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Bike News

Monday Update: Transportation Commission, Beltline Expansion, and Free Repairs!

Last Week

On Sunday, a 56-year-old woman riding her bicycle tragically lost her life at the intersection of the Military Ridge State Trail and County Highway PD in Verona. It’s a reminder of just how vulnerable we are on our bikes and the need for everyone to be on the lookout for each other, especially at intersections.

On Thursday, the first public meeting around the Garver Path took place. This path is only part of a series of planned paths to help connect residents of several north east Madison neighborhoods to the Capital City Path. The first leg would extend from the Capital City Path by the Garver Redevelopment up to Milwaukee Street along Starkweather Creek. Eventually the path will connect with the Marsh View Path which is an existing car-free path across State Highway 30.

This Week

Monday, July 22,

Freewheel Community Bike Shop will be providing free bike tune-ups at the Lakeview Library on the north side Monday and Tuesday in the afternoon. You can read more about this event here.

Bike Fitchburg is having their monthly meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

Wednesday, July 24,

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is hosting a public input meeting around using the center medians as extra travel lanes during peak hours. The meeting will take place from 5 PM to 8:30 PM in the Community Room at The Village on Park at 2300 South Park Street. You can read more about this here.

The Transportation Commission (TC) is meeting in Room 207 of the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 5:00 PM. Topics on the agenda include reconsideration of speed humps planned for Spaight Street and Lake Point Drive, and topics for the Tuesday, August 27 Joint Meeting between the TC and the TPPB. Read the full agenda here.

Friday, July 26,

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is teaming up with Wheels for Winners to host the Kennedy Heights Pride Ride, a family-friendly group ride through the north side. This event will start at the Kennedy Heights Community Center at 199 Kennedy Heights in Madison. Free food and water, and free repairs courtesy of Wheels for Winners, will be provided. The cookout and neighborhood party starts at 12:30 PM and the ride will start at 2 PM. Childrens bicycles and helmets will be available to be lent out, and vegetarian options will be available. Read more about this ride here.

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Bike News

Monday Update: Bike rack fundraiser, Vilas Park, Transpo Commission

Last Week

The entire fleet of BCycles were replaced with sleek new electric BCycles. If you’re reading this you’ve probably already seen several being ridden around town. We’ll have a review of the new bikes later this week.

Madison Bikes also launched a fundraising campaign for the new Pinney Library, and we hope to raise $1000 for the library and in the process have our organization’s name printed on one of the new bike racks going in there. You can read more about this effort on Madison Bikes’ website page about the fundraiser, or Madison Bikes’ Facebook Fundraiser page. It looks like we are very close to our goal of $1000 and your contribution to this effort would be greatly appreciated.

This Week

Monday, June 24,

Bike Fitchburg is having their monthly meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

Wednesday, June 26,

The Transportation Commission (TC) is meeting in Room 207 of the Madison Municipal Building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 5:00 PM. Topics on the agenda include funding for three battery packs for electric Metro buses, a discussion of topics for the August 2019 joint Transportation Policy and Planning Board and Transportation Commission meeting, and discussion of the annual work plan for the TC for 2019/2020. Read the full agenda here.

For people more interested in a movie, there will be a screening of Return to Earth, a film by Anthill Films and sponsored by Trek. Watch the trailer here. Return to Earth is a cinematic journey into the simple act of living completely in those moments by riding bikes. The screening will be at the Barrymore Theater at 2090 Atwood Ave. Doors open at 5:30 PM and the screening starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of. All proceeds benefit our local trails. Read more about this film on the Facebook events page.

At 6:00 PM there will be the first Public Information Meeting (PIM) on the Henry Vilas Park Master Plan. These Master Plans determine how the park will be used and developed in the next few decades, so input from interested members of the public is valuable to the city. This process provides a unique opportunity rethink how people access and use the park. The meeting will take place at the Vilas Park Shelter, 1602 Vilas Park Drive. Read more about the master planning process on the City’s Parks Projects web page. The City has also put together a Facebook Events page for the meeting.

