail. Check out the Facebook event here. You can find the group at their REI tent at the corner of KP and Bourbon Rd. The event starts at 10:00 AM with some fine-tuning work on the trail. At noon they will have the official ribbon cutting, food and drink, and the inaugural rides of the new trail.

Categories
Bike News

Weekly Update: A better bike challenge, Atwood, low-stress map

I want to start this week’s post off by promoting a short survey by some folks over at Bendyworks who formed a new group tentatively called “People for a New Bike Challenge”. They are seeking local input by people who are familiar with the National Bike Challenge to, as the name suggests, develop a new bike challenge to encourage people to get out and ride. The survey is short and took me less than five minutes to complete. If you haven’t participated in the National Bike Challenge before, you can still complete the survey and provide input.

Last Week

On Tuesday, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board released its low stress mapping tool. The tool allows you to select from Low, Medium, and Unrestricted routing options which will give you a suggested route based on your preferred level of cycling stress. The tool is pretty straight forward to use so feel free to give it a shot.

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Screenshot of the bicycle stress map of Madison

Also announced last week was the first meeting of the new Transportation Commission (TC) and the new Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB). The first meeting of the two committees that formally replaced the Pedestrian Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Commission, the Long Range Transportation Planning Committee, and the Transit and Parking Commission will be a joint meeting taking place on July 31 at 5:00 P.M. The location of the meeting has yet to be announced so stay tuned for that information.

There was also some discussion on the Facebook page about maintenance of a the bike path that runs between Madison and Sun Prairie along US-151 after pictures were posted of plants overgrown onto the path. Apparently that interjurisdictional path has neither jurisdiction it goes between maintaining it, so further discussions surrounding that path are warranted.

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Weeds trying to take over the bike path (Photo: Dalton Aeschlimann)

This Week

Monday, July 23, Bike Fitchburg is having its monthly meeting. As usual, the meeting starts at 6:30 P.M. at the Fitchburg Public Library located at 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

The Bike Fitchburg meeting has been rescheduled to next Monday (7/30).

Tuesday, July 24, the Atwood Avenue reconstruction project goes before Madison’s Common Council for final approval of the roadway geometry. This project was recently considered as an alternative to the Buckeye and Cottage Grove Road projects as the city and the county had disagreements over the future roadway maintenance responsibilities for these streets, which are both county highways and in places are completely surrounded by the city. Last week, however, the city and the county managed to come to an agreement, so a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a funding agreement with the county over those two projects will be introduced to the Common Council on Tuesday, where it will then be sent to the relevant committees for review before going back to Council for final approval. What this all means for the eventual time line for construction of these road projects remains to be seen.

And on Saturday, the Madison Trek Stores are having a mountain bike demo at Quarry Ridge. This event had to be moved from last weekend because of wet conditions. Let’s hope the weather holds up this time around.

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Bike News

Monday Update: Changes to city commitees; weekend fun

Last Week

Last week the State Supreme Court ruled that Adams Outdoor Advertising does not have a “right to visibility” and sided with the City of Madison in the lawsuit Adams brought against the City for constructing the Cannonball Bike Path Bridge over the Beltline. Adams was trying to sue the city for what they called an unlawful seizure of property, which they claimed was west-facing visibility of their billboard. You can read the Wisconsin State Journal article about the case here.

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Madison’s Cannonball Bike Path bridge, the subject of Adams’s lawsuit against Madison. Image credit Jim Wilson.

Also, Part 2 of Jonathan Mertzig’s report of bicycle infrastructure in the Netherlands was posted and includes topics including the synergy of biking with mass transit and the quality and quantity of bike parking and support. If you missed it, here’s Part 1.

Some news got posted to the Facebook page. On June 12, Fitchburg’s Common Council approved the construction of four foot shoulders on a portion of Whalen Rd., which is a huge win for the cycling community, so congratulations to Bike Fitchburg, the advocates who called and emailed about it, and the alders who made the approval happen. Also posted was an update to the construction of the Sub-Zero Parkway along the Badger State Trail. The city of Fitchburg has closed the Badger State Trail at Marketplace Drive to permanently remove the intersection. The new detour around the construction is to take McKee Rd east, head south on Seminole Hwy, and then back to the trail on the newly opened Sub-Zero Parkway.

This week

On Monday, June 25, Bike Fitchburg has its monthly meeting. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6:30 PM at the Fitchburg Public Library.

As the new Director of Transportation has officially started his job today, Monday, June 25, Tuesday, June 26 will be the final meeting of the Pedestrian Bicycle Motor Vehicle Commission (PBMVC). The short agenda includes an approval of the geometry for the Atwood Avenue reconstruction, and an ask that Engineering add to the transportation improvement program the Capital City Trail crossings at Ohio St. and Brearly St. so they may be raised and improved. Brearly St. was recently reconfigured to stop motor vehicle traffic and allow bicycle traffic through unimpeded. The crossing at Ohio St. is infamous for its bone-rattling bumps while traveling along the path. Read the full agenda here. The committees set to replace the PBMVC and a few others are the Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) and the Transportation Commission (TC).

On Wednesday, June 27, Part 3 of Jonathan Mertzig’s report from the Netherlands will be posted, so be sure to check back then to read it!

On Thursday, June 28, there will be a public input meeting regarding the reconstruction of Pleasant View Road between US-14 and Mineral Point Road. The meeting begins at 6:00 PM at the Middleton City Hall Council Chambers. Read the press release about the meeting here.

On Saturday, June 30, there are two big biking events that are worth your attention. First is a Family Bike Camping trip to Lake Farm County Park hosted by The Cargo Bike Shop. This family friendly overnighter will leave from The Cargo Bike Shop on Williamson Street at noon. The ride is roughly 7 miles long and will include dinner at the park’s group, s’mores and a campfire, and on Sunday morning, coffee from Cafe Domestique and a selection of pastries. Vegetarian options will be available. Cost to join the ride is $30 to help pay for camping registration fees, food, and logistics. This is the first of two planned family bike camping trips planned by The Cargo Bike Shop this year.

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Cranes on the bike path through Lake Farm County Park. Image credit Jim Wilson.

Also on Saturday, join the BiciClub Latino de Madison for the first of their longer group rides. While still organizing the Tour de la Familia Latina, the club now also hosts this ride for more experienced riders. 30 miles, no drop, meet at 8am at Cafe Maya on Odana. From the announcement: “Sabemos que hay ciclistas más experimentados que han preguntado por rodadas más largas, as√≠ que las hemos creado. Este evento está diseñado para ciclistas que ya conocen sus capacidades y quieren recorrer mayores distancias fuera de la ciudad de Madison. Esta primera rodada será de 30 millas y a diferencia del Tour de la Familia Latina, no tendremos bicicletas de préstamo, ni apoyo mecánico al inicio del evento. Pedimos que los ciclistas que nos acompañen, traigan su kit de reparaciones básicas, botella de agua y lo que sepan será de utilidad durante el recorrido.”

Saturday also will have a fundraiser for the Blackhawk, Verona, and Madison West Middle and High School mountain bike teams. The fundraiser is called the Crank-A-Thon and will be located at Deaths Door Distillery at 2220 Eagle Drive in Middleton. Read event details here.

Categories
Bike News

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.

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Proposed route for Phase 1 of the Garver Bike Path

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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.

Categories
Bike News

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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