Saturday, June 29,

A Pride Ride will start at Cafe Domestique at 10 AM. The ride will be about 14 miles around the capitol and around Lake Monona. B-Cycle bikeshare bikes will be available to rent. Everyone is welcome to join the ride. Read more about the ride on their Facebook Events page.

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Bike News

Weekly Update: Madison Bike Week (almost) here

Madison Bike Week starts this Saturday! To see a complete list of events visit https://www.madisonbikes.org/bikeweek

Construction Updates

Capital City Path Resurfacing –⁠ Starting June 3, a portion of the Capital City Trail between Jackson Street and Marquette Street will be closed for resurfacing project. The resurfacing will take place in two phases. Phase 1 will resurface the path from Jackson Street to just west of the S Marquette Street cul de sac. Phase 2 will resurface the path that connects the main Capital City Path with Wirth Court Park. A marked detour will be available to path users along St. Paul Ave, Waubesa St., and Wirth Court Park. Since this construction is expected to begin during Bike Week, any bike week events planned along the path will be relocated to a nearby location, most likely to St. Paul Ave.

E Johnson St. – Work continues in the Phase 2 configuration. During this phase of construction, the path on the south side of Johnson Street will remain open, and pedestrian and bicycle access to and from Fordem will be maintained. See the Phase 2A and 2B access plan for details.

Williamson/Wilson St. – Work is continuing throughout the project area and the Capital City Path north of Williamson and the crossing on the east side of Blair will remain closed. Bicycle traffic using the Capital City Path will continue to be detoured along Williamson Street to Jenifer Street and back to the path via Paterson.

This Week

Monday, May 27,

Today is the last day Short Stack Eatery is having their Bike to Brunch Week for this year. They are open from 8 AM to 2 PM. For people biking in you will get FREE Kickapoo Coffee, a FREE Bike Bingo card, and you will get 2x the regular Bicycle Benefits sticker value, which for them makes it a 20% off your bill discount for the Bicycle Benefits sticker on your helmet. You can read more about what they’ve got going on at their Facebook Event page.

Bike Fitchburg is having their monthly meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

Saturday, June 1,

Bike Week is here! Madison Bike Week starts this Saturday, and off the bat there are several events.

In celebration of National Trails Day, the Wisconsin DNR is opening up the state trails for the weekend and allowing people to ride them without the need for a trail pass. That’s right, for June 1 and 2, no trail passes will be required for riding Wisconsin State Trails!

The Cargo Bike Shop is hosting the second of their Family Bike Camping outings, this time from their shop on Williamson St. to Brigham County Park by Mount Horeb. The ride is roughly 30 miles and entirely on trails. Read more about their outing at their Facebook Events page.

From 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Madison West/Verona/Memorial/Blackhawk Composite Mountain Bike Team is sponsoring a girls-only day to try out mountain biking and ride with other girls at the amazing Blackhawk trails in Middleton. Free demo mountain bikes will be provided by local retailers if you do not have a trail-ready mountain bike you can bring with you. The event is open to girls entering 6th through 12th grade and their parents.

More info and registration can be found by following this hyperlink.

From 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM Capital Brewery in Middleton will be hosting Reap Food Group’s Burgers & Brew 2019. Burgers & Brew features Dane County’s most popular chefs paired up with Wisconsin’s talented brewers and farmers to serve unique, locally sourced burgers and satisfying Wisconsin craft brews. One free beer pour for attending cyclists wearing helmets, and for participants of their smoothie blender bikes! General Admission tickets start at $40 and are available at Reap Food Group’s website: http://reapfoodgroup.org/burgers-brew/

Also from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Madtown BMX is hosting the Olympic Day Single. Registration is from 4 to 5 PM, and the race starts at 5. There is no cost to register in celebration of Olympic Day.

Sunday, June 2,

Ride the Drive is Sunday form 11 AM to 3 PM, which means John Nolen Drive and North Shore Drive will be partly closed to allow members of the public the opportunity to bike on these roads free of traffic. This is the 11th annual Ride the Drive and there will be events at Brittingham Park, Olin Park and Law Park. Hope to see you there!

Earlier in the day, Bombay Bicycle Club is having their Martinsville Meander Ride. The group will depart from Lakeview Park at 9 AM for a 33 or 62 mile ride. This ride is expected to last until about 1 PM.

Monday, June 3,

Several Madison Bike Week events will take place next Monday before the next Weekly Update is scheduled to be released, be sure to check https://www.madisonbikes.org/bikeweek for a complete list of morning bike stations.

One highlight will be the City of Madison Bike Station and City of Madison Ride. Join Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Common Council members, and city staff on a ride from either Tenney Park or Crazylegs Plaza to the City’s Bike Station at the Madison Municipal Building on Martin Luther King Blvd. Meet at the bike stations at Tenney or Crazylegs starting at 7:15 and then roll out at 7:45 AM toward the Capitol Square. At 8:30 we will have a press conference at the City County Building! Hope you can join us.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Transportation Commission, Cross Plains Workday, Bikes and Brews

The steady rise in temperatures this spring is starting to pay off with warmer weather and more people out on bikes! The bike counter on the Cap. City Path in Law Park saw its highest daily count so far this year at 2,783 bikes on Saturday, April 20! The counters at Law Park and on the Southwest Commuter Path both saw their highest weekly count of 2019 for the week starting on April 15 with 12,041 and 8,152 bikes counted respectively. The data for all of Madison’s “Eco-Counters” are available online at http://www.eco-public.com/ParcPublic/?id=4336

Just as a reminder, Madison Bike Week is coming in just over a month! Save the date!

Construction Updates

E Johnson St. – Construction will switch to Stage 2, the work zone for this stage is the north side of Johnson St. and the west side of First St. up to Mifflin St. so the side path on the south side of Johnson remain open. Click here to see the open pedestrian and bike facilities.

Williamson/Wilson St. – Starting Tuesday, April 23 the path on the south side of Williamson St. in front of Machinery Row will be closed for approximately two weeks. A signed detour is provided on the Capital City Path from the Lake Loop on Paterson St.

This Week

Monday, April 22,

Bike Fitchburg is having its monthly meeting starting at 6:30 PM. The meeting takes place at the Fitcbhurg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Rd in Fitchburg.

Tuesday, April 23,

The Bike for Boys & Girls Club Kick-Off is starting at 5:30 PM at The Thirsty Goat, 3040 Cahill Main, in Fitchburg. The event’s Facebook description says, “This evening will include appetizers, light music, and even better company. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our annual Bike for Boys and Girls Club, as well as how to get involved.”

“Free prizes will be distributed to those who attend!”

The Bike for Boys & Girls Club ride is an annual fundraiser ride to benefit Dane County youth through the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. Read more about the ride on their website: https://web.archive.org/web/20210608234136/http://www.bike4bgc.com/

Wednesday, April 24,

At 5:00 PM, the Transportation Commission (TC) is meeting in the Common Council Chambers, Room 202, at the Madison Municipal Building in downtown Madison, 215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Click here to access the full agenda for the meeting.

At the meeting TC members will be voting to adopt the Interim Recommendation for the Wilson St. Corridor Study, which will include a pilot project for a protected cycle track on Broom St., and a reconstruction of the 300 block of W. Wilson St. that would not preclude a future cycle track on the south side of Wilson St. See the Legistar entry for this agenda item to read the full text of the legislation, and read the Interim Recommendation document for more information on what process the corridor study went through to arrive at the interim recommendation.

TC members will also be given a presentation on the Draft 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) by City Engineering staff. The TIP is a document that lays out a 5-year budget plan for transportation project priorities, including major streets and bikeways. The TIP generally gets reviewed by a series of committees before ending up in the city’s budget process for the next annual budget.

At 7:00 PM, there will be a Ladies Night celebration hosted by Machinery Row Bicycles in coordination with Erica DeAnda of Wisconsin Pink Boots Society at their location on the corner of Williamson St. and John Nolen Dr. The celebration is for all women and female-identifying cyclists in the Madison area, and will feature a beer tasting, treats, and door prizes! Admission is free! Read more about it on their Facebook events page.

Saturday, April 27,

The Capital Off Road Pathfinders are looking for volunteers for two spring projects. Both projects start at 9 AM and go until noon.

The first is a Cross Plains Spring Workday for the off road mountain bike course. This project is for general cleanup after winter and perhaps a few building projects. No special skills or tools are required to participate. Read more about it at their Facebook events page.

The second is a Garlic Mustard Removal and Trash Clean-Up project at Quarry Park, 3302 Stevens St. on Madison’s west side. This project is co-hosted by the Rocky Bluff Neighborhood Association. Read more about this volunteer opportunity at its Facebook events page.

At 11:30 AM, join Freewheel Community Bike Shop and ALT Brew for a Bike and Brew Tour. The tour starts at ALT Brew, 1808 Wright St. in Madison. Same-day registration is $25, tickets are available in advance for $20 from Alt Brew. Proceeds will benefit Freewheel Community Bike Shop. All registered participants will receive an ALT Brew pint glass and a “free beer” card to use at a brewery, mini tire levers, a $10 freewheel coupon, and stickers. Stops include ALT Brew, Rockhound Brewing, Working Draft Beer, Parched Eagle, and Karben 4 Brewing and all breweries on this tour have Bicycle Benefits discounts available. To learn more about this event check out their Facebook event.

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.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Hairball construction, Elections, Sun Prairie

There’s a saying in the midwest. There are two seasons: Winter, and Road Construction. Winter is now officially over and the road construction season has begun.

This week two major road construction projects are starting here in Madison that will see major improvements for people getting around by bike: The E Johnson St. project, and the Williamson and Wilson legs of the John Nolen/Blair/Willaimson/Wilson intersection.

When finished, the E. Johnson St. project will include a new bike path on the south side of Johnson St. from the Yahara River Path to First St. to bridge an east-west gap along the Johnson St. corridor that has existed in the bike network for some time.

The Williamson-Wilson project is the first piece of the John Nolen/Blair/Williamson/Wilson intersection reconstruction that will take place. Unlike John Nolen and Blair which is the USH-151 corridor and maintained by the state, Williamson and Wilson are maintained by the city. This means the city can move forward with reconstructing these streets sooner than the state can with the 151 corridor. One major improvement along this corridor will be a new diagonal crossing at Blount St. to enable inbound cyclists on the Capital City Trail to avoid crossing Williamson at the John Nolen/Blair intersection. The driveway entrance at Machinery Row will be moved with the John Nolen-Blair project A bike detour will be provided for people inbound on Jenifer St. that will follow Blount St. to the Capital City Trail until construction of the new path along Williamson St. is complete. For the latest updates, the city is asking people to subscribe to the Bike Madison email list.

There was also some late breaking information on a closure of the Lower Yahara River Trail boardwalk from McFarland to Madison. The county will be closing the bridge as of April 1 to facilitate tree removal operations, and is telling people to find a different route using their online mapping tools. Fortunately, the closure should be done by the end of the day.

This Week:

Monday, April 1

Don’t be fooled! Construction season is beginning, and if your regular route is impacted by one of the various construction projects, be sure to give yourself some extra time on your morning commute.

At 5 PM, Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) will meet in the Council Chambers in the City County Building. There are quire a few items on the agenda, and you can read them all on the full agenda. One highlight of the meeting is the Bassett Street Corridor Plan, where the corridor study team is recommending a staged implementation of what will be Madison’s first ever parking protected bike lanes, and to continue those bike lanes on the Bassett corridor all the way to Broom St. The city will be reconstructing a stretch of Bassett St. from Dayton St. to West Wash this summer starting in June, and the first piece of implementation of the protected bike lanes will occur on that stretch as a pilot study to prove their effectiveness. The TPPB will also have a discussion on vision zero concepts, as well as CIP/TIP presentations from the city’s Engineering and Transportation departments. CIP refers to the Capital Improvement Program, and TIP refers to the Transportation Improvement Program.

Tuesday, April 2, Election Day

Don’t forget to vote! Polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM. On the ballot will be candidates for Madison’s mayor, city alders, and the state supreme court. To learn more about the mayoral candidates, you can read Madison Bikes’ Candidate Questionnaire. To learn more about what will be on your ballot, to check your voter registration information, or to find out where to vote, consult myvote.wi.gov. You may register to vote on election day at your polling place.

Madison Bikes Communications Committee will be meeting at 5:30 PM in the Stiftskeller at the Memorial Union. The Communications Committee oversees Madison Bikes public communications, including the Facebook Discussion page, the weekly update blogs, and other communication efforts.

Wednesday, April 3

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) will be meeting at 6:30 PM in Rooms A-B of the Madison Water Utility building at 119 E. Olin Ave. Read the full agenda here. There will be a presentation on design alternatives for University Ave. from Shorewood Blvd. to University Bay Dr. and for Gammon Rd. from the beltline to Mineral Point Rd. The University Ave. project will include the construction of a new bike path that will fill the gap in the path between U. Bay and Marshall Ct. partly funded with the county’s PARC Grant. The Gammon Rd. project will include construction of an extension of the West Towne Path from the Struck St. beltline underpass to just west of Gammon Rd. with a new underpass to cross Gammon.

The City of Madison’s Board of Public Works (BPW) will be meeting at 4:30 PM in Room 108 of the City County Building. You can read the full agenda here. The BPW is in charge of approving final plans for road and bike path construction in Madison, and is the last step a project has to go through before spending is formally approved by the City Council. At this meeting, the BPW will look at path repaving at five parks: Bordner Park, Brigham Park, Reservoir Park, Sandburg Park & Woods, and Patriot Park.

Thursday, April 4

At 6 PM, Sun Prairie Moves, the local bike advocacy group in Sun Prairie, will be having their Spring Public Meeting. The meeting will take place at the Colonial Club at 301 Blankenheim Ln in Sun Prairie. At the meeting you will have an opportunity to learn about the best commuter routes from Sun Prairie to surrounding communities, local and state bike laws, and biking etiquette. Learn more about the event on their Facebook Event page.

Saturday, April 6

At 8 AM Madison will officially have a new bike shop. Slow Roll Cycles will open its doors at 4118 Monona Dr. in the Lake Edge Shopping Center.

Sunday, April 7

Freewheel Community Bike Shop needs volunteer help to turn “a big pile of bikes [into] a pile of useful parts and a pile of scrap metal. Come disassemble with us, there’s lots to learn. Food and drink will be available, come for a few minutes or all afternoon, 11am-5pm.”

And our friends from Bombay Bicycle Club are hosting their spring member meeting. Open to non-members, but you have to RSVP. 5pm Lussier Heritage Family Center.

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.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Spring is here (meteorologically speaking)

View from the Lower Yahara River Trail along Lake Waubesa last Thursday.

As of March 1st, we have entered a period known as “Meteorological spring”. It’s the period of the year that starts on March 1st, and ends on May 31st. Most of us are more familiar with the celestial definition of spring which starts on the vernal equinox (March 20th this year) and ends on the June solstice in the northern hemisphere. So even though the weather this week will still feel like winter, warmer weather is officially around the corner.

This Week

Monday, March 4,

The MEAThead Ride will be meeting at Ford’s Gym on Winnebago St. at its usual time of 7 PM.With Daylight Savings Time around the corner, this is actually the last official ride of the season.

At 5 PM, Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board will meet to approve an amendment to the city’s Street Use Permits law, to discuss the Bassett Street Corridor Plan, and more. Read the full agenda here.

Tuesday, March 5

Madison Bikes Communications Committee meets at 6 PM instead of the usual 5:30, and will be meeting in the Sunset Lounge of the Memorial Union. The Communications Committee oversees Madison Bikes public communications, including the Facebook Discussion page, the weekly update blogs, and other communication efforts. The agenda can be found here.

The Madison Common Council will also be meeting at 6:30 in the Common Council Chambers at the City County Building. One of the agenda items will be approving the geometry for the Gammon Road project which will include an extension of the West Towne Path, currently ending at the Struck Street underpass west to just past Gammon Road, including a new underpass of Gammon. You can read the full agenda here.

Wednesday, February 6

The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB) will be meeting at 6:30 PM in Rooms A-B of the Madison Water Utility building at 119 E. Olin Ave. Read the full agenda here.

Thursday, February 7

The County Board is meeting at 7 PM in the Council Chambers at the City County Building. Among other agenda items, the Board will be approving a land purchase that will help get the Lower Yahara River Trail built along the north end of Lake Kegonsa. Read the full agenda here.

Friday to Saturday

If you’re in the market for a new bike, you can head to the annual Bike-O-Rama show at the Alliant Center, starting at noon on Friday and going until Sunday afternoon.

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.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Winter Bike Week is here (and more)

We made it through the cold snap! The weather this week looks to return to more normal winter conditions, which is perfect because this week is Winter Bike Week! Madison Bikes is organizing Winter Bike Week as an event to encourage and celebrate riding throughout the winter. Events include group rides, bike stations for winter riders, bike maintenance/skills classes, a winter bike photo contest, bike happy hours and more! Since there are so many Winter Bike Week events going on this week, I will not be covering them all in this post but mention a few highlights. For up-to-date and complete information regarding winter bike week events, please refer to the Madison Bikes Winter Bike Week web page: https://www.madisonbikes.org/winterbikeweek

Mayoral Candidate Questionnaires

As Madison’s mayoral primary is coming up fast, we’ve sent out a questionnaire to each candidate asking about a variety of bike-related topics. You can expect the responses to be published Tuesday morning.

Last Week

Madison saw a new record low temperature for January 31st Thursday morning at -26°F, but even the cold weather did not keep people from biking. Unfortunately, due to lake conditions, the Frozen Assets Bike Race and Sled Pull were canceled, but Winter Bike Week is just beginning, so there are lots more events to attend.

The Wilson Street Public Input Meeting #3 that was scheduled for this past Thursday was rescheduled due to the cold weather to Monday February 18. We feel improving this street is crucial to our mission to make Madison a city where anyone can bike conveniently and comfortably to anyplace year round. You can read the action alert that was sent out before the meeting to familiarize yourself with this important gap in Madison’s bike network.

This Week

It’s Winter Bike Week! As mentioned earlier, I will not be covering all of the events here. You can find out what’s happening over at the Winter Bike Week web page: https://www.madisonbikes.org/winterbikeweek

All week long there will be a photo contest where you can participate at the following Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/791108974555609/ The theme is: Show us how you Winter Bike!

Today, Monday, February 4, kick off Winter Bike Week with Madison Bikes at the Law Park Bike Station from 7-9 AM which will be near Machinery Row. There will be coffee by EVP and treats from the Willy Street Co-op.

Also today there will be a meeting of Madison’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB) at 5:00 PM in room 201 of the City County Building. There are a few important bicycle-related agenda items worth mentioning. First, there will be a discussion about bicycle facility planning, which will help guide transportation engineering on best practice treatments when constructing bicycle facilities that will allow people to feel safer biking on our bike network. Improving our bike network to improve the feeling of safety is a crucial step to encouraging the “interested but concerned” segment of the population, over half, to start biking more. Another important agenda item is the Wilson Street Corridor Study and the Bassett Street Corridor Study. These corridor studies will guide the long-term development of these crucial corridors here in Madison, both of which need significant improvements to make more bike friendly. Finally, there will be a discussion of next steps to take regarding Madison’s winter bikeway maintenance policies. This ongoing discussion is focused on crafting and adopting best practices for winter bikeway maintenance, which includes path and bike lane clearing. Here is the full agenda for this meeting.

At 6:30 PM, there will be a forum for mayoral candidates on the west side of town at Oakwood Village Center at 6205 Mineral Point Road. This will be a more casual format of mayoral forum and will provide the public an opportunity to talk with the candidates after the forum. See the Facebook event for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/289570018570045/

Tonight is also a MEAThead ride. This ride starts every Monday at 7:00 PM November through March regardless of the weather. The ride starts at Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St in Madison. Read more about the group on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 5, Winter Bike Week continues with Bike Fitchburg hosting a Commuter Station from 7-9 AM at the Velo UnderRound (i.e. the bicycle roundabout where the Capital City Trail, Badger State Trail, Cannonball Trail, and Military Ridge State Trial all meet). They will have hot drinks, bagels, free maps, and (empty) water bottles.

There will also be a Bike Station near Revolution Cycles from 7-9 AM serving coffee and treats. In the afternoon, Machinery Row Cycles will have an Indoor Bike Station from 4-6 PM. Stop by for coffee from Café Domestique and a free bike safety check.

On Tuesday evening, come to Just Bikes and Free Bikes 4 Kids’ indoor bike shenanigans, starting at 4:30 pm. Track stand contests, an obstacle course, and much more at the giant Free Bikes 4 Kids space on the west side.

Wednesday, February 6, there will be an Indoor Bike Station from 7-9 AM at both HotelRED and Canteen on the Square. Both locations will feature coffee and treats.

Starting at 6:30 PM there will be a Northside Mayoral Candidate Forum at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. Before the forum, starting at 6 there will be a meet and greet with the candidates. This is an opportunity for residents of the north side to get to know their mayoral candidates and to discuss north side specific issues. Read more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/359133981546598/

Thursday, February 7, there will be an outdoor Bike Station from 7-9 AM hosted by Café Domestique and The Cargo Bike Shop where the Cap City Trail intersects with Dickinson St. There will be free coffee and breakfast sausage corn dogs by Underground Food Collective.

At 6:30 PM, there will be a Madison Common Council District 15 Candidate Forum at Lake Edge UCC on Buckeye Rd. The candidates are Grant Foster, Angela Jenkins, and Justin Williams. Read more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1934248313360495/ (Disclosure: Grant Foster is a board member of Madison Bikes. We do not endorse or oppose any candidate for political office.)

Friday, February 8, there will be two Bike Stations from 7-9 AM: One b Taqueria & Tequila Bar on the square where there will be free coffee and churros, and one Outdoor Bike Station hosted by Design Concepts at E Wilson and Ingersoll on the Capital City Path with coffee and breakfast kebabs. At the Design Concepts Outdoor Bike Station you will also have the opportunity to clean and lube your chain, and get your portrait taken.

This is also International Winter Bike to Work Day, so all day we are encouraging folks to “Mob the Bike Counters” by trying to ride past either one of Madison’s two bike counters (on the Southwest Path by Regent and Monroe and on the Capital City Trail along John Nolen near North Shore Drive). Although the display at the Capital City Trail counter is not working, it is still picking up data that is provided publicly here: http://www.eco-public.com/ParcPublic/?id=4336

Finally, there will be an End-of-Week Happy Hour Celebration hosted by Madison Bikes at the Nutty Bar/Bandung (600 Williamson St) from 5-7 PM. Here we will have the results of the Winter Bike Week Photo Contest and door prizes to give away provided by Planet Bike.

Saturday, February 9, there will be a Up To Snow Good Dual Salom event held at Tyrol Basin. This is a spectator friendly bike race will include costumes, music, rowdy crowds, klunkers and epic wipe-outs because this race is on snow! You can sign up to compete or just come to watch, either way this one sounds like it will be a lot of fun. You can learn more about the event at their website: http://www.uptosnowgood.com/ or on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/273221906596692/

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 our work, consider a donation to Madison Bikes.

Categories
Bike News

Monday Update: Winter maintenance, trail closures, mayoral forum

Madison recently had its most heavy snowfall this winter on New Year’s Eve. As a result, the comments Madison Bikes received on our Facebook discussion page about the conditions after the storm were numerous. There was even a discussion among the bikies email group. Some of the comments were positive, especially of the workers who were out clearing the paths. However, several comments showed that more can and should be done to keep the paths safe for winter riders.

Madison is undergoing an update to its winter bike-way maintenance policies. This discussion is currently in the hand’s of the City’s Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB). Tonight at 5:00 PM in room 201 in the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., the TPPB is again going to take up the discussion on winter bike-way maintenance in Madison. We would like to strongly encourage anyone who rode during or after the snow event to come to the TPPB meeting to share their experience, good or bad. You can read the presentation by the Bicycle Facility Maintenance Workgroup to familiarize yourself with the main issues and recommendations the workgroup came up with. Click here for more information about the agenda item.

Another announcement: This week, a portion of the Badger State Trail is expected to close for vegetation management for about 4 days. The detour is shown in Figure 2. Click on the image to get a higher resolution version. Future closures from this project are expected on portions of the Cannonball Trail starting next Monday, January 14. Read more about the closures and find detour information here at ATC’s project website.

Last Week:

I hope everybody had a good first week of 2019! As mentioned earlier, Madison had a fairly substantial snowfall on New Year’s Eve, but a week of warm weather has mostly melted it.

View post on imgur.com

On Friday, there was a talk by former Madisonian Dirk von Schneidemesser about how his and fellow activist’s efforts managed to collect 100,000 signatures for a bike referendum in Berlin and what can be applied from those efforts to activism in Madison. Look for slides and a post soon summarizing that meeting.

This Week:

Today, Monday, January 7, there is the meeting of the TPPB mentioned at the top of this post. Other than the continuing discussion about winter bike-way maintenance policy, the board will be looking at bike infrastructure types, a Metro facility report, and BRT funding options. Additionally, they will be looking at adopting the Oscar Mayer Special Area Report. Here is the full 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.

At 5:30 PM, the Madison Bikes Communications Committee is meeting at Rockhound Brewing Company, 444 S Park St in Madison.

Tonight is also a MEAThead ride. This ride starts every Monday at 7:00 PM November through March regardless of the weather. The ride starts at Ford’s Gym, 2114 Winnebago St in Madison. Read more about the group on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 8, will be the first Common Council meeting of 2019. One agenda item is Approving Roadway Geometry for the Pleasant View Road Reconstruction, which currently features a sidepath and bike lanes as part of the project. You can see the overhead map here, and the current proposed sections here. The full Common Council agenda can be found here.

Wednesday, January 9, Madison’s Transportation Commission (TC) would normally meet, but this meeting has been canceled. However, there will be a meeting of the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MATPB). This meeting will start at 6:30 PM at the Madison Water Utility Building at 119 E. Olin Avenue, Room A-B. Read the full agenda packet for this meeting here. After this meeting, in the same room at 6:45 PM, there is a joint meeting between the MATPB and the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC). Here is the full agenda packet for this joint meeting.

Also this Wednesday, the Capital Times will be hosting the first mayoral debate. The debate starts at 7 PM at The Barrymore Theatre at 2020 Atwood Ave. Read more about the event here. If you can’t make it to this debate, Madison Bikes is co-sponsoring another forum on January 15. More details here.

Saturday, January 12, is the annual Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap. The bike swap is in the New Holland Pavilion on the Alliant Energy Center Campus. At this event you can find great deals on a variety of bike stuff including parts, accessories, clothing, and more from a wide variety of vendors. Madison Bikes will have a table at the event, so feel free to stop by and say hi! Read more about the Bike Swap here. And if instead of acquiring new bikes, you want to get rid of them, Saturday is also the day for the Free Bikes 4 Kids annual bike collection.

Please consider donating your extra bikes to help us meet the community’s need for 2,500 bikes each year so ALL kids have access to the feeling of pride and joy that comes with getting your first bike! BIKES CAN BE DROPPED OFF AT THE FOLLOWING UnityPoint Health –⁠ Meriter Clinic locations between 9am and 1pm: Stoughton –⁠ 100 Silverado Dr., Stoughton, WIMonona –⁠ 6408 Copps Ave. Monona, WI Deforest-Windsor –⁠ 4200 Savannah Dr. Deforest, WI Deming Way –⁠ 2275 Deming Way, Middleton, WI McKee –⁠ 3102 McKee Rd, Madison, WI Fitchburg –⁠ 2690 Research Park Dr., Fitchburg, WI

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